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protected as they were, to interpose; and The Earl of Rochford declared, that w':ere it was otherwise, they vore borne upon his honour, and conscience, he bedowu by faction in some instances, and per- lieved count de Guines innocent of the inverted by the most calze misrepresentations famous charge laid against him; that as to in otsers; that taking it in either ligat, 1 disarming first, the count was mistaken; the measures proper to be pursued by for that long before he (lord Rochford) Great Britain were plain, and did not ad. had made the proposal of disarming, he mit of the least controversy; for either, had received a letter from lord Harcourt, said his lordship, they are disposed as I informing him, that the French had began have now represented, or they are not: to disarm ; that the proposal he made if they are, they deserve our utmost pro. about disarming, was to do it reciprocally, tection; if they are not, we should exert at a given tiine ; that the object of the ar. and strain every nerve to make them sub mament being at an end, form was not mit. I have all along been of that opinion. necessary as to the period of disarming, I now avow it; and be the event what it more especially, as from all his advices may, I never mean to shrink from the from the King's ministers abroad, both conseque.ces of an advice which I am the French and Spaniards had first began proud to own.
to disarm. The Marquis of Rockingham observed, I Lord Weymouth opposed the motion. that as ministry had avowed an iotention | He was for sending troops to America; of sending out inore troops to Boston, and but held himself disengaged from co-opeas that wa; a measure totally repugnant to rating with administration, till he was fully his plan of reconciliation, he was glad of acquainted with the whole train of meaan opportunity of resisting that mischievous sures they proposed to adopt, digested into and dangerous design of governing the one perfect system ; adding, that in his colonies by force. He said that the troops present state of mind, and want of proper .which had so idly been sent thither, were knowledge, he did not know if he should by their instructions left in so disgraceful even be for augmenting the present milia state, that he wished them recalled with tary force under general Gage. the utmost possible dispatch; and conse | The House divided; 18 contents, and quently he must be averse to the designs 68 non-contents. The minority were, administration entertained, of further ex- | Dukes of Cumberland, Richmond, Portposing our troops to shame and disgrace; land, Manchester. Marquis of Rocking. and of course he joined the motion for ham. Earls Thanet, Abingdon, Fitzwil. their recall. He expressed pretty strongly liam, Tankerville, Stanhope, Spencer, his adherence to his old opinion of the Chatham. Bishop of Exeter. Lords propriety of the Declaratory Act, which Camden, Wycombe, Ponsonby, Sondes, he seemed to consider as necessary to the Grosvenor. dominion of this country, and no way hurtful to the freedom of America; but Debate in the Commons on the Petitions he reserved himself to a more proper sea- 1 of the Merchants of London and Bristol son for debating that principle, only in- for Reconciliation with America.] Jan. 23. sisting that the congress had expressed no Mr. Alderman Hayley said he had a petsa dissatisfaction with the Declaratory Act; tion from the merchants of the city of and he thought it needless to give them London concerned in the commerce to more than they desired. .
North-America, to that honourable House, · The Duke of Richmond supported lord and desired leave to present the same, Chatham's motion with firmness, and an- which being given, it was brought up and swered his adversaries with accuracy and read, setting forth; precision. He contrasted very happily ! " That the petitioners are all essentially the stubborness of ministry in refusing to interested in the trade to North-Americi, have the least feeling for the miseries and I either as exporters and importers, or as complaints of British subjects, while they venders of British and foreign goods to were all awake and full of attention to the exportation to that country; and. was most arrogant expectations of foreign the petitioners have exported, or sola powers; and then mentioned the fact exportation, to the British colonie stated by count de Guines in his Memo- | North America, very large quantities rial, that the English ministry, in the the manufacture of Great Britain and question of the Falkland Islands, had land, and in particular the staple art agreed to disarm first.
