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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 last, 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; the 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 t9 • conciliation' the first day of the session. demand a better man to be put at the He was willing to allo 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 althe 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, is 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 ous since the poble lord had been in adminis. to them by bands so stained with the blood of their countrymen : but, as he had upon propositions now offered to us. It is true, a former occasion, been for a similar
an air of question, he thought it a duty he owed to fortitude, just assured us, that " our army consistency, to be for the one proposed by is great and powerful, and that our navy the noble lord, as the avowed object of it is great and powerful ;" but would those at least was peace. The time he had just ministers who talked of nothing less than alluded to, he said, was the year 1775, unconditional submission, and bringing when he voted for the motion which was America prostrate at their have.vomade by an hon. gentleman (Mr. Burke) | luntarily repealed those obnoxious Acts, for the repeal of the American compul if they were not convinced, that our sory Acts. He gave his vote then from strength was inadequate to the contest? two motives; one was, his being one of And do we at this time expect, that, after those who, from the very beginning of having resisted and baffled our utmost efthese unhappy differences, thought the forts, they will ever sheath the sword parliament of Great Britain had do right without sufficient security against the into tax the Americans while they were un-juries they have complained of being rerepresented in it; the other was, his think- peated? Will not the solemn official proing that such a repeal, solicited as it then mise of lord Hillsborough alone justify the was by the united voice of the whole con- Americans in declining any negociation tinent, would have brought things back to with men, who, having thus laid the fountheir old state of tranquillity and confi- dation of the war in perfidiousness, have dence. The great objection then made built upon it with cruelty? I cannot, was, the dignity of parliament. It was in therefore, flatter myself with the hopes vain to urge, that the best support of dig- of reconciling America with the proposed nity was justice; that maxim was out of Bill. Those privileges and immunities date, and unattended to. We began for which the Americans have ventured with condemning without first hearing, their lives and fortunes, they will not, now and proceeded accordingly. The conse- the hazard is so nearly over, trust for a quence has been, that we are now, after moment in the hands they have just resan enormous waste of blood and treasure, cued them from. To what, then, does reduced to the necessity of giving up both the present motion tend ? Not to pacify the dignity of parliament and the claim the Americans, who will never be conof taxation together. So much was tented with terms, while they have reason clearly implied in the noble lord's pro- to distrust those who offer them. No, posed suspension of the compulsory Acts. Sir, it tends only to amuse England by a But in the mean time, what have the delusive prospect of reconciliation, and Americans been doing? They, Sir, pro- thereby to suspend at least the vengeance voked, and rendered desperate by our un of an injured and insulted public. relenting rigour, have disavowed all de- Mr. Grenville assured the House, he pendence on, and connection with, this did not intend to trouble them, had he not country. They did this, likewise, at a been particularly adverted to by the time when their affairs wore but an un- noble lord, who denied that he had been promising aspect; when their paper cur- misled or deceived; that he rose to assert rency was in the greatest discredit, their again, with indignation, that he had been negociations at the different courts in grossly deceived by the uniform language Europe were hopeless, and our army, that of government for three years past; that had invaded their country, was not only with regard to the present question, the numerous, but victorious; an army, Sir, noble lord had opened so little the nature of which the Americans seemed to think of the commission, that he was hardly as Hannibal thought of the Romans, prepared to comment upon it, but that his • Quos opimus fallere et effugere est ardent wish was for peace. He then retriumphus.' The balance of success, how ferred to the hint thrown out by Mr. Fox, ever, has since that period turned in their of the alliance between France and Amefavour. And if we were not able to avail rica, and called upon the noble lord to ourselves of their fear, I leave every man answer that fact, especially as the inforto judge, what the present ministers have mation tallied with what he himself had to expect from their affection. That their heard from undoubted authority. That affairs are comparatively in a prosperous from the same authority he knew, that a condition, and ours declining, must, 1 very considerable body of forces had think, be evident to every one from the marched, within this fortnight, from the
interior provinces of France, and that the bound to resist this most unconstitutional language held by that power 'was of the measure, by every means in his power; most offensive nature; he, therefore, in that as to any difficulties which might be sisted on having these facts answered, and supposed in the execution of this mode of concluded with reminding the House, that appointment, they had been all completely these were the victories promised to them, got over in the East India Bill, where, this the revenue to the landed gentlemen, with such sufficient facility, parliament and this the triumph to parliament : but had nominated commissioners for a matter assured government, that though he might of mere executive government, and one differ from them, he would not hang upon in which no parliamentary rights or powers any proposition which looked like peace. were at all concerned ; that he hoped, as
Lord North at length answered, that he himself and the gentlemen in the late micould not say from authority that the nority had given, and would give so clear treaty alluded to was signed ; that, in- a support to the conciliatory measures of deed, it was possible, nay too probable, the minister, late as they were adopted, the but not authenticated by the ambassador. minister, on his part, would likewise act a
His lordship’s motions were ; 1.“ That candid part with them, and not take them leave be given to bring in a Bill to enable in for a dangerous extension of prerogative, his Majesty to appoint Commissioners to whilst they were joining him in an attempt treat, consult, and agree upon the means to restore peace to the country. of quieting the Disorders now subsisting Mr. Moysey opposed it, as taking the in certain of the colonies, plantations and executive power out of the hands of the provinces of North America. 2. That leave crown. He said, that to hold out to the be given to bring in a Bill for declaring world at this time, that parliament enterthe intentions of the parliament of Great tained a jealousy of the crown, was not Britain, concerning the Exercise of the likely to promote the good effects which Right of imposing Taxes within his Ma were proposed by this Bill. That it would jesty's colonies, provinces, and planta- be a violent act, after having empowered tions, in North America." Which were the crown to carry on the war, and to agreed to without a division.
