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country, and that few of them would prove or pretended, of parliament's ever atworth the charge of collection that the tempting to tax them again, and to take Stamp Act was the most judicious that away all exercise of the right itself in fucould be chosen for that purpose, as it in- ture, so far as regarded revenue. That terested every man who had any dealing, as to the other particulars in controversy, or any property to defend or recover, in he observed that the Americans had de. the collection of the tax, and the execution sired a repeal of all the Acts passed since of the law: but, notwithstanding the high 1763; that this could not, however, be rate at which that duty had been formerly supposed to mean any more than those estimated, he did not believe its produce Acts which had, in some way or other, would have been a very considerable ob- pressed on them; for that some which had ject ; and if the people had confederated, passed in 1769 were beneficial, and such as they seemed in general disposed to do, as they themselves must consider in that and in some places had actually done, to light, being the granting of bounties and go on without stamps, it would produce premiums, or the relaxation of former stanothing at all, but would increase the tutes that had been grievous to them. confusions of the country, if any attempts That as to the late Acts, such as the Mas. were made to disturb the transactions sachuset's charter, the Fishery, and the which were carried on without stamps. Prohibitory Bills, as they were the effect
That, accordingly, he never had proposed of the quarrel, they should cease; and any tax on America; he found them al- that as to complaints of matters of a va. ready taxed, when he unfortunately (as rious nature, authority should be given to he still must say, whatever use had been, settle them to the satisfaction of America. or might be made of the word) came into That all these matters, consisting of a administration. · That his principle of po- great variety, would be better left to the licy was to have had as little discussion on discussion of commissioners, than be estathese subjects as possible, but to keep the blished here by act of parliament, or by affairs of America out of parliament ; that explicit powers given for each specific accordingly, as he had not laid, so did he purpose ; for that the Americans in the not think it advisable for him to repeal negociation would consider every concesthe tea-tax, nor did he ever think of any sion made actually here, to be a part of particular means for enforcing it.
the basis of the treaty, and therefore That the Act enabling the East India never to be receded from, and would acCompany to send teas to America on their cumulate new demands upon that; thereown account, and with the draw-back of fore, as every thing of that kind might be the whole duty here, was a regulation variously modified by agreement, he was which he thought it not possible the Ame- for leaving the whole to commissioners. ricans could complain of, since it was a That the commissioners formerly aprelief instead of an oppression; but that pointed had very large powers, so, indeed, the ill-affected there, and persons con- he understood those powers; but that as cerned in a contraband trade, endeavoured others seemed to consider them as more to represent it as a monopoly; that some limited than in reality they were, he should hand-bills that were scattered about at take care now to be very explicit, and he Boston, even supposed that he had taken would give them full powers to treat, disoff the American 3d. per pound duty, and cuss, and conclude upon every point whatthat on that supposition, the disaffected l'ever. That as some difficulties had arisen excited the people to a tumult, upon a about the powers given to the commisprinciple totally distinct from all idea of sioners, of treating with the Congress by taxation. That, therefore, as he never name, he would now remove that difficulty, had meant taxation as his object in the last by empowering and enabling the commisTea Act, so neither did he in his Concilia- , sioners to treat with the Congress as if it tory Proposition; but in the latter, con- ||were a legal body, and would so far give sidered it only as a means of union and it authenticity, as to suppose its acts and good agreement between the two coun. concessions would bind all America. That tries; that, therefore, in what he was they should have powers to treat with any going to propose he was uniform and con- of the provincial assemblies upon their sistent.
present constitution, and with any indivi, One of the Bills he proposed to move duals in their present civil capacities or for was, to quiet America upon the subject military commands ;-with general Washof taxation, and to remove all fears, real ington, or any other officer. That they
should have a power, whenever they | curred to him, as the nation was still strong thought requisite, to order a suspension of and vigorous, that they could raise a numarms. That they should have a power to ber of men, and that the resources were suspend the operation of all laws. That far from exhausted, that their strength they should have a power of granting all should be exerted to repair the losses, and sorts of pardons, immunities, and rewards. i to pursue the war with vigour to a happy That they should have a power of restor- termination : but when he reflected upon ing all the colonies, or any of them, to the the uncertainty of events, which had bi. form of its ancient constitution, as it stood therto so much disappointed his expecta. before the troubles; any of those where tion, and that in case of the utmost sucthe King nominated the governors, coun- | cess, the terms which he now proposed cil, judges, and other magistrates, to no. | must be substantially the same as he minate such at their discretion, till the should propose in the height of victory, King's further pleasure be known.
