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restless under the yoke, and think them- | petitions and dutiful remonstrances to the selves happy under an opportunity of fly- parliament or the throne. He said, he ing to the protection of any other power, thought it the duty of every member, as from the subjection of a mother, whom well in the House as out of it, to interpret they consider cruel and vindictive? what might fall in the heat of debate, or
I would not be understood, Sir, to deny warm discussion, in the manner it was exthe good intentions of administration. plained by the speaker; that if he had The abilities of the minister, it seems, are been thus candidly dealt with, the author universally acknowledged; but I must of a late pamphlet, written in America, add, humanum est errare. Though an could never have asserted, that he insisted American, applaud his jealousy for that Britain should never recede, tillthe laws the dignity of parliament, and think the and liberties of America were at her feet; impolicy and inexpediency of the late for as he never meant one, so he never measures may reasonably be imputed to said the other. And he wished, that on the difficulty of the occasion, and the un- the present occasion he should be undersettled and undefined nature of the de- stood according to his present explanapendence of the colonies on the mother tion, and no other. country; and vice versa, candour must Mr. Hartley was for making the Ameadmit the same apology for the violences ricans contribute to the general defence and mistakes of America.
of the empire, by way of a requisition, But since these measures have been and read one or two passages in some found, by sad experience, totally inade- American proceedings, to shew their wilquate; since they have widened the lingness to comply with such a measure. breach, instead of closing it; diminished the obedience of the colonies, instead of The Resolution was then agreed to. confirming it; increased the turbulence and opposition, instead of allaying them ; Debate in the Commons on continuing it may be hoped, that a different plan of the Land Tax at only Three Shillings in conduct may be pursued, and some firm the Pound.] December 19. The House and liberal constitution adopted, by the went into a Committee of Ways and wisdom of this House, which may secure Means for raising a supply to be granted the colonists in their liberties, while it to his Majesty. maintains thé just supremacy of par- | Lord North stated from a paper which liament.
| he held in his hand, in detail, the amount Sir William Mayne drew a melancholy of the grants and services. He said, the picture of the sufferings of the Irish; said former aniounted hitherto but to 75,0001. that all promises had been shamefully the duty on malt; that the services to be broken with them; that pensions to the incurred were navy and ordnance for sea amount of 10,0001. per annum, had been service 830,0001. guards, garrisons, &c. lately granted on that miserable, ruined, 627,0001, military establishment in Ameand undone country; and that the Castle rica, West Indies, and Africa, 386,0001. was an asylum to every needy, servile, difference of pay between British and cringing apostate, that would bow the Irish establishment, 2,8001. staff-officers, knee, and barter every thing which should 11,000l. Chelsea, 122,0001. ordnance for be dear to him, for emolument and court land service, 228,0001. services incurred favour.
and not provided for ditto the present Lord North took notice, that an hon. year, 32,000l. in all amounting to, with gentleman (governor Johnstone) had al. che fractions, 2,244,0001. He observed, luded to something he had said on a that the land tax continued at 3s. would former occasion relative to Great Britain produce 1,500,0001., which added to the never receding or relaxing, till America malt, would amount to no more than was at her feet; his lordship observed, 2,250,0001. making a surplus of 6,0001. that it was hardly fair to quote what a man He acquainted the Committee further, had said seven years before, and what he that the militia money and the general dehad explained on the spot before he left ficiencies amounted last year to 580,0007. the House ; this explanation then, and and would for the present be at least now was, he said, that by being at the feet 400,000l. And that for these reasons he of Great Britain, he meant obedience to should move, That the land tax for the the mother country: such as, if they ensuing year be 3s. in the pound, which thought themselves aggrieved, to apply by was agreed to..
