HOUSE OF COMMONS

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HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Wednesday, November 8, 1775.

The Order of the Day being read, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House, to consider further of the Supply granted to his Majesty,

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of the Guards, Garrisons, and other of his Majesty' s Land Forces in Great Britain, from the 25th of December, 1775, to the 24th of December, 1776, both days inclusive, being three hundred and sixty-six days, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of the General, and General Staff Officers, in Great Britain, for the year 1776, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of his Majesty' s Forces in the Plantations and in Africa, including those in garrison at Gibraltar and Minorca, from the 25th of December, 1775, to the 24th of December, 1776, both days inclusive, being three hundred and sixty-six days, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of the difference of Pay between the British and Irish Establishment one of Regiment of Light Dragoons and six Regiments of Foot, serving in North-America, from the 25th of December, 1775, to the 24th of December, 1776, both days inclusive, being three hundred and sixty-six days, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of Levy Money, for the augmentation to his Majesty' s British and Irish Forces, for the year 1776, be referred to said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of five Hanoverian Battalions of Foot at Gibraltar and Minorca, from the 1st of September, 1775, to 24th of December following,

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both days inclusive, being one hundred and fifteen days, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of five Hanoverian Battalions of Foot, at Gibraltar and Minorca, from the 25th of December, 1775 to 24th of December, 1776, both days inclusive, being three hundred and sixty-six days, be referred to the said Committee.

Ordered, That the estimate of the charge of the Office of Ordnance, for the year 1776, land service, be referred to the said Committee.

Then the House resolved itself into the said Committee.

Lord Barrington stated the Army estimates for 1776. He said that the whole of the force intended to be raised and maintained was fifty-five thousand men, the ordinary expense of which would be one million three hundred thousand pounds, and a fraction; that the expense of last year was something above one million pounds, consequently that the increase would be three hundred thousand pounds. He then enumerated the different services, and showed that, except the force intended to serve in America and Great Britain, the troops stationed elsewhere would be nearly the same. In the latter there were at present seven battalions, and ten returning from Minorca, Gibraltar, and America, which would make seventeen in the whole, four of which would return with officers only; of these four the Eighteenth and Fifty-Ninth Regiments, which had suffered most, would be two. He next informed the Committee that Gibraltar and Minorca would be garrisoned by five battalions of Hanoverians, consisting of four hundred and seventy-five men each, and four of English; the two serving at Gibraltar to consist of four hundred and seventy-seven men each, the usual establishment; and the two at Minorca of six hundred and seventy-seven men each; so that by this increase of men, which was effected chiefly by the invalids which were sent from hence, another battalion could be spared from Minorca. He observed, that in the West-Indies there would be one battalion less; for instead of five, there would be but four battalions, which was meant to be composed of his Majesty' s Royal American Regiment, to be commanded by General Prevost. The force to be employed for guards, garrisons, and invalids, within Great Britain, would be twenty thousand men, and those in America, including the force in the West-Indies, Gibraltar, Minorca, and the coast of Africa, thirty-four thousand, and that the actual force in America alone would be thirty-four battalions, at eight hundred and eleven men to a battalion, including two regiments of light-horse, one sent some time since from Ireland, and Burgoyne' s, intended for that service, which would, in the whole, amount to upwards of twenty-five thousand men. This was the army intended to carry on the operations in America, part of which was borrowed from Ireland, and must accordingly be paid by Great Britain. This was the general outline of his arrangements on paper; but he was sorry to say it was but on paper, for none of the corps but those in Gibraltar and Minorca were completed to their full complement, particularly those in, or going to America, besides the four regiments returning from that country to Great Britain; which were to return with officers only. That this was a matter, in the present situation of things, much to be lamented; yet nothing was left untried in order to remedy it, hitherto to very little purpose, for the recruiting service proceeded but slowly; that attempts were made to inlist Irish Catholicks, which is what he would not have advised, had it not been for the extreme necessity, though he did not look upon the measure to be contrary to law. Foreigners were tried as single men, to be incorporated in British regiments, neither did that answer; the bounty was raised and the standard lowered, still the men could not be obtained. Such being the true state of the case, he would take the liberty to obviate a popular objection that would probably be made to the present plan of hostile operations against America upon this very ground, that recruits could not be had, because the service they were to be employed in was odious to the people in general. But his Lordship insisted that was not the true cause, for it might be traced, and found in several concurrent causes. Nor could there be a stronger instance on which to found his reasonings than that at the time of the armaments by sea and land, relative to Falkland' s Island: the same difficulty of obtaining recruits was felt, and no person would say that a war designed to be carried on against

