who have so constantly misled and de- | any other probable total is nearer to the ceived you.

Your hasty confidence in presumptive proofs, I shall be open to conthese deceivers has already cost you twenty viction, and ready to alter the terms of the millions, and perhaps 20,000 lives. Stop second motion, according to the result of here, and consider a little the business the debate. If the account be overwhich you are involved in. If the warning rated, or under-rated, I can rectify acwliich you have had from a cruel and de- cordingly; but let us at least know, what is structive experience, will not make you the probable estimate that we must reckon wiser, I know not what will; but hence- upon. Call it near 30 millions, or more forward, at least, that blindness and cruel than 30, or between 30 and 40; I believe ty must be wilful, which can proceed to this last phrase will be nearer than any sacrifice thousands upon thousands of the other. I have always submitted my lives of your fellow subjects; and of those thoughts fairly and openly to the House, unfortunate men, who would still have and to the comments of the noble lord at been our fellow subjects, had it not been the head of the Treasury: the estimates for the dark and ruinous counsels and which I formerly laid before you, have conduct of our ministers. Why will you never been found fallacious or extravagant. add another twenty millions to all the waste Surely, Sir, I ask nothing unreasonable ; of public money, which has already been I only ask that you will think before you so profusely lavished ?

act. I have prepared estimates of the ex- I am aware of an objection which the pences, which probably may be incurred, noble lord may make, not to the matter, if you proceed to another campaign ; but to the time. It inay be said, that this which if the Ilouse is so disposed, I will discussion more properly belongs to the lay before them. According to my com- committee upon the state of the nation, putation, the total of the American war, as which is appointed to sit after the holisupposed to continue only for one more days. To which I can only reply, that. I campaign, in 1778, will amount to between am solicitous to throw out to the House, 30 and 40 millions. The documents upon the state of the concomitant expences of which I form this opinion, are now lying the war, in the earliest part of the session, upon your table. I have collected out hand in hand with your vote for the land from the papers of the House, the ex- tax, that the landed gentlemen may be pences of the navy, army, and ordnance, apprized what they are preparing for them. during the late war, and in the present war, selves. if they do not interpose, to stop both upon the ordinary estimates, and the the farther progress of this destructive extraordinary and contingent expences. I war, 4s. in the pound will be entailed upon have endeavoured to select such circum- them for ever: and I will venture to prostances as are similar to the present; and phesy to them, that 4s. in the pound will to adapt others, with such suitable allow- not be all that they will have to pay. In ances, as may assist us in the inquiry. the consideration of an infinite multitude My first motion is conceived in very general of matters, which will come before the comterms, viz. That it is the opinion of this mittee upon the state of the nation, the House, that the farther prosecution of the landed interest may not have that preAmerican war must be attended with an eminent consideration that I wish. I look enormous expence. The termó enormous' upon the landed gentlemen as the watchis the favourite word of the noble lord at men and guardians of the state, therefore I the head of the Treasury; therefore, Sir, would have a word with them in the fore. I think I may depend upon him, for second most place, and before the storm rages, ing this preliminary motion of mine. My which is coming on apace, to confound second motion, is the specific point upon land, funds, manufactures, and commerce which the debate will turn, viz. Whether in one common ruin. the total expence of the American war may

y. The ruin is universal, and without probably, by the end of the next campaign, bounds; your naval power will be examount to between 30 and 40 millions. hausted, and the very sources of it destroyMy reason for putting the preliminary ed; your armies are baffled and disgraced; motion as I have done, is this ; that in

is swallowed up, and perthe debate upon the first motion, the haps another may soon be in a condition not specific matter of the second motion will much better. I pretend not to any sagabe discussed; and if upon that discus- city above other persons, but I have endeasion it should appear to the House, that voured to get the best information of the temper and powers of America, from the home, we should meditate nothing against wisest and most informed persons, and from you. A little time so given for cooling on those who are at all times friends to recon- both sides, might have excellent effects. ciliation and peace, and who have been But you will goad and provoke us ; you very sincerely well-affected towards this despise us too much; and you are insensicountry. I told