of woollen, iron, and linen, also those
cotton, silk, leather, pewter, tin, copper, , the cominerce between Great Britain and and brass, with almost every British ma- her colonies, in consequence of an Act for nufacture; also large quantities of foreign granting and applying certain stamplinens and other articles imported into duties, and other duties, in the British cothese kingdoms, from Flanders, Holland, lonies and plantations in America, by Germany, the East Countries, Portugal, which the merchants trading to North Spain, and Italy, which are generally re America, and the artificers employed in ceived from those countries in return for the various manufactures consumed in British manufactures; and that the peti- those countries, were subjected to many tioners have likewise exported, or sold for hardships ; and that, in the following year, exportation, great quantities of the various the said Act was repealed, under an exspecies of goods imported into this king- press declaration of the legislature, that dom from the East-Indies, part of which the continuance of the said Act would be receive additional manufacture in Great attended with many inconveniences, and Britain ; and that the petitioners receive might be productive of consequences returns from North-America to this king- greatly detrimental to the commercial indom directly, viz, pig and bar iron, timber, terests of these kingdoms; upon which restaves, naval stores, tobacco, rice, indico, peal, the trade to the British colonies imdeer and other skins, beaver and furs, mediately resumed its former flourishing train oil, whalebone, bees wax, pot and state; and that in the year 1767, an Act pearl ashes, drugs, and dying woods, with | passed for granting certain duties in the some bullion, and also wheat flour, Indian British colonies and plantations in Amecora and salted provisions, when, on ac- rica, which imposed certain duties, to be count of scarcity in Great Britain, those paid in America, on tea, glass, red and articles are permitted to be imported; and white lead, painters' colours, paper, pastethat the petitioners receive returns cir- board, mill. board, and scale-board, when cuitously from Ireland (for flax seed, &c. the commerce with the colonies was again exported from North America) by bills of interrupted; and that in the year 1770, exchange on the merchants of this city such parts of the said Act as imposed trading to Ireland, for the proceeds of duties on glass, red and white lead, Jinens, &c. imported into these kingdoms painters' colours, paper, paste-board, from the West Indies ; in return for promill-board, and scale-board, were revisions, lumber and cattle, exported from pealed, when the trade to America North America, for the use and support soon revived, except in the article of tea, of the West India islands, by bills of ex. on which a duty was continued, to be change on the West India merchants, for demanded on its importation into Amethe proceeds of sugar, molasses, rum, rica, whereby that branch of our comcotton, coffee, or other produce, imported merce was nearly lost; and that, in the from those islands into these kingdoms; year 1773, an Act passed, to allow a from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Flan- drawback of the duties of customs on the ders, Germany, Holland, and the East exportation of tea to his Majesty's coloCountries, by bills of exchange or bullion nies or plantations in America, and to in return for wheat flour, rice, Indian empower the commissioners of the Treacorn, fish, and lumber, exported from the sury to grant licences to the East India British colonies in North America, for the Company, to export tea, duty frec; and use of those countries; and that the peti- by the operations of those and other laws, tioners have great reason to believe, from the winds of his Majesty's subjects in the the best informations they can obtain, that British colonies have been greatly dison the balance of this extensive com- quieted, a total stop is now put to the exmerce, there is now due from the colonies port trade with the greatest and most imIn North America, to the said city only, portant part of North America, the public 2000,0001. sterling, and upwards; and revenue is threatened with a large and that, by the direct commerce with the co. fatal diminution, the petitioners with lonies, and the circuitous trade thereon grievous distress, and thousands of indusdepending, some thousands of ships and trious artificers and manufacturers with vessels are employed, and many thousands utter. ruin; under these alarming circumof seamen are bred and maintained, there- stances, the petitioners receive no small by encreasing the naval strength and comfort, from a persuasion that the reprepower of Great Britain ; and that, in the sentatives of the people, newly delegated jear 1765, there was a great stagnation of to the most important of all trusts, will 15 GEORGE III. Debate in the Commons on the Petitions (172 take the whole of these weighty matters | labour, and every possible assistance to it ; into their most serious consideration; and but hoped, such an enquiry might not be therefore praying the House, that they made use of to defeat every good intenwill enter into a full and immediate exa- tion, and clog every salutary measure that mination of that system of commercial might be proposed in the present compolicy, which was formerly adopted, and mittee; he should therefore recommend it uniformly maintained, to the happiness to the House to appoint a separate comand advantage of both countries, and will mittee for the consideration of the mer. apply such healing remedies as can alone chants' petition, and for that purpose restore and establish the commerce be- move an Amendment, to leave out, between Great Britain and her colonies on tween the word of' and the word . com
a permanent foundation; and that the mittee, the word • the,' and insert 'a' in· petitioners may be heard by themselves, stead thereof; and to leave out the words or agents, in support of the said petition." | 'to whom it is referred to consider of the
Mr. Alderman Hayley expressed his several papers which were presented to wishes for a speedy reconciliation with the House by the lord North, upon ThursAmerica, and moved, “ That the said Pe- day last, by his Majesty's command.' tition be referred to the consideration of Mr. Burke was glad to hear the right the committee of the whole House, to hon. gentleman talk of a speedy reconciwhom it is referred to consider of the se. | liation, and therefore must conclude that veral papers which were presented to the the price of his bargain with the minister House, by the lord North, upon Thurs- when he went over to his party, was a day last, by his Majesty's command, and speedy reconciliation; yet at the same that the petitioners be admitted to be time he was sorry to see how knavish the heard by theinselves or agents, before the noble lord had been, for instead of putting said committee, upon the said petition, if into his hand the reconciliatory measures, they think fit."
