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it was extremely probable, that, independent of their attachment to the parent state and those other strong motives of affection, they would plainly perceive, that a connection with this country would be the best means of advancing the interest of their own. But if every honest, every virtuous means, which could now be suggested, for restoring them to our empire, should finally prove abortive, we had, in the late annals of our own history, a lesson of hope (alluding to lord Chatham's administration) which should console us for the calamities which we now feel or aprehend, and will shew us, that under a É. administration, we may yet exist as an empire, nay, even flourish as we formerly did, without a connection with America. The strength of the nation is powerful beyond conception, whilst the people have a confidence in the wisdom and valour of their rulers. His lordship said, that peace at any rate was preferable to war; and so far as those Bills went towards that object, he would give them his assent: two of them he was ready to support; but he would give his negative to the Bill for appointing commissioners, as he thought it would be inefficacious; for the Congress, seeing the deception intended by it, in authorising the commissioners to treat with separate bodies of the people, and that its object was to divide them, would never suffer them to advance from the lines of their camp; and the apprehension of their terms being afterwards receded from by parliament at the instance of a weak and deceitful administration, would prevent every possible good. In this part of his argument, his lordship stated the obstacles America had to contend with, in case she should insist upon independence, and take measures accordingly; provided we employed the means properly, which were yet in our power. He said, to the southward we had the Floridas; to the northward Nova Scotia, Canada, Newfoundland, and Cape Breton. In point of conquest, we were in possession of New York, Rhode Island, Staten Island, Long Island, besides the city of Philadelphia, and its environs. He confessed. all this did not hold out any prospect of conquest; but perhaps it held out objects of a more substantial nature. We might command the navigation of the river St. Lawrence and Mississippi, and the communication of the Lakes. In such an event, then, as America proving refrac
tory to all reasonable terms of conciliation, the command of their coasts by superior fleets, and the occupying such parts in the interior country, as would best answer the keeping them in awe and alarm, and maintaining such posts, and opening such necessary communications as might be most conducive to our views, not those of coercion or conquest; in all probabi. the colonies would soon find themselves compelled to break their foreign engagements, and seek our protection upon fair, constitutional, and secure grounds. To effect this, there ought to be at least a complete army in Canada, of 12,000. Halifax ought to be strongly garrisoned, and sufficient defences made to it as a place of arms. The troops ought to be recalled from Philadelphia, if they had not already made a similar exit from it to that they made from Boston, where their stay can otherwise terminate only in starvation, captivity, or defeat. After pointing out what ought to be pursued, should America prove averse to reconciliation, he contrasted the cruel and ridiculous conduct of ministers. He said he would not, nor could attribute such operations to the good sense and humanity of British seamen, or British soldiers. He resumed they had their instructions from ence. Marching, countermarching, embarkations, debarkations, fruitless expeditions, defeats, depredations coastwise, burning of towns and villages, employing foreign mercenaries, savages, scalping, tomahawking, &c. He said the war was conducted systematically wrong from the outset; that instead of making war in front, by which means you left the enemy at liberty to meet you when they thought proper, or retire into the interior country, you should have secured posts in their rear; forced them towards the sea, , and by that means have compelled them from time to time to decisive engagements. His lordship then considered the Bills in point of effect: he said, they clearly portended nothing but a continuation of the war, upon the same destructive plan, the effusion of more blood, and the waste of more treasure. He thought them every way insidious, and only intended to divide, not to conciliate the colonies. Every plan of conciliation, in such hands, must fail. The claims supported by ministers were by this Bill varied but in name. The preamble to the Commissioners Bill, the mode of appointing and instructing the commissioners, and reserving both, and intrusting
the treaty to thevery men who had been the guage of the court of Vienna and Verauthors of all ourmisfortunes, were so many sailles, is termed being disgraced; but proofs that though ministerial language which in fact, was looked upon by their had changed, the system had not.-His fellow subjects, in a very different light. lordship then condemned the shameful Their characters were revered by the subserviency of parliament in their whole people; and such was the high opinion conduct, which the noble earl in high of- they entertained of those able and upright fice was pleased to distinguish under the ministers, that if an occasion served, they name of consistency! If, said his lordship, would cheerfully trust their lives and forthe noble lord in the other House, (lord tunes, and whatever they held most dear North) comes down one day, and tells par and valuable, to their care and protection. liament, “ You shall have a revenue, not a The Bills were read a second time withpepper-corn, but a clear, substantiai, pro- | out a division. ductive revenue," the word flies through every corner of the House, revenue ! - March 9. On the third reading of the revenue ! -revenue !