he saw no reason to prevent the protractThat as the powers of the former coming the war, the effusion of blood, and the missioners had been objected to, so the immoderate expence, he would offer the Congress had raised a difficulty, on pre- same propositions now. tence of the non-admission of their title That he was convinced that they would to be independent states. As the Ameri- | considerably aid the operations of war, as cans might claim their independence on they would themselves be aided by the the outset, he would not insist on their re- force in America, which was still very nouncing it till the treaty should receive great ; that in case nothing farther could its final ratification by the King and Par- be done by force, at any rate, they would liament of Great Britain.
be offered with more grace than hereafter. That the commissioners should be in- | That the events of war in America had structed to negociate for some reasonable turned out very differently from his exand moderate contribution towards the pectation ; that great force had been procommon defence of the empire when re- cured to be sent into America, but to lit. united; but to take away all pretence for tle purpose hitherto. That he must connot terminating this unhappy difference, fess himself extremely disappointed in his the contribution was not to be insisted on expectations of the effect of our military as a sine qua non of the treaty; but that if force. He did not mean at that time to the Americans should refuse so reason-condemn, or even to call in question, the able and equitable a proposition, they conduct of any of our commanders, but were not to complain, if hereafter they | he had been disappointed. That sir Wil. were not to look for support from that liam Howe had not only been in the late part of the empire to whose expence they actions, and in the whole course of the had refused to contribute. That it might campaign, in goodness of troops, and in be asked, If his sentiments had always all manner of supplies, but in numbers, been such with regard to taxation and too, much superior to the American army peace, and why he had not made this pro- which opposed him in the field. That geposition at a more early period ?- To this neral Burgoyne, who was at length overhe answered, his opinion had ever been, powered by numbers, had been in numthat the moment of victory was the proper bers, until the affair at Bennington, near time for offering terms of concession. twice as strong as the army under general That the House might remember, that at Gates. That all these things had happened the beginning of the session he had de in a manner very contrary to his expectaclared, that such were his sentiments; he tion. at that time thought that the victories ob | That, for his part, he never had made a tained by sir William Howe had been promise which he did not perform, or remore decisive, and he knew nothing of ceive an information which he did not general Burgoyne's misfortune. That communicate. That he only kept back when the news of that misfortune had ar- the names of those who had given him inrived, and that the victories obtained by formation, and which it would be unfaithsir William Howe could not be so improv- ful and inhuman to divulge; that he proed as to hinder general Washington from mised a great army should be sent out, appearing with some superiority in the and a great army had been sent out; there field, and that the King's troops were were 60,000 men and upwards : that he obliged to retire, and fortify themselves in had promised a great fleet should be emwinter quarters, the first thing that oc- ployed, and a great fleet had been em.
ployed, and was now employed; that they should be provided with every kind of supply, and that they had been so most amply and liberally, and might be so for years to come; that if the House was deceived, they had deceived themselves. On the whole, his concessions were
from reason and propriety, not from me
cessity; that we were in a condition to carry on the war much longer. We might raise many more men, and had many more men ready to send, for the navy was never in greater strength, the revenue very little sunk, and that he could raise the supplies for the current year, as a little time would shew ; that he submitted the whole, with regard to the propriety of his past and present conduct, to the judgment of the House.* Mr. For rose. He said, that he could not refuse his assent to the propositions made by the noble lord; that he was very glad to find that they were, in the main, so ample and satisfactory, and that he believed they would be supported by all those with whom he had the honour to
* “A dull melancholy silence for some time succeeded to this speech. It had been heard with profound attention, but without a single mark o to any part, from any description of men, or any particular man in the House. Astonishment, dejection, and fear, overclouded the whole assembly. Although the minister had declared, that the sentiments he expressed that day had been those which he always entertained, it is certain, that few or none had understood him in that manner; and he had been represented to the nation at large, as the person in it the most tenacious of those parliamentary rights which he now proposed to resign, and the inost remote from the submissions which he now proposed to make. It was generally therefore concluded, that something more extraordinary and alarming had happened than yet appeared, which was of force to produce such an apparent change in measures, principles, and arguments.