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France and Spain is not a popular war. Those causes were in the first place to be attributed to the great influx of real or nominal wealth of late years; to the consequent and natural luxury of the times; to the increased employment this furnished to the lower orders of the people; to the very flourishing state of our manufactures and commerce; but, above all, to the true and natural cause — a want of men. This want of men he imputed to the following reason: at the breaking out of the late war our military force everywhere did not exceed (including those in the East-Indies) above forty thousand men; whereas our last peace establishment consisted of thirty-one thousand paid by Great Britain, fifteen thousand by Ireland, ten thousand in the East-Indies, four thousand marines, (which in former times were never a permanent corps,) and twenty-seven thousand militia, which last description of men were as much cut off from the recruiting service as if they had been actually inlisted: summing up, then, those respective numbers, they formed the monstrous amount of eighty-nine thousand, or about an increase of forty-nine thousand, most of whom, on an emergency like the present, could have been called into actual service. He said, he understood that the idea of taxing America was entirely given up. That being the case, the next consideration, nay, indeed the only one, was how to secure the constitutional dependency of that country. This, in his opinion, was not to be effected without Great Britain declaring a resolution to maintain her constitutional rights, and putting herself in a situation to enforce them, should America continue to resist, or refuse obedience to her just rights. This, though he did not pretend to speak from authority, was the general plan adopted by Administration: first to arm, and then send out Commissioners; and he said that he had heard that a very great military officer, high in the esteem of his Sovereign and the nation, and who was perfectly well acquainted with America, was the person intended to be sent out as first Commissioner. In the course of the detail, his Lordship observed, that of the last five regiments which left Ireland, two of them had been driven by stress of weather into Milford-Haven; but as soon as the transports were refitted, they would proceed with those troops to the place of their destination. The noble Lord concluded by moving his Resolutions:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a number of Land Forces, including three thousand two hundred and thirteen invalids, amounting to twenty thousand seven hundred and fifty-two effective Men, Commission and Non-Commission Officers included, be employed for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum not exceeding six hundred and fifty-nine thousand two hundred Pounds two Shillings and ten Pence and seven-eighth, parts of a Penny, be granted to his Majesty for defraying the charge of twenty thousand seven hundred and fifty-two effective Men, for Guards, Garrisons, and other his Majesty' s Land Forces in Great Britain, Jersey, and Guernsey, for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum not exceeding seven hundred and twenty-three thousand four hundred and thirty-two Pounds eleven Shillings and seven Pence three Farthings, be granted to his Majesty for maintaining his Majesty' s Forces and Garrisons in the Plantations in Africa, including those in Garrison at Minorca and Gibraltar, and for Provisions for the Forces in North-America, Nova-Scotia, Newfoundland, Gibraltar, and the ceded Islands in Africa, for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum not exceeding forty-two thousand five hundred and thirty Pounds nineteen Shillings and four Pence, be granted to his Majesty for defraying the charge of the difference of pay between the British and Irish Establishment of one Regiment of Light Dragoons, and six Regiments of Foot, serving in North-America, for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum not exceeding eleven thousand five hundred and five Pounds seven Shillings and three Pence, be granted to his Majesty for the pay of the General and General Staff Officers in Great Britain, for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

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Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum not exceeding one hundred and four thousand one hundred and thirty-six Pounds and six Shillings, be granted to his Majesty for defraying the charge of Levy Money, for the augmentation to his Majesty' s British and Irish Forces, for the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.