--If, the next day, in American Conciliatory Bills, all the fullness of ministerial supremacy, The Earl of Abingdon said: I have given he says, “ No revenue; we must maintain no obstruction to these Bills, because the supremacy,” the fiat instantly spreads: whatever bears the name of conciliation -supremacy !-supremacy !-supremacy! with America, though it be a shadow, I If again the conqueror of America tells am ready to catch at; and for the same his friends, that the revenue and supre- reasons (meaning that they should pass) it macy are gone, and along with both un- is not now my intention to divide the conditional submission; that we are no House upon them; but, as I am firmly longer to fight but treat; with one voice persuaded that these Bills are no more the halcyon tidings are echoed through, than a continuation of that delusion which and reverberated against the hallowed has brought this country to its present walls--treat treat !--treat! Thus, brink of ruin, and so far from obtaining peace or war, submission or no submis. | the end proposed by them, that they are sion, supremacy or independency, revenue destructive of it, I rise to put my simple or no revenue, it is the same thing with negative upon them, and will place my the noble lord and his followers. But if, reasons for so doing upon the Journals. through this various scheme of monstrous And, my lords, having said this, I have and absurd politics, chance or art should only to add my congratulations to your bring about any favourable circumstance, | lordships on the late miraculous conversion the noble lord will once more appear en- of parliament to the true faith. Whig. throned in all the fullness of ministerial gism triumphant over Toryism! Whig majesty, covered with graces, favours and measures ingrafted on Tory principles ! consequence, surrounded by his placemen, « Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam pensioners, and contractors, supported by “ Jungere si velit-risum teneatis amici ?” his myrmidons, and court janizaries; he But, my lords, however pleased I may will once more, I say, resume his former be with this Centaur pot Fabulous, I fear high tone of command.
the motives that have produced it are not The noble earl proceeded to make seve of the most honest kind. I fear, my lords, ral animadversions on ministers, whom he that it is a temporary sacrifice only of represented as the tools of their secret principles to places, and that when the employers. This indiscriminate acquies. | golden age is over, the iron age will recence, he said, was extremely criminal, | turn in its room. This good, however, it and called in the first instance, for pub must produce: American liberties are lic reprehension; and he hoped in the hereby confirmed, and put out of the end, would meet the reward is merited. reach of Tory disturbance for the time to He contrasted this tame submission to come. every mandate they received, with the | The Marquis of Rockingham said, the firm and manly conduct of modern minis- Bills were inadequate, and must prove inters, in countries deemed despotic; in the effectual. It had been a language propersons of count Kauritz and the duke of gressively increasing since the commenceChoiseul, who, sooner than break their ment of the present reign, that such meawords, or act contrary to their own judg. sures were the King's measures ; his Mament, opposed the will of their respective jesty's intentions, &c. But the King's sovereigns; and suffered what, in the lan- friends, in the course of the present war,
had ventured a step farther. Instead of mised them a revenue, and unconditional calling the war, the war of parliament, or submission formerly. By the present of the people, it was called the King's war, Bills he promised them peace; and by his Majesty's favourite war. The public what he could judge from their texture, prints teemed with assertions of this kind. he would disappoint them in this, as he Persons were employed on purpose to had done uniformly from the beginning. write books, pamphlets, and daily publica- ! The Earl of Bristol said, he wished for tions, in order to disseminate these notions, pence with America, but these Bills, so and make them universal. This, he said, far from being likely to obtain it, would was most insolent and unconstitutional sound the trumpet of war to all the neighconduct. The King can have no interests, bouring nations. In short, the measure no dignity, no views whatever, distinct was impotent, ignominious and ineffectual. from those of his people. The scheme Viscount Townshend. My lords, as the was full of art and perfidy. It was to per- noble earl has risen to give his dissent to suade the body of the people, that the the Bills before you, I shall request your rights of the crown were staked on the lordships' attention for a short time, rather issue of the war, which consequently called to justify my own consistency, than from forth all the friends of monarchy who were any utility I can propose by dividing the ignorant of the deception. The perfidy of | House upon them. Alas, my lords, the this conduct was not more glaring, than calamity has already prevailed, and the the management and address was evident ; humility and degradation of the British, for, should the war miscarry, ministers had empire has already reached those nations, two methods of shifting the odium off who have so long revered her reputation their own shoulders. In print and out of and power. It appears useless, therefore, doors, the measures were the King's mea- for us to give a negative to the present sures. In that House, and the other, Bills; introduced by government, and they were the measures of parliament. passed by the other House, what can any But, he trusted, the day of reckoning of us propose afterwards ? Who but the would come, when those subterfuges would House of Commons can support the war? avail nothing; when, as they could not be And therefore, my lords, were I to dwell the King's measures, it would be proved upon this melancholy and degrading subthey were not the measures of