“It was thought by many at that time, that if the opposition had then pressed him, and joined with the warm party which had hitherto supported the minister, but which was now disgusted and mortified in the highest degree, the Bills would have been lost. But, in fact, they took such a hearty part with the minister, only endeavouring to make such alterations in, or additions to, the Bills, as might increase their eligibility, or extend their effect, that no appearance of party remained; and some of his complaining friends vexatiously congratulated him on his new allies. These new allies, however, though they supported his measures, shewed no mercy to his conduct.” Annual Register.
act. That they did not materially differ from those which had been made by an hon. friend of his (Mr. Burke) about three years ago; that the very same arguments which had been used by the minority, and very nearly in the same words, were used by the noble lord upon this occasion. He was glad to find, that the noble lord had wholly relinquished the right of taxation, as this was a fundamental point; he was glad, also, that he had declared his intention of giving the commissioners power to restore the charter of Massachuset's Bay; for, giving the satisfaction which the noble lord proposed, it would be necessary for parliament to give the same security, with regard to charters, which it had given with regard to taxa. tion; that the Americans were full as jealous of the rights of their assemblies, as of taxation; and their chief objection to the latter was its tendency to affect the former. He wished that this concession had been made more early, and upon principles more respectful to parliament. To tell them, that if they were deceived, they had deceived themselves, was neither kind nor civil to an assembly, which, for so many years, had relied upon the noble lord with such unreserved confidence; that all public bodies, like the House of Commons, must give a large confidence to persons in office; and their only method of preventing the abuse of that confidence was to punish those who had misinformed them concerning the true state of their affairs, or conducted them with negligence, ignorance, or incapacity; that the noble lord's arguments upon this subject might be all collected into one point, his excuses, all reduced into one apology—his total ignorance. The noble lord hoped and was disap: pointed; he expected a great deal, and found little to answer his expectations. He thought America would have submitted to his laws, and they resisted them, He thought they would have submitted to his armies, and they were beaten by inferior numbers. He made coinciliatory propositions, and he thought they would succeed, but they were rejected. He ap: F. commissioners to make peace, and e thought they had powers, but he found they could not make peace, and nobody believed that they had any powers., Tha; he had said many such things as he had thought fit in his Conciliatory Proposition; he thought it a proper mode of quieting
the Americans upon the affair of taxation. be at in supporting and protecting them. If any gentleman would give himself the Besides, we wore giving to America, such trouble of reading that proposition, he important privileges, that these, together would find not one word of it correspon with the natural advantages of that coun. dent to the representation made of it by try with respect to the low price of labour, its framer. That the short account of it and the quantity of land easily obtained was, that the noble lord in that proposi- and cultivated, must in a course of years, tion assured the colonies, that when par draw multitudes of inhabitants from Great liament had taxed them as much as they Britain and Ireland; and that the Acts thought proper, they would tax them no now proposed were in fact establishing more. He would vote for the present pro- high bounties for promoting emigration, position, because it was much more clear to the eternal disgrace of the legislature, and satisfactory, for necessity had forced and the destruction of this devoted counthe noble lord to speak plain.
try. He therefore disapproved totally of But if the concession should be found the noble lord's proposition. ample enough, and should be found to Mr. Viner regretted that his favourite come too late, whạt punishment will be object of taxation could not now be had ; sufficient for those who adjourned parlia- he had ever thought that a proper and a ment, in order to make a proposition of just object, and while it continued the obconcession, and then had neglected to do ject, he was clear for carrying on the war: it until France had concluded a treaty but that since this object no longer existwith the independent states of America ? | ed, and that America was united to a man, He said he could answer with certainty | he agreed, that the sooner we could make for the truth of his information; it was no peace the better, and he was therefore light matter, and came from no contemp- ready to accede to the noble lord's propotible authority; he therefore wished that sitions. the ministry would give the House satis I Governor Johnstone said, he was glad to faction in this interesting point, Whether find that people were now come to their they knew any thing of this treaty, and senses, and that the noble lord had at last whether they had not been informed previ-| found a proper opportunity of declaring ously to the making of their proposition, his opinion; that he had always said, he of a treaty which would make that propo- was sure the noble lord understood the sition as useless to the peace, as it was subject of America as well as any man; humiliating to the dignity of Great Bri- and that his real opinion was against the tain.
war, and the object of the war. He hintMr. Thomas Pitt spoke with the greatest ed, that the true mode to be held out to firmness against the general system of the the Americans for reconciliation, was to ministry; said, that the repeal of the Stamp fund their paper in this country; and Act was not only looked upon by the Ame thought that the repeal of the Acts obricans, but by all Europe, as a solemn re- noxious to America, ought to be more exlinquishment of the claim of taxation; that plicit. He then entered into the questhe fatal renewing of that claim would cost tion of independence, and said, he was this nation 30 millions of money, besides sure it was not the original aim of the twenty or thirty thousand lives; for he Americans, and referred the House to an considered every American killed as a hon. gentleman (sir Wm. Gordon) who fellow-subject lost.