he had slipped into his hand a wand, Sir W. Meredith said, that as the worthy which wand was now become one of the alderman, whose rank stands so high, and main pillars of administration. He prowhose character is so honourably distin- | ceeded to shew how materially the trade guished in the list of merchants, had ex. and commerce with America ought to be pressed his wishes not only for a recon- considered before any decisive steps were ciliation, but for a speedy reconciliation taken, and declared himself totally ignowith America, he submitted to his judg rant that the committee appointed for the ment, whether a speedy reconciliation was 26th, were to take into consideration the practicable or consistent with such a papers only which lay on the table; he length of enquiry as his motion led to; insisted that every information possible that of all the evils American merchants would add to the dispatch, and not to the now suffer, suspense is the greatest ; that delay of a reconciliation; that as the he trusted the committee already ap- | noble lord (North) had denied them the pointed would make the removal of that opinions of persons on the spot, the comsuspense the first object of their conside- mittee could not receive more material inration and their care; at least he hoped, formation than from the merchants trading that the hands of government might not thither, who were greatly interested in be tied up, nor the powers of parliament the welfare of the colonies; that if there restrained from giving that speedy relief was not time sufficient to settle the Amewhich the pressure of affairs requires ; | rican business, was not the noble lord in that there is still some hope left, that the fault in adjourning a month to eat mince flames in America may be quenched, if pies and drink Christmas ale, when so proper and effectual means are speedily material a question was depending? He applied ; but the task will every hour be called the proposed committee a Coventry come more and more difficult, and if pro- Committee, in allusion to a well known tracted to the long period, which the pro- practice, by which a troublesome person posed enquiry may lead to, impracticable. | is voted to be sent to Coventry, whereby, He should be very sorry to take upon him without turning him out of company, he self the consequences of exposing the si- is wholly excluded from all attention; he tuations of private merchants to publics may be ridiculed and laughed at, and canview, especially at this juncture ; but, if not interfere in his own defence. He also they really desired an enquiry into their called it a Committee of Oblivion, con. affairs, he himself would give his time, his signing every thing the merchants could
allege to entire oblivion. He congratu- right to tax America, yet ought not to lated the minister on such a friend as sir exercise it. He was warmly for the William ; the merchants on such an able amendment. He said, if we were resolved and powerful advocate; the cabinet on to sacrifice the supremacy of parliament, such a counsellor; the right hon. gentle- | he would much readier consent to it on man himself on such a patron ; and the any other ground than that which the preKing and parliament on the happiness of sent petition would lead to, as this would having so respectable a person in a situa- | be an inexhaustible source of applications tion to reciprocally impart the desires and of the same nature; for whenever the wishes of either party to each other. He Americans had any point to gain, let it prophesied the most salutary effects from be ever so unreasonable, all they had to so happy a beginning. He compared the do was to refuse to pay their debts, to right hon. gentleman to Sampson, and the threaten to stop all commercial intercourse ministers, and the friends of the Declara- | with us, and their business would be done : tory Act and all the revenue Acts, to the if therefore we were to submit, let us Philistines; and supposed himself to be fairly give up the point at once; let us involved in the ruin, which must follow sooner even become their vassals, than refrom pulling down the pillars which had main open to demands which could have supported the system of destructive policy no bounds, and must be irresistible, when and oppression, which the right hon. gen they were brought forward in the present tleman contended ought to have been re form. sisted. In a word, he turned, twisted, Mr. Charles Fox, in favour of the Amemetamorphosed, and represented every | ricans, repeatedly called on lord North to thing which the right hoc. gentleman had | know who was the man that advised the advanced into so many ridiculous forms, / late Acts, for it was he who had created that the House was kept in a continued the disturbances, it was he who had placed roar of laughter.
general Gage and his troops in the ridiSir Gilbert Elliot replied to Mr. Burke, / culous situation in which they were, and and ironically complimented him; but it was he who ought to answer to his counbegged leave to differ from him, as to the try for the mischief and expence that matter in debate. He observed, that the might ensue. He attacked the minister committee appointed for the 26th, was in- violently; pointed out his delays before lended to consider of the papers, in order Christmas, and his speed after : he said, to come to some speedy resolution, suited the committee meant no more than a mere to the dignity of parliament, and the pre- farce, to delude the merchants, as he was sent situation of affairs in America; that certain nothing serious was intended. the great variety of facts, and mass of Lord J. Cavendish was for the petition matter, which would come of course under i being heard with the papers, and conconsideration in the committee, to which demned lord North for his behaviour in the petition must be referred, would be a bringing in estimates at the beginning of work of great and laborious toil; and that the session, before he knew the expence the views and objects of the enquiry, ori. which would be necessary; that it was a ginating with the papers, and the petition deceit to the country gentlemen, who rebeing totally distinct in their nature, the tired into the country satisfied with the determinations and execution arising from estimate at first, and who never imagined both must be different. ,
there would be any further sum required : Mr. T. Townshend contended, that it that the noble lord was pressed, and ought would be fairer and more 'manly to reject to have laid before the House the papers the petition at once, than thus endeavour before the holidays, as he was desired. to defeat it; that the pretence of appoint. Lord North defended the delay before ing a committee was but a mere evasion; the holidays chiefly on two grounds: first, and that, indeed, as mueh had been al- 1 for want of necessary information; seready ayowed by the right hon, member condly, because he understood from sewho proposed the amendment, who pointed veral persons, who pretended to know it, out so late as the month of June before that the address from the continental conI could be supposed capable of determin- / gress to the King, was of that conciliatory ing or coming to any resolution.