December 20. The Report from the information first had, were taken up on Committee of Ways and Means was mature deliberation, and discussed with brought up. On the question for agree-coolness, in order in the end to come to ing to the land-tax of Ss. in the pound a wise, deliberate, and rational decision. being put,
Mr. T. Townshend said, that whatever Mr. Hartley rose, and in a mild, sensi that decision might be, the conduct of ad. ble speech, enlarged upon the very extra. ministration was for the present extremely ordinary conduct of administration con- reprehensible; for while we were informed cerning American affairs. He said, the from administration that America was alaccounts from that country were truly | most in a state of rebellion, the land, the alarming; that the resolutions of the con- malt, the navy, and the army, were voted tinental congress evidently proved, that with as much ease, and without a single the people were determined not to submit syllable, as if that country was in a state to the late Acts passed in relation to of the most perfect tranquillity and obediAmerica, nor to any other of a like com- ence: for, concluded he, either the inforplexion; that the troops now stationed at mation we have had is false, which I can Boston, and the inhabitants of that town, hardly suppose, or the estimates on the lad do means of procuring subsistence but table are by no means proportioned to the by sea, or from the country; that either objects which are recommended from the method was now equally difficult, as the throne: for instance, if the army now in harbour would be frozen up, and the land America be to be augmented, or the carriage, even if subsistence was to be had, ships stationed there reinforced, the 3s. rendered impracticable, as the country land-tax now voted will certainly be insuf, would be covered with snow; and that ficient; and the deficiencies must be made under-such circumstances, the situation of up without the knowledge of parliament, the troops would be no less deplorable by a vote of credit to defray expences inthan that of the niiserable inhabitants.- curred in the support of measures, with He continued to say, that he was not well which at present it is evident we are toversed in sieges, but if he understood tally unacquainted. right, he took it, that the town of Boston Mr. Rigby facetiously replied, Would was surrounded by general Gage with the hon. gentleman have a war establishlines of circumvallation; and that such ment in time of peace? Would he have us being the very critical state of things, re- embrue our hands in the blood of our specting both the situation, the temper, countrymen on the other side of the and disposition, of the military and the water? I dare say no man in this House Datives, he submitted it to the gentlemen is ignorant of my sentiments, and yet I on the other side, how they could recon- should shudder at the thought. The hon. cile it to the duty they owed to the nation gentleman complains that the land, the in their public, or to their constituents in malt, &c. is voted without a syllable being their private capacity, to agree to a long said: pray whose fault is that? He would adjournment, while things remained in so not have, I presume, the gentleman who dangerous and alarming a state, without presented the navy estimates, rise and taking any one step to avert the numerous condemn them; he would not desire the and fatal mischiefs which they portended. noble lord, I suppose, who laid the army For his part, he affirmed solemnly, he estimates before you, to tell the House would much rather sit on Christmas-day, that the number of troops to be employed and continue to do so, de die in diem, than in America was insufficient, considering go to the country in so critical a season, the state of that country; nor the noble without, at least, agreeing to some mea- lord who proposed the tax of 3s, in the sures, though they should extend no fur-pound, to inform us in the same breath ther than prevention.
that it ought to be four. Who, then, is Mr. Rose Fuller said, that we were too to blame? Those who are convinced that precipitate in our last measures, and that the estimates and grants are too low, and was the chief reason why they miscarried; will not speak, or those who think them that he foresaw at the time they would sufficient, and declare their opinions? For answer no end, but to inflame; nor ever my part, I do not think myself capable of would, while they were continued to be defending the gentleman now alluded to; directed to the same end ; on which ac- nor have I, nor do I pretend to speak count he would be much better pleased from any information of my own; but as that the affairs of America, the necessary the establishment is a peace establishment,
as I always thought that the present is a destructive to any country where it is kept very proper one, till I am informed that a up. I remember very well too, that I, war establishment is become necessary; among others on these benches, have been and as I voted for taking off the other long dinning this doctrine in the ears of shilling, I shall give my vote that the land the minister. I remember likewise, that tax be 3s. for the ensuing year. The for so doing we were called factious and other hon. gentleman says, the port of discontented. And I am now happy in Boston is frozen up this season of the the flattering idea, that factious and disyear; I have conversed with many on the contented as we are, we happened for subject, who have assured me of the con- once to be right; for the great man who trary: whether it be, or be not, I cannot conducts the public affairs of this country, see how our sitting here on Christmas. has given ample testimony to our wisdom, day, or the whole holidays, can be the by adopting what he and his friends for means of relieving the army, or the inha three successive sessions charitably imbitants, or of preventing the mischiefs he puted to ignorance or disappointed am. seems so much to dread.