I knew that country, Mr. William Adam said, he retained his Sir Wm. Gordon began with great former opinion with respect to the impro- good humour and wit, by rallying his hon. priety of such terms for peace coming from friend for descending to such inferior this country. He argued that they would game as himself, when he had so often at. not be accepted, and that the holding tacked with success, the greater game of forth such terms at this time, would dis- the Treasury bench; and concluded by pirit the people and disgrace our govern- saying, that, in his opinion, America had ment; that our allies would become luke- always meant independence. warm, and our enemies elated. He farther Sir P.J. Clerke said, he could not carry said, that the system now proposed, if ac- his complaisance so far as to thank the cepted on the part of America, would, in noble jord for the propositions which he the end, be ruinous to this country, as the had produced, because he considered it as contributions from thence would certainly an act of necessity, not of choice. The prove inadequate to the expence we should noble lord, indeed, had said, they should (VOL. XIX. ]
be fair and equitable. Admitting them to tration, he had told the House that he be so, they past the severest censure on came to the helm when the vessel was in the noble lord's conduct for these three danger, and he would bring her safe into years lasť, as they contain a total reversal | harbour. The noble lord had not proved of all those Acts, and consequently declare so able a navigator as he thought himthem to have been all unfair and unequit- self to be; he carried too much sail at able. What satisfaction, then, could the first, and lost his masts in the storm; he noble lord give to this injured country, then began to throw all the valuable part for the millions of money and thousands of his cargo overboard; he had kept pumpof lives which have been expended in this ing, and pumping, and pumping ever unequitable war? What reparation could since, and can now hardly keep the vessel the noble lord make to the fatherless chil. above water. The noble lord had now set dren and widows, and a great country, up some jury masts, but he would never which he has made desolate, and has op- / be able to steer her safe into harbour; tha pressed? The noble lord had taken credit passengers' security was in imminent dan. to himself for having mentioned the word ger; they required, and had a right to • conciliation' the first day of the session. demand a better man to be put at the He was willing to allow him more; he helm. It would be difficult for any man talked of it on the news of general Bur- now to free her from the impending goyne's defeat; the noble lord was fright- danger; but it was just and fair to let some ened, and thought it necessary to throw other person attempt it. But to drop the out some lure to keep his friends together. metaphor: the noble lord having failed of Unluckily for this country, the noble lord | the means of coercion, had adopted anojust at that time received a cordial which ther language; his hopes now were in the elevated him exceedingly; it was an offer natural good disposition of the people of from Manchester to raise a regiment; he America to this country. He did not raised his voice, and began to talk loud of think the noble lord was quite the proper the strength and spirit of the nation, and person to gain upon their affections, or turned his mind to his favourite object, soothe them into compliance; if there was the prosecution of the war. The parlia- | any chance yet remaining of recovering ment was adjourned for seven weeks, and them from the power of France, and rethe noble lord raised an army during their gaining their confidence, it was most likely absence: but he gave a bad specimen of to be effected by those people who had al. the strength of this country; for he told ways shewn a good disposition towards us, that he could not raise 7 or 8,000 men them, and not by those who had taken in England, and was to get them from the every opportunity to ill-treat and abuse highlands of Scotland. So much for the them, who had added insult to injury, and strength of the country! As to the spirit waded deep in their blood. If the door of it, he could only observe, that a good of conciliation was not already shut, it national spirit might be of infinite use to a could be open only to such men as they country, well directed and well applied : had reason to think had been well inclined but, otherwise, it would have the same towards them, and on whose friendly diseffect as spirit in a blind horse; if you turn positions towards them they might securely him loose, it will make him run his head place some confidence." against the wall, and dash his brains out. Mr. Baldwin declared he had been de
The noble lord had lately said, he had ceived by the minister ; that three years been a good friend to his country. Great | ago he had asked him whether a revenue men, he said, should be judged by their was meant by the claim ? That he was works, not their words. He wished to answered, it was; and upon that ground take a comparative view of the state of alone he had hitherto voted with the mi. this country at the present time, with what | nistry. it was in the time of the administration of Mr. Aubrey said, that he rose to give the earl of Chatham. That noble lord had his assent to the noble lord's propositions, raised his country to the highest pitch of though with little hope, he confessed, of honour and glory; from the time he left their producing any good effect; for that, administration, it has been gradually de- whatever the Americans might suffer by clining, and is now got to the very edge the continuance of the war, he could not of a precipice, from which it is likely to be persuaded they would ever be willing fall, perhaps never to rise again.--Ever | to receive the olive branch, when held out since the poble lord had been in adminis- to them by hands so stained with the blood