pature as to make way for healing, lenient Lord Clare was for not submitting to measures. As to the question before the the Americans in the least, and ridiculed | House, besides repeating the very great the opinion of those who said we had a delays which the inatters contained in the petition would probably occasion, it could styled the most civilized people in the not, with the least colour of propriety, be known world; but an unfortunate fatality considered with the papers; one being seems to have awaited that unhappy counsimply an object of commerce, the other try for a series of years past. The late clearly a matter of policy. He said, his war was scarce at an end, before you put reason for not laying the papers before the a total stop to their trade with the Spanish House sooner was, on account of what West Indies. 'Tis true, it was, strictly the Americans called a congress, but what speaking, illicit, but it was very beneficial he called an illegal and reprehensible to them, for from thence they got their meeting, not being finished; and that he specie. Then, Sir, as if you meant to add was informed a petition would be sent insult to bad policy, no sooner had you from them to the throne, which would re-deprived them of the means of assisting
Sir George Macartney was severe against right of taxation. Sir, if such a power is the Petition, though, he said, he wished vested in the British parliament, I think to be thought a friend to so respectable you have mistaken the season to exercise a body as the petitioners : petitions were it; but I never can consider that we, who generally framed, he said, and brought are many of us strangers to the resources, about by some interested persons who of that country and its produce, are comhad artifice enough to induce others to petent judges which of their commodities sign them.
can best bear the burden of taxation. Captain Luttrell. I have listened with Sir, those that are acquainted with Ameattention to this debate, in hopes of re- rica know as well as I do, that from Rhode ceiving such instruction as might enable Island northwards they have no money; me to judge which way of acting will be that their trade is generally carried on by most conducive to the welfare of Ame. barter, from the most opulent merchant rica and this country. Sir, I am sorry to to the necessitous husbandman. Sir, befind such a variety of opinions prevail fore your fleet and armies visited their amongst us, as makes it very difficult to coasts, you might almost as soon have determine what measures are likely to raised the dead as 1006. in specie from any prove the most salutary; but being nei. individual in the province of ihe Massachu. iher willing to be led astray by the oratory set's Bay. Then, Sir, let us suppose the of one man, or the party zeal of another, | Americans to be the most tractable, the I feel a wish to consider this petition on most loyal of all the King's subjects, with
every good inclination to pay obedience to nion I have adopted from my own per- the mandates of the mother country, sonal knowledge of the Americans, their where are their abilities to comply with country, and their coasts. Sir, that the your present demands ? For my part, I colonies are inseparably united to the im. know but one method by which you can perial crown of this realm, I trust will possibly put America into a situation to never be denied by the friends of either assist this country ; agree with her upon clime; but though it has been asserted, a fair and certain subsidy to be paid you America can subsist without our com- annually; wait with patience the arrival merce, I believe nobody will say, she can of her merchandizes here, and the sale of flourish without our protection. If we them also; then, and not till then, their abandon her to her present miserable si- money will he forthcoming to pay you. tuation, she must soon sue to us or to Sir, such are my present sentiments with some other power for succour. Insecure respect to the situation of our colonies at in their lives and properties, the Ameri. this important crisis ; but I will hope for cans must, ere long, experience the fatal better days, and better information; be. consequences of being exposed to the de- cause I wish to be convinced that neither
fians; they will soon cry aloud for the of being undone. re-establishment of those judicial authori. Lord Stanley, for a young speaker, ac. ties that have been imprudently overturn- quitted himself very decently." He expaed, and which are necessary, not only to tiated largely on the legislative suprethe welfare, but to the very existence of macy and omnipotence of parliament; the subject, among the rudest nations of spoke much of treason, rebellion, coer. the globe. Sir, I fear, indeed, the Ame- cion, and firmness; and insisted, that if ricans at this hour cannot properly be we gave way to their present temper, the