parliament, ject, it would be more like making a fubut of ministers. He hoped they had neral oration over a much-honoured parent, made no improper impression upon the than assisting the desponding family. If I royal mind; but when such men declared knew any measure, after what has passed, themselves the King's friends, and when that I could wish to propose, I would join their services were accepted of, he trem- the noble earl in rejecting these ignomibled for the consequences. His lordship nious, and I fear ineffectual Bills; but if then reminded ministers of their uniform nothing better can be offered, and our nalanguage of supremacy, conquest, or un- tional honour is lost, I own I would rather conditional submission; their frequent abide by these puny efforts at conciliation, predictions; their boastings of our inter- than that an experiment should be made nal and naval strength, and great re- which could only gratify the purposes of sources; their assurances of not only the party. And now, my lords, allow me to pacific but friendly dispositions of France say a few words upon the subject of minis. and Spain ; against which he brought, in a ters, who have been so frequently blamed strong point of counterview, our defeats, for this war. It was certainly no war of our loss of men, waste of treasure, and their seeking; it could be neither their threatened war with France; America in- wish to provoke it, nor interest to continue dependent, national weakness, divided it. It was a melancholy legacy left them councils, sinking credit, ruined finances, by their predecessors in office. What miand exhausted nation, and, in case of a nister would have dared to abandon the war with the House of Bourbon, a total constitutional rights of this country? They inability either to make peace with the descended to them by the example of forcolonies, or defend ourselves against the mer times, by the statutes and council attacks of our foreign enemies. The books, and by the opinion of the greatest country gentlemen had been deceived and lawyers; and, as much use has been made abused; and they were now, when too of the names of Whig and Tory, give me late, ready to catch at any thing which leave on this occasion to say, by the firme might promise peace. The minister pro- est Whig lawyers that ever graced this. kingdom, from lord Somers down to lord | a great officer ; I appeal to those who have Hardwicke: upon their decisions and au- had greater commands, and know the thority, and not upon any presumptuous country better than myself. opinion of my own, I conceived we had a | Let me ask you then, can you send right to tax the colonies. How we lost it, | 20,000 men more to your general, or land I will not enter upon : but I will venture them behind Mr. Washington in Virginia, to say, that the Auctuations of councils, between him and his magazines? If not, the repealing in parliament in one session let your general there advise you how to what you had enacted the preceding, and change the plan of the war; it is by no your own inconsistence, have contributed means a desperate task: you have still & more to our present disgraceful situation, resource; I will not enter upon it at prethan all the indiscretion of the ministers, sent; I believe the noble earl who sugor the disappointments of the war. With 1 gested it the other day is well informed respect to the war, it is not a time to enter upon this point, and I will drop it. I was upon any discussions of it; but I cannot likewise happy in hearing a noble earl in help adverting to what was dropped by a high office say, we had still resources left. noble earl in the last debate, that if these But, my lords, the use I would wish to Bills should prove ineffectual, you might make of this subject, is, to engage your yet contract and improve the powers of attention to a part of the British empire, this country, as in former times, when this which has seldom offended you, never de. nation made a great figure. I agree with serted you, nay, always supported you; the noble earl, that by this plan, our situa- to a nation whose utmost efforts in point tion is by no means so desperate as seems of produce, inhabitants, and personal exer. to be conceived, although I believe the tion, hath been freely and generously depresent humiliating measures must have voted to the British empire : it remains, been derived from some circumstances of my lords, with your justice and prudence, dire necessity. I will not ask what this and that of the government, to consider circumstance is, because I wish not to and cherish at an early hour this great publish it to our enemies. But, my lords, support of your declining empire : your I must observe, that it is the first time I lordships must anticipate the country I ever heard that a great state, or indeed allude to. My lords, consider in God's any small one, suspended its efforts, or name in time what you owe to that gallant despaired of success, because it had lost a and impoverished country ; suffer pot your corps of 3 or 4,000; or that, because it humiliating proposals and offerings to be could not reduce a vast continent in one laid at the feet of the Congress, in whose campaign, gave up the whole object of the front of battle, if I am not misinformed, war. Many have advanced, that Ameri. the poor Irish emigrants perform the har. can affairs were in a worse situation than diest service: let us consider that country ever. Let me recall your lordships' at- as a part of ourselves; open the Irish tention to that period, when sir William channel to your best service; avail your. Howe was cooped up in Boston, and selves of her excellent ports; cramp not bro'ight off his army on short allowance, their industry for purposes I will not menand no one knew where the winds would tion; shew you can cherish your affectioncarry them, to Halifax, to the West Indies, ate, if you cannot reclaim your ungrateful or perhaps to Ireland! You then gave up | children. Quebec as lost, you trembled for Halifax. | Lord Camden concurred in the