one entire



three years ago, that ble of the Italian adage, That there is no America would turn out an army of little enemy. I am persuaded the body 50,000 men, which you then laughed at, of the British people are our friends ; but and would not believe. I have told you they are changeable, and by your lying that they were united, and that you could gazettes may soon be made our enemies. not touch a hair of the head of America : | Our respect for them will proportionably you have found it true. The men that diminish; and I see clearly we are on you send thither are devoted to certain the high-road towards perpetual enmity, destruction. Ibunt, et redibunt nunquam. hatred, and detestation. A separation will The whole conduct of the ministers of this of course be inevitable. It is a million of country has been folly and impotent rage. pities so fair a plan as we have been enIf they cannot conquer, they will destroy gaged in, for increasing strength and emEvery salutary warning has been despised; pire with public felicity, should be destroyprudent plans and counsels, as well as per- ed by the mangling hands of blundering nicious ones, have been laid before you. It ministers. It will not be destroyed. God cannot be doubted but that Dr. Franklin will protect and prosper it. You will only was well acquainted with the true state and exclude yourselves from any share in it. temper of his own country, and of his own we hear more troops and ships are coming countrymen. He has given full warning out. We know you may do us a great to this country, both in public and in pri- deal of mischief; but we are determined vate, of the ruinous consequences of the to bear it; patiently as long as we can; measures which have been adopted. The but if you fatter yourselves with beating prudence of his advice, and prophetic us into submission, you know neither the warnings to this country, stand upon re- people nor the country. The Congress is cord; he gave them publicly at your bar still sitting, and will wait the result of their in the year 1766; he gave a most material last petition.” helping hand towards the restoration of And what was the result of this last pepeace in that happy year; if his advice had | tition? His Majesty was advised by his been followed in the subsequent measures, ministers, fatally for the honour, interest, we should not now be dipped in blood. I will and justice of this country, to say, that with permission, read to the House a letter no answer should be given. What then which I received from him in 1775, at a time was there left for the Americans, but to when we were all fellow-subjects together, take up arms in their own defence, when and before that fatal Prohibitory Act, by their petitions were rejected unheard, and which you cast your colonies out from your the whole force of this country, and all the protection. I did read it to you in my mercenary forces of Europe, were sent to place, within a few days after I received it'; invade them? but you were then confident of having I have often said in this House, and I America under your feet, and despised must repeat it, that I shall never call these every, proposition recommending peace men rebels, nor their cause rebellion, but and lenient measures. The letter is as a justifiable resistance. You cannot look follows:

into your own Bill of Rights, but you

will Philadelphia, October 3, 1775. see a formal recognition of the right of re"I wish as earnestly as you can do for sistance in the subject. When the liberties peace, and should rejoice exceedingly to and privileges of a British subject are inco-operate with you for that end; but vaded, and his petitions rejected, every every ship from Great Britain brings some such subject has a right to the use of arms intelligence of new measures that tend in his own defence. So says the Act more to exasperate; and it seems to me, which is declaratory of the rights of the that until you have found, by dear expe- British constitution, and the corner-stone rience, the reducing us by force impracti- of all the liberties which we enjoy in this cable, you will think of nothing fair or country. As, in my opinion, upon these reasonable. We have, as yet, only re- constitutional principles, the resistance in solved on defensive measures. If you the beginning of these troubles was justiwould recall your forces, and stay at fiable on the part of the Americans, who were then our fellow-subjects ; I must now, I would not offer any conditional terms of subupon the same principles, consider our per- mission to your colonies. You gave them no severance as the continuation of an unjust alternative, but independence, or uncondiwar on our part against them. And what tional submission. They are now in posseshave you got by this war? You have sion of independence, and you cannot wrest gained nothing, but you have lost thirteen it from them. Sir, you know my sentiments provinces. It is to those ministers, who upon this matter of independence; I have have systematically invaded their rights, laid them before the House upon former and rejected all their petitions, that you occasions. I confess, that I do not see the are indebted for this loss; they have sum- horrors attending the legislative indepenmed up all their pernicious measures in dence of your colonies, that many persons this last fatal act, of advising the King to do. If I could flatter myself, that the reject unheard the united petition of all House would consent patiently to hear the American colonies. That man has such a proposition debated, I think their much to answer for to this country, who terrors would vanish; and after all, you advised that fatal measure; and I hope cannot help yourselves. There is no wisthe time will come, when this House will dom in declaring a thing inadmissible, that address the King to know who did advise certainly must and will come to pass. If it. It was done just upon the eve of the the House would lend a favourable ear to accession to office, of the noble lord who is such a proposition, I should conceive a now at the head of the American depart- ray of hope, that things might still end ment. I do not charge it upon him, be- well. cause I have no specific grounds for such I have in my hand a proposition, which a charge; but thus much I am free to say, read to the House last

year, drawn


in that the spirit of such a measure is more the shape of a proposed address to the conformable to the system which has been King. Perhaps a cooler reflection, and followed since his accession to office, than the course of events which have lately hapto the system which prevailed before, and pened, and the present state of your affairs, which was set aside to make way for him. may induce the House to lend a tolerating Of another fact, however, we are well as- ear. I will, with their permission (as they sured, and of the author and adviser. seem not unwilling to hearken at least) Since the noble lord at the head of the repeat such parts of that proposed address, American department came into office, his as contain the arguments for the legislaMajesty has been advised not to lay the tive independence of America. If I were least

