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dignity of that House, to propose that sound policy inspires on such
whom advised to send troops to the south- the condud of public affairs was enward; or perhaps to New York, or truited, was no less new than unparany other part of the continent. donable in those who had the confiThat in such a case, the force now at dence and hardiness to avow it; for Boston being to be weakened, it might how was it possible that men could encourage the rebels to take an oppor promise themselves succels in the pronity of attacking the troops that fecution of a war, when they inade a would remain behind. That one of kind of merit of neither knowing, the motions was of a most extraordi. caring, nor considering the force they nary nature, because though it only had or might expect to contend with? called for the preparations made or di. That as to the detachments to be sent rections given l'elative to the measures to the southward, or northward, fo refpeciing the troops who were to far as the mere operations of war di.. winter at Boston; it virtually aimed rected to particular services were conat a disclosure of the intended opera- cerned, no information which might iions, or the manner said troops might affect their success, was sought or debe employed; for instance, if it should fired, and as to defiring to be informbe thought proper to send a part of ed whether the troops meant to winthem to the relief of General Carle.
ter at Boston, opposition could have ton, or to the protection of Hallifax, no curiosity, because it was well or even if circumstances thould require known, they would have long since it, totally to abardion Boston. And evacuated it, if they could have done laftly, besides thole particular reasons, it with safety. On the whole, adni. on the general principle that lecrecy niftration was exprefly charged with was the very efence of deliberation misleading Parliament, or being miland the success of war, it would be led themlélves, or proceeding on parhighly improper and unprecedented to tial information, or proceeding on depart from it in the preient instance, none; of with-holding every thing when no one plausible or beneficial which might lead to decisive war, or consequence whatever could be op profe:fed reconciliation, though the poled or balanced against such a ma former was what they had ultimately nifett deviation from every apparent in view ; of holding out a mixenre of rule which prudence dićtates, and war and conciliation, till the latter
would become impracticable, and the committee divided, was propoled to former inevitable, from the dispute be made in the preamble, by inserting at length becoming a mere trial of the following words, “That the said strength between both countries, and power of assembling and embodying with rejecting the motions on prece- the militia, thall not extend beyond dents, which made directly against the continuance of the present rebelthem; for at no time till now, even lion." when engaged in a war against foreign In support of this amendment it was powers, was the previous arrange- urged, that the bill was from the very ment of a military force, their num frame of it taken up on a temporary bers, stations, &c. applied to a prece- idea, and was directed to particular dent campaign, ever with-held or de. purposes, which could continue to be nied.
no objects of policy, as soon as the ciHOUSE of COMMONS.
vil war thould be terminated. That The indemnity bill which had now the principle of the bill and the fact dept for upwards of a fortnight was which gave rise to it, were one and this day read a second time, and or the same thing; for the principle was dered to be committed. The mini- internal defence and domestic fecurity fter seemed to have entirely forgotten against any attack that might be made his engagement to some of his friends, during our coatelt withi America, and in order to quiet their fears, that the fact was, that our military opesending his Majetty's Hanoverian troops rations in that country, calling for to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Min such a body of troops as would norca, might be drawn into precedent, weaken our necessary defence at as recognizing the legal excercile of a home, this bill was intended to make right in the Crown, to introduce fo. a suitable proyision, in order to prereigners into any part of the domi. pare for the worst that might happen. nions of the Britih Crown, and under That in such cases of real emergency, any circumstances, whenever his Ma- it was the spirit of our government to jelty or the sovereign for the time be arm the crown with certain powers ing should happen to think fit. He pro tempore, and to recall them whenwas reminded however of his promise ever the motive ceased, or the cause by some of the country gentlemen, in
was removed. That the present power the debate on the land tax, particu- vested in the Crown, could no lonJarly by Mr. Viner, when he assured ger be necessary, when the rebelthem, if they persisted in thinking lion was extinguished, becaufe in cases such a bill necessary, though he still of actual invasion, by the old milisemained of the same opinion respect. tia act the power of assembling and ing the measure in quellion, he would, embodying was already given. Conin compliance with their wishes, nove sequently it was evident, that the for the second reading the next day. principle was pullied, and the measure The next day no houle being made, he designedly strained beyond what was literally fulfilled his promise, by pretended or openly professed, in ormoving for the second reading, and der to throw into the hands of the fixing a day for its commitment. Crown, a power hitherto unknown to
The House then went into a com. the conftitution, a power at all times mittee on the militia bill, that produ- retained and mof jealously watched ced several warm debates, in the course and guarded by the people. This arof which three or four amendments gument was followed by the pollibility were offered, one of which was only of an ambitious,' or a weak prince, agreed to. That was a clause propo- governed by ambitious men, having sed by Mr. Hartley, to impower his it in his hands to create at pleasure the Majesty to assemble the Parliament in means of exercising this power whenfourteen days, whenever the proposed ever his views of ambition prompted act, in the event of a war or rebellion him, so as to employ it to the worst in any part of the dominions of the purposes. Because it what the friends British Crown, should be called into of the bill contantly avowed were operation.