make peace, if it could have been effected
by the submission of America, for the leDebates in the Commons on Lord North's gislature on a sudden to hold their hand Conciliatory Bills,] Feb. 19. The two and say, the crown shall not negociate for Conciliatory Bills were brought in and peace. That there was no instance of read a first; and on the following day parliament taking such an appointment as a second time.
this into their own hands, except in the
reign of Richard the 2nd, which act was in Feb. 23. Previous to the House going a few years repealed in terms of reproach, into a committee on the said Bills, as having usurped upon the royal pro
Mr. Serjeant Adair moved, “ That it be vince. That the progress of such a busian instruction to the committee on the ness in that House would be attended with Bill for appointing Commissioners, &c. the grossest inconvenience ; that the House that they have power to make provision must agree or disagree among themselves for nominating the Commissioners by the upon the nomination; if they disagreed, Bill.” He said, that this was no infringe- that circumstance of itself would be suffi-. ment on the prerogative of the crown, this cient to shew the impropriety of 550 peowas no matter that lay within its ordinary ple coming to an election of so important a fæderal capacity ; it was a commission ap- nature; not to mention the inconvenience pointed by parliament, in order to treat of such a dissention going over to Ameabout the rights of parliament itself, the rica, or the aukwardness of a debate upon suspending its laws, and the surrender of names and particular individuals. If, on its rights, or of what it had always consi- the other hand, the House agreed, and dered or had claimed as such ; that for took at once the nomination of the King's the House to give blindly such a power ministers, it would come to the same thing out of their hands, to be exercised at the as if it had been left originally, to the mere pleasure of the crown, and by persons crown, with this material difference opeto them uiterly unknown, was, in effect, a rating to their own disadvantage; that if complete surrender of the whole constitu- the appointment should be a bad one, tion of this country into the hands of the they would preclude themselves from all Kjog; that therefore, he thought himself right of calling the ministers to an accoum
for misadvising the crown, an inconve- ters, who when they should be in sackcloth nience that would ever apply to every in- and ashes, for the ruin which they had stance, where an attempt should be made brought on their country, were presumpto blend the legislative and executive tuously making demands of unlimited confi. power together.
dence, and calling to have the few remaining The Solicitor General said, that the powers which had been left to parliament powers intended to be given by the com- surrendered into their hands, and be dismission could not be safely executed but posed of at their pleasure. by persons appointed by the crown ; that Mr. Burke said, that the present was the crown had been intrusted with the ap- a question of men ; that the measure was pointment of commissioners to treat upon decided upon, which was to give a full the union of the two kingdoms, and had power to dispose of all the legislative acts, had power to suspend the acts of parliament and all the legislative powers of parliawhich prevented the free trading inter- ment, so far as they concerned America: course between the two kingdoms during that there never had been such a trust dethe treaty; that they were ordered to keep legated to men, and that, therefore, nothe whole transaction secret, and that thing ever was more important than the they had so kept it; that nothing could proper choice of them; that if ministers give a proper weight and support to the had hitherto shewn, in any one instance, commissioners but the perfect confidence that they had formed a right judgment on which parliament shewed that they reposed men, he would admit, they ought to be in government; that the nomination of trusted with the nomination of men upon commissioners in that House would prove this occasion. Next to honesty, (which a thing clearly impracticable, on account he would not dispute with the ministers) of the indecent, personal discussions that the ground of confidence in men was it would give rise to; and he declared, founded on two things; that they were that if that question should be carried, and incapable of deceiving others, and were the conmissioners nominated by parlia alike incapable of being deceived themment, he would be against the whole selves. That the ministers had been pubcommission, the Bill, and the plan they licly charged in that House by those who belonged to.