scrap of information before the permitted, I would recommend to the House. Before that time we had some House to lay sentiments before the King information from the correspondence of to the following effect. That all good gothe plantation-office laid before us. That vernment is established for the safety and information was partial indeed, and gar- content of the people, as expressed by the bled; but now the minister holds up his general voice and common consent of the head in a haughtier stile; he does not members of any community; and that condescend to take the least notice of whatever superintending power or controul parliament, or to give us the least scrap a parent state may be intitled to, in the in. of information. We know that he is re- fancy of any colony, as for the common sponsible, and that by secreting all infor- good of any such colony in its infancy, yet mation, he takes a great risk of re- that the ultimate end of all colonization is, sponsibility upon himself: but what is the and ought to be, to establish kindred and consideration of a private person to the derivative communities into perfect sociegreat interests of the whole state at ties, in the fullness of population, settlelarge? If he shall ever be found to have ment, prosperity and power. These prinsecreted information from parliament, ciples are not only founded in the nature of which might have guided the counsels of mankind, but are peculiarly applicable to this House to other measures, the re- our own colonists, who carried out with sponsibility of a private man can be no them, into their foreign settlements, the adequate recompence to his country, for seeds of the British constitution, which we having led them blindfold to ruin. flatter ourselves to be the happiest and

What, then, is there left for us to do in most free in the world. These colonies, this disastrous state of things ? Indeed, Sir, under the auspicious and friendly eye of 1. can hardly see one ray of hope. You the parent state, have at length out-grown would not hearken to advice in time. You the imbecilities of their infant state, and approach to the maturity of settlement, as the concomitant condition on the other and population, and all the arts of life; and side, a compact of trade to be observed thereby are become capable of that glorious by the Americans, similar to that which inheritance of perfect freedom, which their subsisted between the two countries before parent state has in former times rescued the rupture. Upon the admission of these out of the hands of tyrants, with a view to combined propositions, I would propose to assert it for the common good and use of proceed upon them as fundamentals, in the mankind, and particularly to transmit it negociation of a perpetual fæderal alli. entire to their own descendants. As no ance in all its distributive parts. country can arrive at its full perfection, Sir, I should once more ask your pardon while it is confined in the powers of a free for having given you and the House so legislation respecting the concerns of its much trouble. I am very sensible of their own internal policy; and as the transition goodness and indulgence. The result of of colonies from the controul of a distant pa- every argument that I have ever offered rent state, to the absolute possession, in full to the House upon American subjects has right, of all their legislative powers, must been, by some cast or other, to seek the inevitably (at a certain period of connec- practicable means of restoring peace. It tion between the parent state and its colo- is, and ever will be the sole object of all nies,) disturb, or at least for a time suspend, my anxiety and labours in the public cause. the harmony of affection and mutual cor- I will now read to the House the several respondence of interests; and as the course motions which I have to offer, as they stand of the present disputes between Great in order. 1. “ That it is the opinion of Britain and her colonies, has led to that this House, that the farther prosecution of dangerous point of contention, which being the American war must be attended with originally inherent in the relation of parent an enormous expence. 2. That the exstate and colony, now shews itself so se- pences of another campaign in the year rious in its aspect, as perhaps to threaten, 1778, added to the expences already inif not amicably adjusted, the ruin of one curred in the American war, may probably or both countries; your Commons there amount to a sum not less than

ween 30 fore think it wise and prudent, to follow the and 40 millions sterling, which must create apparently natural and unavoidable course an alarming increase of the principal and of things; and to bestow upon the colonies interest of the national debt; and must rean entire freedom of their legislative powers quire many additional heavy and burdenwithin themselves ; hoping thereby to lay a some taxes, land-taxes, as well as other foundation, for a perpetual and indissoluble taxes, upon the British subjects to defray. bond of affection and alliance, in every re- 3. That the farther prosecution of the spect as beneficial to both countries, as the American war must be destructive of the connection which has hitherto subsisted be- navigation, commerce, riches and resources tween them, in the mutual relation of parent of this country, as well as of the lives of state and colony; and with this additional his Majesty's subjects; and that it will hope of permanence, that, according to all leave us in an exhausted state, with our human prudence, such connections, in which land and sea forces at the distance of 3,000 there is no latent principle of future dis- miles, open to the insults or attack of any. cord, may be trusted and relied upon, for secret or insidious enemy to this country, the cordial restoration of peace, and for all 4. That it is unbecoming the wisdom and the blessings of reconciliation between this prudence of parliament, to proceed any country, and the offspring of its own liber- farther in the support of this fruitless, exty, formed in the perfect resemblance of pensive and destructive war; more espeits own constitution, and transplanted into cially without any specific terms of accomthe new world of America. Your faithful modation declared." Commons therefore humbly beseech your Lord North objected to the motions, beMajesty, to order an immediate suspension cause they were out of time, and improper. of hostilities in America, for the sake of He never heard such motions made in a preventing any farther effusion of blood ; House; they were proper for a committee. and to concur with your parliament upon As to the first, he said, no one could obthe ground-work of the foregoing principles ject to it. He himself confessed, that it and considerations, in laying a foundation must be attended with enormous expence, for reconcilement and perpetual peace be- but that it was impossible for the House, in tween this country and America.