Colonel Barré made some remarks on the noble Lord' s estimate, and particularly on some of his reasonings and deductions. He observed that his Lordship stated the establishment of the English battalions at Gibraltar, at four hundred and seventy-seven men; those at Minorca, at six hundred and seventy-seven men; the Hanoverians serving at both places, at four hundred and seventy-five men each; and those in America at eight hundred and eleven men. Why not at six hundred and seventy-seven at Gibraltar and Minorca both? Why not the Hanoverians at the same number? And why not those in America at eight hundred and fifty men, which was the usual number during the late war, with the same number of officers? He objected against the additional companies proposed by the noble Lord, and insisted, in the present state of the army, they were so much additional expense, without the least use. He said he should not range the wide field the noble Lord had travelled over; but to whatever motives he attributed the present disturbances in America, he was satisfied the great source was the ruinous consequences of patronage. Several great interests and connections were to be gratified, and a heavy peace establishment was formed to get rid of the army at home; it was sent to America, where it was not wanted; the weight of maintaining it was soon felt, and that shortly gave birth to the absurd idea of making America pay for it. This, he insisted, was the genuine fountain from which the disputes originally flowed, and would ever continue to flow, till the cause was removed. He observed that the account was fallacious, as the estimate now on the table would amount to full two millions; one-third of which, he ventured to contend, might be saved, if the battalions were made complete; that is, if, in proportion, there were a fewer number of officers, and more men.

He next turned to the ordnance and levy money; the former of which, he said, exceeded some of the years of the late war, in which our arms were triumphant in every quarter of the globe. He lamented the little information to be obtained from that Board; for several of the greatest Ministers and ablest men in this country, to his knowledge, had made the attempt, but in vain; everything in that department being in darkness and obscurity. The expense of the Ordnance service for this year was above four hundred and seventy thousand pounds; and no man could tell to what the account might be swelled. On the whole, he contended that the estimates were much short of the real expense, and insisted that nothing but the most urgent necessity, and the fullest information to justify that necessity, could warrant the representatives of the people to load themselves and their constituents with such heavy burdens. It had been all imposition from beginning to end, or some persons imagined they had an interest in pretending to be deceived. He quoted one instance, out of a hundred in his memory — the rank ignorance of sending troops to Canada in the month of October. [Here he was proceeding to relate some matter, when the gentlemen on the Treasury Bench began to smile.] He said he despised the spleen which created the silly observations on his story telling; it was beneath his contempt almost to take notice of them. However, he was astonished that Administration could fall into so gross an error; for, though the pride of the Navy was on this side the House, they had one officer [Palliser] to direct them, if they had thought proper to consult him; but to rectify this error, the noble Lord says that they are to pursue their voyage as soon as the transports are ready to proceed to sea.

Mr˙ Powys said he had hitherto voted with the Minister on American affairs in general, particularly for the Militia and augmentation of the Navy; but that when he did so he understood, and several other gentlemen understood the same, that before all the supplies were voted, the Minister would lay before the House his plan. From the beginning, he said, he understood the Minister so intended. If he had not thought so he would not have given his support to measures of which he was not to be acquainted. But now, not seeing in the noble Lord any disposition to give the information and

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satisfaction he desired, and had promised himself he was to receive, he supposed it was meant to vote the estimates first and hear the reasons afterwards; that is, that the House should begin with a division and end with a debate. He therefore moved that the Chairman do now leave the chair. This motion was seconded by

