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Parliamentary Register ;

OR

H I STORY

OF THL

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES

OF THE

HOUSE OF COMMONS;

CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF

The moft interesting SPEECHES and Motions; accurate
Copies of the most remarkable Bills, LETTERS and PAPERS ;
of the most material EVIDENCE, Petitions, &c.

laid before and offered to the House;

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Printed for J. ALMON, opposite BURLINGTON-Hovsej

in PICCADILLY.

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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

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Appointed to meet at Westminster, on Thursday the 26th Day of

October, 1775

THE

THE King being on the throne in the House of Peers,

and the Commons attending, his Majesty opened the feflion with a speech.

The Commons being returned to their own House, the Speaker informed them, he had to prevent mistakes) obtained a copy of his Majesty's speech, which he read as follows:

- My Lords, and Gentlemen, The present situation of America, and my constant desire to have your advice, concurrence, and affiftance on every important occasion, have determined me to call you thus early together.

Those who have long too successfully laboured to inflame my people in America by gross misrepresentations, and to infuse into their minds a system of opinions repugnant to the true constitution of the colonies, and to their subordinate relation to Great Britain, now openly avow their revolt, hortility, and rebellion. They have raised troops, and are collecting a naval force; they have seized the public revenue, and affumed to themselves legislative, executive, and judicial powers, which they already exercise, in the most arbitrary Vol. JII.

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manner,

manner, over the persons and properties of their fellow subjects : and although many of these unhappy people may ftill retain their loyalty, and may be too wise not to see the fatal consequence of this usurpation, and wish to resist it, yet the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence, till a fufficient force shall appear to support them.

The authors and promoters of this desperate confpiracy have, in the conduct of it, derived great advantage from the difference of our intenticns and theirs. They meant only to amuse by vague expressions of attachment to the parent state, and the strongest protestations of loyalty to me, whilft they were preparing for a general revolt. On our part, tho' . it was declared in your last session, that a rebellion existed within the province of the Massachuset's Bay, yet even that province we wished rather to reclaim than to subdue. The resolutions of Parliament breathed a spirit of moderation and forbearance; conciliatory propofitions accompanied the measure taken to enforce authority; and the coercive acts were adapted to cases of criminal combinations among subjects not then in arms. I have acted with the same temper; anxious to prevent, if it had been poffible, the effusion of the blood of my subjects, and the calamities which are inseparable from a state of war; ftill hoping that my people in America would have discerned the traiterous views of their leaders, and have been convinced, that to be a subject of Great-Britain, with all its consequences, is to be the freest member of any civil society in the known world.

The rebellious war now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent empire. I need not dwell upon the fatal effects of the success of such a plan. The object is too important, the spirit of the British nation too high, the resources with which God hath blessed her too numerous, to give up so many colonies which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commercial advantages, and protected and defended at much expence of blood and treasure.

It is now become the part of wisdom, and (in its effects) of clemency, to put a speedy end to these disorders, by the most decisive exertions. For this purpose, I have encreased my naval establishment, and greatly augmented my land forces ;

but in such a manner as may be the least burthensome to my kingdoms.

I have also the fatisfaction to inform you, that I have received the most friendly offers of foreign affiftance; and if I shall make any treaties in consequence thereof, they shall be laid before you. And I have, in testimony of my affect on to my people, who have no cause in which I am not equally interested, sent to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port Mahon a part of my Electoral troops, in order that a larger number of the established forces of this kingdom may be applied to the maintenance of its authority ; and the national militia, planned and regulated with equal regard to the rights, safety, and protection of my crown and people, may give a farther extent and activity to our military operations.

When the unhappy and deluded multitude, against whom this force will be directed, shall become sensible of their error, I shall be ready to receive the misled with tenderness and mercy: and in order to prevent the inconveniencies which may arise from the great distance of their situation, and to remove as soon as possible the calamities which they suffer, I shall give authority to certain persons upon the spot to grant general or particular pardons and indemnities, in such manner, and to such persons, as they shall think fit, and to receive the submission of any province or colony which shall be difposed to return to its allegiance. It may be also proper to authorise the persons so commissioned to restore such province or colony, so returning to its allegiance, to the free exercise of its trade and commerce, and to the same protection and security as if such province or colony had never revolted.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I have ordered the proper estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you; and I rely on your affection to me, and your resolution to maintain the just rights of this country, for such supplies as the present circumstances of our affairs require. Among the many unavoidable ill consequences of this rebellion, none affects me more sensibly than the extraordinary burthen which it must create to my faithful subjects.

My Lords and Gentlemen, I have fully opened to you my views and intentions. The constant employment of my thoughts, and the most earnest wishes of my heart, tend wholly to the safety and happiness of all my people, and to the re-establishment of order and tranquility through the several parts of my dominions, in a close connection and constitutional dependence. You see the tendency of the present disorders, and I have stated to you the measures which I mean to pursue for suppressing them. Whatever remains to be done that may farther contribute to this

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