true, that treason and relveilion were The chief amendment on which synonymous terms,opportunities would the debate turned, and on which the never be wanting to create the legal March 1776.
necessity of embodying the militia. Le it ought not to be permitted to remain velling of inclosures, pulling down in force for a single hour. This was bawdy houses, marching in a body evidently evading the objection, not through the country for the purpose of answering it; for it might be a wise, remedying every local grievance, had falutary, and well directed law to anbeen frequently determined by all the swer certain purposes, and under pejudges to be high treason, within that culiar circumstances such as the prespecies of it described by the 25th of sent; and it might be extremely danEdward III. of levying war with. gerous and improper to be continued in the realm. Hence it followed, when those purposes were obtained, or that the condition on which the pow. those circumstances no longer existed. er was given, was totally nugatory, Such precisely is the case of that great when coupled with another doctrine basis of personal liberty, the babeas inaintained by the same persons, that corpus law, which in times of rebellion every part of the dominions of the is suspended ; why not repeal it enCrown, by a fiction bf policy, were to tirely ?-We will not follow the abbe deemed within the kingdom ; for surdity and fallacy of such an arguthen it amounted to this, that any act ment, because it must be obvious to done in Bengal, America, the West. the meanest understanding, particularIndies, or the coast of Africa, which ly as the minifter afterwards admitted caine within the description of trea a clause by way of ryder, on the third son above alluded to, would enable the reading, which limited the duration Sovereign to embody the militia when. of the law to seven years. The ques.. ever he pleased, which was a power tion was put the amendment, that a free people Mould never truit “ That the bill shall not extend beout of their own hands, unless when yond the continuance of the present the exigencies of affairs actually re rebellion,"and the committee divided, quired it.