Sir Robert Smyth, who, not considering it as a motion hostile to Administration, with whom he had uniformly acted in this business, nor in any ways tending to retard those military preparations which he deemed so necessary to be made at, this crisis; not wishing to relax the nerves of Government, when, in his opinion, they ought to be stretched to their utmost tone; but considering it as a motion proper to produce that pause to our proceedings until due information shall be brought before us. When he mentions information, he did not mean a few scraps of garbled and mutilated papers, but that verbal official information which he thought it the Minister' s duty to impart to Parliament. Perhaps the noble Lord would say that this was one of those arcana of State which properly belonged to the Cabinet, and which it would be imprudent to impart to a numerous popular assembly. He allowed the objection to have some weight if the dispute lay between sovereign Powers of equal authority, where the complicated interests of other States might be, in some measure, involved; but where the question lay between fellow-subjects equally interested in terminating it, he did not see the necessity of so much mystery and secrecy. It might be highly improper in him to ask, as well as impolitick in them to discover, the detail of their plan; but he only wanted to know whether they had any plan at all. With respect to Commissioners intended to be sent to America, he thought that not only the persons, but the nature and extent of the commission, should be made known, that Parliament might judge whether they were men proper to be intrusted with so important a negotiation, and whether the terms they carried out were consistent with the dignity of Great Britain to offer, and the interests of the Americans to receive. He had heard certain Governours mentioned, but could not help thinking them very improper men. He did not mean to cast any reflections upon a Governour, a very worthy member of this House, who, from his thorough knowledge of American affairs, was very well qualified for such an important trust; but Governours, as such, were obnoxious men to the Americans, he did not mean in an extensive sense, arising from their attachment and partiality to a popular Government; but that, for many years past, there had been continual struggles between the Governours and the Assemblies, which had been hastily called, and as abruptly dissolved; and the people ever considered Governours, from the nature of their appointment, more interested in asserting the prerogatives of the Crown than in maintaining the liberties of the people. Besides, they were fully persuaded that most of their misfortunes have arisen from the misrepresentations of Governours on this side the water. However the noble Lord may affect to treat this proposition of his honourable friend, he only begged leave to observe, that this was not the rash and hasty opinion of an inconsiderate individual, but the deliberate wishes and desires of many gentlemen of a most respectable description within the House, who expect to be called upon in a short time, almost personally, to contribute a large supply towards carrying on these measures.

Lord North did not give a direct answer, though he admitted the propriety of the gentleman' s reasonings who spoke last. He said a Commission would be sent, according to the intimation given at the opening of the session from the Throne; that the gentleman need not be uneasy that any treaty of concession would be agreed to without the approbation of Parliament; but it would be necessary to know upon what grounds the Americans would treat before the powers, sufficient to ratify what the Commissioners might think expedient, were derived from Parliament. When the terms that America was willing to submit to were in a state proper to be laid before the House, that, in his opinion, would be the proper time to take the sense of Parliament on previous communications, and leave it to judge of the alternative, whether the offers of America could be accepted with honour, or whether Britain ought to reduce them to a state of obedience, however hazardous the undertaking.

Mr˙ T˙ Townshend said, the noble mover had given him a strong lesson against great establishments, when his Lordship

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said, that the keeping up eighty-nine thousand men in peace had crippled us. But there was a great difference between the present division of the empire and a war with its natural enemies; those enemies are quiet, but ready to attack us on a sudden whenever they see an opportunity.

Mr˙ William Innes. Sir, the present state of our American affairs flows from natural causes. The prosperity of a people depends on a form of Government suited to their situations and circumstances. That which was calculated for the infant state of our Colonies, is evidently defective now that they are grown great and populous. In every civilized nation in the known world, at this period of time, whether monarchy or republick, you will not find the subjects governed merely by the love and affection which they bare to their rulers. A well regulated Government maintains its authority by a proper force, to restrain and correct the bad humours of discontented individuals. Is it possible in the nature of things that amongst a numerous race of people, all of them can be sober and sensible? In every large society, there is a restless and turbulent set of men, fond of power, and envious of those in rank and station above them. Have you hitherto kept a force sufficient to maintain the authority of this country, over even a few individuals in North-America? No, sir, you have not. You laid on the Stamp Act, without power to enforce it; you were so weak as to repeal it, without giving time to try what effect it might have in the ordinary course of things, owing to your own unsteady and factious pursuits at home.

What has been the real cause of discontent in America?

It has arisen chiefly from a thirst after independency, and from the great encouragement which the Colonists found on this side the water. A seditious spirit soon spreads its contagion; and, in the present case, it has grown to an enormous height. Is this to be wondered at, when you consider that both here and in America, there are to be found men of abandoned principles, ready to engage in any outrage? The more sensible, who are disposed to peace, will not interfere in proper time, thinking it the business of Government, under whose protection they live, to defend them from insult. You are told, with confidence, that the North-Americans are all of them united. It is not true. I have letters, on the veracity of which I can depend, informing me of the contrary. Ask the genttemen lately come from North-America: they will tell you they have been forced away, because they would not join in the general riot and disturbance.