bition. Nor am I less happy in another Mr. Edmund Burke. I should not have instance of the same kind." The noble risen in this debate, if I had not heard the lord below me on the floor (lord Beaumoderation of one gentleman, (Mr. Fuller) | champ) being requested to learn from the and the precipitation of another, (Mr. minister, if he had any inforınation to lay Hartley), stated as if militating against before us, or measures to propose, came each other. Now, Sir, I, who see mat- posting to the House with the halcyon ters in another light from the right hon. tidings, that all was peace and tranquilgentlemen on the floor, can easily per- lity; and that he had none. Here again ceive them to be exactly correspondent. the same factious spirit obtruded, and
The former, from his experience of what broke the calm enjoyments which might has been already done, is cautious and be derived from such a happy state of willing to avoid repeating our former things; for some of us, who are never to blunders, or adopting others of a similar be satisfied, relapsed into our former turnature: but is for having matters coolly bulence and discontent. What was the considered, fully investigated, and wisely consequence? Why, it seems turbulence and effectually determined; the latter, aim- and discontent once more had reason on ing at the same point, considering the cir- their side, and the minister came forward cumstances in the most urgent and press- and assured us himself, that he had ining light, is more eager to arrive at the formation to lay before the House, and completion of his wishes, not perhaps con- | measures to propose. templating or foreseeing the obstructions I cannot sit down, Sir, without first that may retard him in his progress. The saying a word or two on the solicitude the right hon. gentleman's confessed igno- hon. member on my left hand (Mr. rance of what is proper to be done, or Hartley) has expressed for the situation the measures his friends mean to adopt, I of general Gage, and the troops under his am extremely ready to believe; and have command. It is, I confess, most humino reason to doubt but their present know- liating and mortifying ; and it is difficult ledge and foresight are nearly on a par. I to say, whether those who have put them He certainly mistakes the matter, if he into it deserve most our compassion or our supposes that we on this side of the House, ridicule. It is, indeed, an absurdity withwish for a war establishment in time of out parallel ; a warlike parliament, and a peace: no, Sir, what we object to is, that patient forbearing general. I would not a speech which breathed nothing but war, be understood to reflect on the gentleand accompanied with the motives of such man, who I understand is a very worthy, a declaration, should, without any cause l intelligent, deserving man ; no, Sir, it is whatever assigned, at once sink into a those who have sent him on such an tranquil silence; a peace establishment errand that are to blame. The order of formed on the lowest scale.
things is reversed in this new system, I am not now contending what the es. The rule of government now is to detertablishment ought to be; but I contend, mine hastily, violently, and without conthat the one already voted by no means sideration, and to execute indecisively, corresponds with the intimations given to or rather not execute at all. And have this House from authority. I know that not the consequences exactly corresponda heavy peace establishment is ruinous and ed with such a mode of proceeding? They have been measures not practicable in Mr. Cornwall rose with some warmth, themselves in any event, nor has one step | He observed, that there was no question been taken to put them into execution. now before the committee, respecting The account we have is, that the general America; that it was extremely irregular. is besieging and besieged; that he had improper, and unfair, to introduce à dis. cannon sent to him, but they were stolen ; course of this kind, just at the eve of an that he himself has made reprisals of a adjournment, in such a disorderly, unparsimilar nature on the enemy; and that his liamentary manner; that he suspected it straw has been burnt, and his brick and was done on purpose to embarrass admi. mortar destroyed. It is painful to dwell nistration, by conveying to the people, on such monstrous absurd circumstances, through the medium of the public papers, which can be only a subject of ridicule, if that administration were silent, and would it did not lead to consequences of a very not, or were not able, to answer; that serious and alarming nature. In fine, Sir, such conduct might be of a very bad tenyour army is turned out to be a mere dency, considering the very various and army of observation; and is of no other contradictory opinions entertained at al. use but as an asylum for magistrates of most every side of the House ; that pressyour own creating.
|ing for an increased establishment, though Sir William Meredith rose, and after it should be necessary, if complied with at animadverting on the last speaker's being this time, would be extremely imprudent, so eager to push things to extremities, as it would spread an alarm among the which must end in a scene of bloodshed, merchants, on account of their property; imputed all the present troubles to the because, from the instant such a measure Declaratory Act asserting the supreniacy was determined on, all remittances, or perof Great Britain, at the time of the repeal haps commercial intercourse, might posof the Stamp Act. He contended that sibly cease, which, if it should happen, the general had answered every purpose might be productive of the most dreadful for which he was sent. The troops, he effects. He concluded by asserting, that said, were for the protection of the magis. the measures now sported with, would trates, the protection of the property and stand the test ; and that, from any thing trade of the merchants, and the enforcing which had hitherto happened, there was of the Acts, all which had been fully ac- not the most distant reason for condemning complished; for the persons of the magis- them. trates were safe, no injury had been done! The question was put, and the House to any property since their arrival, and agreed with the committee in the Resothe port was now blocked up.