had all along supported their measures, Mr. Fox said, that nothing could so with having deceived them; and their juseffectually defeat the purpose of the com- tification had been, that they were themmission, as the least thought that parlia- selves deceived in every particular relating ment reposed any confidence in the present to America. Now, take it which way you servants of the crown; that this would be please, he said, whether they were dea perpetual subject of distrust, jealousy, ceivers, as their friends assert, or deceived, and animosity to the Americans; that this as themselves allege, they are not fit on ministry, or any persons of their appoint- either ground to be trusted. That they, ment, could not have any title to the con. who had judged so ill of the men they had fidence of America. The ministers were credited, in all their information concernall the declared enemies of America, and ing America, would not judge better in the were only brought to a late and abject choice of the men whom they nominated submission, by a failure in their attempts to get rid of the fatal consequences of that to oppress them by force; that the commis- ill information. That their constant desioners whom they appointed must accord- fence, with regard to the ill success of their ingly be persons of their own stamp; per. army in America, was the incapacity, error, sons who would be more solicitous to or neglect of the generals they had apscreen ministers than to serve their coun-pointed; that though he did not believe try, and qualified to irritate, rather than this was the cause, yet on their own conto appease America ; that the secretary of fession, they had made a wrong judgment state for the colonies (the author of all of the persons they had employed; and the violent and coercive measures) was by if they were so unhappy in the choice of his office to have the nomination of the generals, they would not prove more forcommissioners. Suppose, the first part of tunate in their choice of negociators. the terms should be the punishment of He apprehended, that no good could come that very minister, would the persons no- of any negociation whatever intrusted to minated by him be impartial commissioners, their hands; that the affair was not too and fit for their duty in such a case? He little to be undertaken by parliament itwas astonished at the insolence of minis- self. If parliamentary rights must be ne
gociated upon, it was fit to be done by a regulating the government of Massachucommittee of the two Houses of Parlia. set's Bay.” ment. In order to settle East India af. Mr. Jolliffe. Sir, at the commencefairs, a committee of the House had sat in ment of this war, I troubled you with deLeadenhall-street; they might as well sit claring my hearty aversion to it. I endeain America; the object is more impor-voured to convince you, that should it tant, if the distance is greater; that he prove successful, the utmost we could hope, saw the drift of the whole; the ministers was an abject submission of the colonies thought to pay their court, by extending through fear; a submission which it was the prerogative, in proportion as they had not the interest of this country to desire, lessened the empire ; and that this war and which, as it originated in terror, must (which was pretended to be made to pre- end in rebellion ; for there is no axiom vent the King's having a revenue in Ame- more true, than that authority which is rica independent of parliament, and to established and supported by force alone, assert the power of the House of Com- may and will be resisted when that force is mons, to tax all the British dominions) diminished or removed; nor is any proponow terminated in a surrender of the right sition more clear, than that America inof taxation, and of all other parliamentary creasing the number of her inhabitants, rights to advise or check the power of must soon rise above any apprehensions the crown.
from your power: Governor Johnstone blamed, what he I told you, Sir, you might smother the called the weakness of the argument drawn | Hame with coals, but the fire would burst from the supposed impossibility of discuss- forth in general conflagration ; you might ing the merits of commissioners in that conquer, but you never would convince House; and said, that it had not delayed by the sword. I then opened a more disthe Bill for regulating the East-India Cóm- mal prospect. I supposed (which was pany, for that the clanse appointing the then received as visionary and ideal) that commissioners had been postponed until your armies might be resisted, perhaps dethe rest of the Bill was finished. The feated; that instead of seeing America at commissioners ought to be men of great your feet, you might find her brave, reso. weight, persons if not well, at least not ill, lute, and determined; that the war might affected to the Americans ; men who were last some years ; that you might shed your known to have an opinion of their own, noblest, dearest blood; that you might not merely looking towards the court. exhaust all your resources: that France
Mr. Thomas Pitt thought it not very might aid the colonies, and you not dare material, whether the commissioners were to resent the insult ; that the kingdom named by the crown or by the House ; might be reduced to the abyss of distress but was of opinion, that they would be in which it now is; I then asked the noble more responsible, if they were named by lord, who was and still is the ostensible the crown.
He hoped, that as they had conductor of the affairs of this nation, proceeded so far with unanimity, they what amends he could make to those he would not now divide except upon points had involved in this calamity ; to those essentially necessary.
gentlemen who credulously had pledged Lord John Cavendish seemed to think their lives and fortunes in support of his the difference between sending out com- measures. Having thus publicly avowed missioners by the crown or parliament of my aversion to the war, having stated in great importance: but he considered also the strongest language the consequences the expediting these Bills to be so neces- which I foresaw, I have been thought insary, that he would have nothing started consistent in giving my support to the in the way of that object ; that the minis- continuance of what I disapproved in the ters had threatened the minority with the commencement. Sir, I ask your forgiverejection of their own plan of reconcilia- ness for entering into this matter; but it tion, if they were not to have it exactly in is a duty I owe my own character, to retheir own way ; that the public would concile my conduct. At that conjuncture, easily see who was the true mother of the before the sword was drawn, two alternachild, by the care of preserving it. tives offered themselves, the one was plain, The motion was rejected.
easy, and to my understanding obvious; Mr. Powys then moved an instruction it could have taken little time, it could to the committee on the Conciliatory Bills, have cost neither blood nor treasure; if it " to receive a clause to repeal the Bill for had failed, the last might have been