sentiYou now possess not only Canada, but ments of the noble lord who spoke last, Halifax, Rhode Island (an admirable post respecting Ireland. He said, Ireland deand place of arms): You have gained New served every possible encouragement. We York and Long Island, and are in posses- were compelled to it by every motive of sion of Philadelphia, which perhaps is no interest ; we were bound to it by duty; more than a second Boston, except its not and ought to have been urged to it by being commanded by heights. Yet what gratitude. He hoped to see those narrow country is to be reduced by operations in short-sighted prejudices, which prevailed front? what enemy is to be brought to a in our public counsels respecting Ireland, decisive action he chooses to avoid, having at length give way to a more wise and an extent of country behind him, unless liberal system of policy. Ireland, when you can turn his Aanks, or get between she experienced the advantages of a mild him and his magazines ? I speak on known and wise government, would be impressed principles ; I arrogate not the character of with additional reasons to strengthen that spirit of loyalty and obedience, which had the want of men ? No, the spirit of the so characteristically distinguished her, nation is high, the war is popular : it is under a dominion, he was free to say, far the war undertaken purely to assert the from being gracious or kind. If, there- supremacy of parliament and the rights of fore, the noble viscount, or any other no- the people; it is a war of popular rights. ble lord, should think proper to move a What then, is it, in God's name? It is committee to examine into the nature and neither a want of men, money, justice, poextent of the hardships that country suf- pularity, spirit, nor a fear of being involved fered, he would most gladly give every in a war with France; but it is necessity; assistance in his power to forward an en- and who can dispute about its existence quiry which must, in his opinion, tend so with the noble lords, who, from their much to the respective interests, strength, exalted official situations, ought to know and riches of the two kingdoms. He said, best, and have told you? The declaratory he never ḥeard one solid objection to the Bill, relative to the taxation of America, taking off the restrictions on the trade of reserved the right, while it professed to Ireland. He knew, even in a partial, give it up. The purport of it was rather, contracted view, they were of real disser- he said, to express the reluctance with vice to this country; but upon a more which the claim of taxation was given up liberal scale, they were actually pernicious. in part, than to shew fairly and openly, Leave the trade of Ireland open, that king. that America should not be taxed in fudom will increase in wealth and popula- ture. Why not renounce the right at tion. That wealth will ultimately be yours. once ? Ministers knew the inexpediency of Like the blood returning to the heart, the exercising it; they knew they dared not health and vigour of the dependent parts attempt it. Would it not, therefore, be will add new vigour to the whole body. more noble to give it up, explicitly and The riches of Ireland, after fructifying that directly? The mode of meeting the wishes country, will finally rest here; and Ire- of America in this manner, afforded strong land, in return, will profit by the opulence, ground of suspicion to the people of that as she will be protected by the power and country. Itbespoke a shyness, adislike todo greatness of the parent state. "
justice, and agreed with those terms, which His lordship then gave his sentiments the ministers themselves acknowledged, on the Bills. He said, in the solemn had only originated in the most pressing silence which had been observed by the necessity. Again, the same Bill declares, authors of the present measures, so con- that the troubles arose on account of mistrary to all their former declarations, no representations relative to the exercise of reason had been assigned for so sudden a this right. Then, either we had the right, change of opinion, but necessity. What and are yet competent to exercise it, or have ministers done? They have founded we never had it, and grant by the Bill their justification on necessity, without what was never in our power to give. giving you the least intimation what the But the right of taxation is still more necessity is, in order that the House may than implied; it is in fact asserted; for it be enabled to judge, whether it is well or declares, we will never lay any taxes upon ill founded. No, you must trust them in America but to regulate their trade. Is this as in every thing else ; they think not this an assertion of not only the right, there is a necessity, and that is sufficient. but our intention to exercise that right? If you ask them what the necessity is, Oh, but the monies levied under this authey are silent, or tell you they do not thority are to be applied to the uses of know. Is it the treaty entered into by the the respective colonies where such monies American delegates with France ? They shall be raised. To whom, my lords, is know of no such treaty. Is it inability in this extraordinary language held ? To point of men and money to prosecute the people who know you act from motives of war? Not at all; the resources of this necessity, and who are wise, sagacious, country are great, says a noble lord high and penetrating enough to descry, under in office, and equal to the task of com- this pretended candour, concession and pelling the colonies to agree to reasonable good will, the same principles directed to terms of accommodation. Is it that our wards the attainment of the same objects, claims of supremacy and taxation were though by a different mode. What does unjust? Not that neither. Ministers, the next Bill say ? (that for repealing the though they have changed their measures, Act for altering the charter of the prohave not changed their principles. Is it vince of Massachuset's Bay!) Precisely