lution of a three shillings land tax for Mr. Burke rose, and complimented sir 1775. William on his great wisdom, and the sa- On the 22nd, the House adjourned to gacity of administration, in discoursing of the 19th of January 1775. which, if they had applied to him, he could have long since informed them. He
: 1775. once more returned to the asylum for magistrates. He said he had often heard of PAPERS RELATING TO THE DISTURBsuch places for thieves, rogues, and female ANCES IN NORTH AMERICA.] January orphans; but it was the first time he ever 19, 1775. Lord North presented to the heard of an asylum for magistrates. As House, by his Majesty's command, the to the protection of trade, in a place where Papers relating to the Disturbances in all sort of trade or commerce was prohi- North America, of which the following are bited, the task was a glorious, but not a the most material : difficult one. And as to the blocking up
Extract of a LETTER from the Earl of an harbour, it might be very true, but to
Dartmouth to the Hon. Governor him this mode of blockade seemed rather
Gage. Dated Whitehall, 9th April novel. Such an expression, it is certain, said he, might come with great propriety from me; but I must confess I never heard The King having thought fit that you such a bull in my own country. At the should return immediately to your comentrance of Dublin harbour there is a mand in North America, and that you north and south bull, but even there or should proceed directly to Boston, on elsewhere, such a bull as this I never board his Majesty's ship Lively, now lying beard,
at Plymouth, ready to sail with the first
fair wind, I send you herewith, by his your command over the King's troops, Majesty's command, a commission under will, it is hoped, enable you io meet every the great seal, appointing you captain ge- opposition, and fully to preserve the public neral and governor in chief of his Majes- peace, by employing those troops with efty's province of Massachuset's Bay, toge- fect, should the madness of the people, on ther with such instructions as have been the one hand, or the timidity or want of usually given to governors of that province, / strength of the peace officers on the other for their guidance in the exercise of the hand, make it necessary to have recourse ordinary and more permanent powers and to their assistance. The King trusts, howauthorities incident to that command. ever, that such necessity will not occur,
What is further necessary for your di- and commands me to say, that it will be rection in the present state of disorder and your duty to use every endeavour to avoid commotion within that province, and for it; to quiet the minds of the people, to reenabling you to carry into execution the move their prejudices, and, by mild and measures that have been, and probably gentle persuasion, to induce such a subwill be adopted, for reducing it to a state mission on their part, to this law, and such of obedience to lawful authority, is of a a proper compliance with the just requisimore delicate and important nature, and tions it contains, as may give full scope to requires more precise and particular in- | his Majesty's clemency, and enable his structions.
Majesty to exercise the discretionary With this letter you will receive an act power given him by the Act, of again re. of parliament passed in the present ses- storing to the town of Boston, these comsion, for discontinuing the loading and un- mercial privileges and advantages which it loading of goods and merchandise, at the hath so long enjoyed, and which have town and within the harbour of Boston ; raised it to its present state of opulence and also a Minute of the Treasury-board, and importance. containing the substance of such instruc- At the same time the sovereignty of the tions as their lordships have thought fit to King, in this parliament, over the colonies, give to their officers in consequence there. | requires a full and absolute submission, of; and it is the King's command, that you and his Majesty's dignity demands, that do give them all proper and necessary as. until that submission be made, the town of
To this end it will be expedient that you | the place of the residence of his governor, do, immediately upon your arrival, and or of any other officer of government, who so soon as your commission has been read is not obliged, by law, to perform his and published, in the usual form, appoint a functions there. It is therefore his Ma. meeting either at the town, or within the jesty's further pleasure, that so soon as the castle (as circumstances shall point out) law for discontinuing the port shall have with the commander in chief of his Mas taken place, and every step has been purjesty's ships, the lieutenant governor, the sued that is necessary to insure the execucommissioners of the customs, the chief tion of it, you do make the town of Salem justice, and the secretary of the province, the place of your residence, that you do in order to consider what steps it may be require all officers (not included in the proper to take, for carrying the Act into above exception) to attend you there; execution, and for enforcing, if necessary, and that the general court, and all other a due obedience thereto; and if Mr. Hut courts and offices which are not by law chinson should not be come away, in con- fixed at Boston, be appointed and held at sequence of the leave he has obtained for Salem, until his Majesty, satisfied, on your that purpose, his advice and assistance, in representation, that the laws of this kingthis case, as well as in the execution of dom will be duly observed, and governevery other part of your instructions, will ment be again administered at the town of be of very great use and advantage to you. | Boston without opposition, shall have sig.
His Majesty trusts, that no opposition nified his royal will and pleasure for the will, or can, with any effect, be made to return of his governor to, and for holding the carrying the law into execution, nor the general court at that town. any violence or insult offered to those to 1 The proceedings of the body of the whom the execution of it is entrusted : people at the town of Boston, in the should it happen otherwise, your autho- | months of November and December last, rity, as the first magistrate, combined with were of such a nature and criminality, as