his opinion, to decide on the next, before To this proposition, Sir, I would annex, the day of general discussion, when they had every fact before them, and could be Mr. Burke said, he thought it ought able to determine with propriety.

to be the end of every plan of peace, to Mr. Burke rose, and here a sort of bye- get the colonies as much subordinate as we battle commenced between him and lord can keep them with their consent. But Lisburne, on a passage in the last Gazette, at the same time, he disapproved of thus where general Vaughan says, he went to | laying down lines and measures, in matters Esopus, “ because it was a nursery for which must be determined as future events every villain in the country, and when he would permit us to act. arrived there, they fired from the windows Mr. Fox said, as so much had been said at his men, which brought him to the ne- about offering terms, and nothing as to the cessity of reducing the place to ashes.” nature of those terms, he thought this Mr. Burke said, this passage was obscure, would be a proper opportunity, as there and that he saw no sufficient reason for would be no other before the House ad. burning the town. Lord Lisburne, in pri- journed, to give his opinion what the terms vate, conferred with him upon it; when he ought to be; that he thought we ought to told the noble lord, he saw no good reason give America perfect security on the subthat general Vaughan had for going to Eso- ject of taxation and her charters; that this pus at all. The contest continued until

would be the proper preliminary of a treaSir George Savile said, he wished to ty, for that however the people whose bring back the attention of the House to spirits were warmest in America mightthe question, and assured the Treasury: look upon independence, yet there were bench, he would also pay them in good others who looked back to their old contime a very proper attention. After nections with this country, and that this which, he insinuated something of impeach measure would at least divide America. I ments, adding, that though the people of would treat with them, said he, on the England were sometimes apt to be mild, very topic whether they should be indethey were at other times as apt to be in great pendent or not; but my wish is, that Ameheat. He agreed with his hon. friend, rica may remain dependent upon this whose calculations and labours he highly country. I am no friend to the indepencomplimented, but he was not for treating dence of America ; nevertheless, if no betwith America as an independent state. ter terms can be had, I would treat with

Governor Johnstone said, he would take them as allies. They might be good and occasion from the draught of the Address, useful allies, nor do I fear the consequence which Mr. Hartley opened in his speech to of their independence. the House, to give to the House his opinion Sir W. Gordon recommended coercive of the ground on which any peace with the measures ; and hoped no treaty whatever colonies should be made. He compared would be commenced, until America had the rights and constitution of which the laid aside her claim of independence. colonies were by law in possession, to a Mr. Hartley's motions were all nega. copyhold right, held from the original pos- tived without a division. sessor, who had the freehold, but a copy. hold of defined and unimpeachable rights, Debate in the Lords on the Bill for sussubject, however, to the condition of the pending the Habeas Corpus Act.] Dec. tenure. By so much as this sort of rights 8. On the order of the day for the second (however it became so) was inferior to a reading of the Bill for suspending the Hafreehold, by so much more

beas Corpus Act, bound to guard and maintain these rights The Duke of Richmond expressed his of theirs under our protection. If we in- concern that the discussion of a subject of vaded them, we thereby gave them a right this importance should have happened in to enquire, by what original right we as- so thin a House. He said it was a business sumed, that the tenure and their rights of the highest concern to the nation ; a buand possession were of this inferior nature. siness in which the liberties of the subWe gave them a right to resist and to rebel. ject were nearly interested. From the He could not, therefore, adopt the ideas of vague indeterminate mode of expression Mr. Hartley, at least in the form in which used in the Act, its force extended to all orthey were contained in the draught of the ders, and to all kinds, guilty and innocent. Address, as it put the colonies on the A paltry justice might, only because he ground of independence. He always thought he had grounds of suspicion, dethought the letting the colonies loose, to prive a subject of his dearest rights, impribe a dangerous measure.

son him, load him with irons, and all with

[ocr errors]



« ElőzőTovább »