ayes 55, noes 140. The answer given to all this fup In a committee on the address, peposititious reasoning, was on the whole tition, and memorial from the counpointed and conclusive, as referable to cil and house of assembly of the prothe fears suggested of the abuse of the vince of Nova Scotia, the minister power, though not to the objection of moved the following resolution, which making it a perpetual, instead of a was agreed to. temporary law. It was said, that no “That the proposition contained in ill use could be made of the power, the address, &c. of the council and without the concurrence of the peo- house of assembly of the province of ple; for supposing the Prince fiould Nova Scotia, of granting to his Maasemble the militia, it would be Par- jefty in perpetuity, a duty of poundliament that must pay them. That age ad valor em upon all commodities presuming the Parliament to be par- imported into the said province, not ties, was pre-supposing a case no hu- being the produce of the British doman prudence or forelight could poffi- minions in Europe and America (bay bly guard against ; for such a confpi- falt excepted) the faid duty to be unrácy by the executive and legislative der the disposition of Parliament, is powers of the state, supposed not an fit to be accepted, and that the amount abuse, but an actual subverfion or dir of said duty thall be eight pounds per folution of the Government. That cent, on all such commodities." the reasoning on fuch an hypothesis November 16. This day will be was absurd, for who could people rendered as memorable by Mr. Burke's trust if they could not trust them. conciliatory bill, “ for composing the felves, and if they fhould be determi- present troubles, and for quieting the ned to make a surrender of their own minds of his Majesty's subjects in rights, what power under Heaven America," as the 20th of the precedcould prevent them ?-To the objec- ing February was made by Lord tion of its being made a perpetual North's conciliatory proposition, forperinstead of a temporary law, nothing miting the colonies to tax themselves. folid was offered in justification. It The ground which this gentleman was only said if the law was a good took, was the right in the subjects of ore, it ought to be continued, if not, this realm, of granting, or with-hold4
ing all public aids to the Sovereign, It then proceeded to statetbe juft apin all cases whatever, as recognized prehensions of the colonies relative to by that great financial charter or fta- several acts passed by the British Partute, parted in the 34th year of the liament, of a design having been reign of Edward 1. known by the formed to deprive the people of laid name of Patutum de tallagio non conce. colonies of several rights, benefits and dendo. The words of the Itatute are, advantages of nature and the British “ That no tallage or aid mall be ta conftitution. In order therefore to ken or levied by us, or our heirs in reclaim the disobedient, by that leniour realm, without the good will and ty which ought to have the strongest assent of the Archbishops, Bishops, operation on the minds of free lub. Earls, Barons, Knights, Burgesses jects, it proposed to repeal the act and Freemen of the realm." After for laying on duties in 1767, commontating the means and manner by ly known by the name of the Tea Act, which America was first fettled by the the Boston port bill, the Massachusets subjects of this country, and the im. Bay charter bill, and the bill forthie im. practicability of their being represent partial administration of justice within ed in our Parliament, on account of the said province.-The remainder of the great ditance and other material im- bill contains little more than a general pediments which stand in the way;, amnesty, or declaration of pardon for and that they had, contrary to their all offences committed since the comconstitutional rights of British fub. mencement of the present disturban. jects, heen greatly aggrieved by taxes laid on them without their consent ; We admire the very conspicuous tathe bill proposed to enact that no fub- lents of this gentleman, as a first rate fidies, duties, &c. whatsoever, other orator and an able politician. We than the voluntary grant of each re applaud the generous motives which, fpective provincial assembly, hall be candour authorizes us to presume achereafter granted, levied, afTefled, or tuated his breast as a patriot, and incollected upon the inhabitants : bis duced liin to engage in lo arduous and Majesty's quit-rents, and other custo- delicate an undertaking. But we at mary dues and revenues, or such as the same time confess that niany very may arise from charter usage to pro. strong objections appear to the plan prietary individuals, and charter here itated. It recognizes a power in companies, only excepted. Provided the British Parliament, which de. that nothing herein contained thall re- nied by a majority of the active peoa ftrain the imposition and levy of duplein America, and faintly assented to ties, and taxes for the regulation of by even the most moderate. trade and commerce in all the domi- vides an indemnity for acts of resistnions to the imperial crown of this ance, which are in fact legalized, berealm belonging.
cause they are stated to have been made Pursuing this last provifion, the bill to the exercise of a constitutional pow. provides, that all duties thus laid and It supposes the representation of collected, thall be held by his Majesty's the people of America in the British revenue officers, for the disposal of Parliament impracticable, without afthe several provincial assemblies, as if figning reasons fufficient to maintain the same had been actually imposed such a conclusion. And it impowers and levied by faid assemblies respec. his Majelty to asemble a Congress to tively.
be composed of delegates, chosen by It next impowers his Majesty to call the several general assemblies, without a general Congress by deputies to be pointing to, or stating the particular elected by the several asemblies, the purposes for which they were to mest, determination of the majority so af- deliberate and determine. In fine, as sembling to have the power of bind- far as we can perceive, it held out noing their constituents, by all acts and thing new on either hand. The ap. public ordinances so consented to, or propriation of the revenue duties to made in said Congress; the power be levied under the authority of the of said assembly, to determine on a commercial controul of the British certain day, if not further continued Parliament, was evidently taken from by Parliament,
Lord North's conciliatory proposition.
The idea of the Congress had no no. founded on the justice of the case, acrei:r to recommend it, as such an af companied by the several circumstanJembly is now actually in being, and ces aitendant on it, and suited to the the right of granting public aids is political interests and constitutional the great quetion at illue between the rights of the whole empire. If such a parties.
We are therefore on the conjuncture of happy events huuld whole, clearly of opinion in the pre take place, in our opinion, the option fent state of things, that no legal dtfi would lie within a very narrow comnition or ascertainment of the rights of pass. Repeal at once all the acts passed both parties, made only by one of since the declaration law in 1766, as them, so long as the authority under a ground of conciliation, or exert the which they are made continues to be whole strength, treasures and refourquestioned, denied, and refifted by ces of the Britillı nation, in preserving the other, will ever answer any solid thole rights wbich have been proved or beneficial; urpose whatever. If the to be virtually included in them, every fense of the nation could be faithfully thing that ought to be held dear by collected, which is an event more to us, as a great coinmercial and powerbe wished than expected ; if the rights folnarion- Whether such aninvestigaclaimed by the mother country were tion or issue as either of these are fairly and nakedly itated; if the ex- agreeable to the difpofitions or politia pedi-ncy of enforcing those rights cal views of any fit of men, who now with the inmediate circumstances take a public part in the present diswhich must necessarily accompany putes, is not for us to pronounce ; them, in point of expence, the pro but we lay in our claim in this stage of bable effects an American war may the controversy, to predict, that the ha e on our trade, commerce and re consequences will be indeed dreadful, venues, and the possibility nay likeli. if the King's servants continue to hoori ofthe interference of foreign pow. misleait, impose, and delude on ers,should the civil war continuebeyond hand, or if opposition perfiit pertinathe term of the piesnt year, were care. ciously to embroil, infiame, and embarfullyandably deieloped: if on the other rafs administration on the other: in hand, the solid and equitable claims of short, while the former seem more the mothercountry founded in the con eager to preserve their power than ftitution, the legislative controuluhich preserve the nation; and the latter fors' tlie esence of every species of though perhaps in a juit cause, and civil government ; if the consequen- peculia:ly so, as far as ministers are ces of the exclusive right of the co concerned, run the risque by the naJonies to tax themselves were impar. ture of this opposition of involving tially traced out;if the main conclusion us in a war with the whole united that the recognition of such a right power of the House of Bourbon. would be i!l actual surrender of the Whatever administration thought sovereignty of this country, were of the measures proposed by the bill, fairly and satisfactorily proved ; and however exceptionable in tome parts finally, if the surrender of this claim and defective and indefinite in others, was dhewn to involve in it the ruin of they united in opinion with his warmthis country, as breaking its strength, est friends, in confefling that his indestroying its commerce, and Jeffen. troductory speech was one of the finest ing, if not totally overthrowing its pieces of oratory ever delivered in a great national importance in Europe: British senate. It was matter of altoIn such a care, we will venture to con niliment to behold a man in the act of tend, that the impartial, rober, disinte defining and disculing a subject of the reited part of the nution, being in greateit magnitude everdebated within full pontefion of all the frets, argu- those walls, without hesitation, interments, and probable consequences on ruption, or embarrassment, for three either hand, would thereby be com. hours and twenty minutes; but it pletely enabled to form a true judg was still a circumstance of greater ment; and in the alternative of be. wonder, considering the present well ing in a great measure compelled by known disposition of the House of the nature of the controversy, to run Commons, that among four hundred some risque, they would make a choice members at least who were present,