On the great question of the natural rights of mankind, and the right of taxation, I beg leave to make a few observations. When the first settlers went out, they were content to go under certain restrictions and regulations. What were those regulations? Were not the Colonists confined within certain bounds, and subjected to certain terms by charter grants? Were they not then satisfied and happy to accept the terms granted them, and to be under the protection of the mother country? Did the first settlers in the Colonies, to whom the charters were granted, presume to say to the mother county, we will abide by your laws and regulations so long as we shall think fit, but no longer? Have not the Colonists all along enjoyed every encouragement and support which the first settlers could possibly have expected? Was it not then understood that they were to be subject to the laws of this country? Will any man say that either the original or any of the late emigrants ever went out with any other views than those of interest? Did the original settlers presume to talk about representatives in Parliament, and of a refusal to be taxed without their own consent? Has a man, whom I have indulged to possess a share of my house at an easy rate, but subject to my rules, a right, when I am grown old, thinking he is stronger than me, to say, I will submit to your rules no longer; the house is mine, and I will turn you out? Is it because the Colonies have arrived to a flourishing condition, under the wing of the parent State, that they have a right to rebel? It has been asserted that the Colonists are the offspring of Englishmen, and, as such, entitled to the privileges of Britons. Sir, I am bold to deny it; for it is well known that they not only consist of English, Scots, and Irish, but also of French, Dutch, Germans, innumerable Indians, Africans, and a multitude of felons from this country. Is it possible to tell which are the most turbulent amongst such a mixture of people? To which of them is England to give up her original right

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over an estate belonging to herself? I leave it to the learned and ingenious honourable gentlemen to define the true sense and meaning of the different charters granted to the Colonies; but I am afraid their nice distinctions and definitions will throw little light upon the subject, and serve only to perplex and confound men of ordinary understanding.

The grand claim of the Americans is liberty; but it appears to me absurd to say that a people who import slaves, and are despotick over them — nay, many of whom draw their sustenance from the very bosom of slavery — have a right to the freedom which the inhabitants of this country enjoy. The North-American spirit and practice, in this respect, have surely nothing in them similar to what prevails in Great Britain. Would it not, then, be a strange piece of policy, if not a subversion of all order in the mother country, to countenance this dangerous spirit, which evidently aims at independency, and might speedily degenerate into tyranny, over their present constitutional superiors? What claim can those persons have to an increase of liberty, who do not grant the smallest exercise of it to their neighbours? Or if their claim were to be admitted, in what manner is such liberty to be dispensed — partially or impartially? Is the grandchild to be free, and the grandfather to remain a slave? Is the brother to enjoy liberty, and the sister to be excluded from it? The question concerning the natural rights of mankind cannot, with propriety, come under consideration in the present dispute between us and our Colonies. Liberty, genuine liberty, if it exist at all, is confined to this and our sister kingdom. If our forefathers have been so negligent as not to give stability to the authority of this country over her Colonies, it is high time that we should do it.

I cannot reconcile it to the duty I owe to my country in general, and to my constituents in particular, to be silent on this great occasion. Things are got to such a height that it behoves every man to give all the assistance in his power. Sir, the method hitherto pursued, to quell the rebellion in North-America, has proved ineffectual, because it was mild and gentle. We are not, however, to despair. More vigorous and better planned measures will have a different effect. Your troops received a severe check on the 19th of April. What else could be expected? The Provincials were provoked at being represented as cowards. They were determined to convince you of the contrary? They fought, indeed; but how did they fight? They attacked your troops from windows of houses and from behind walls, at a time the soldiers were fatigued with a long march. Neither has the lamentable affair at Bunker' s Hill, on the 17th of June, anything surprising in it. The Provincials were strongly intrenched on an eminence — a situation which inspired courage, in confidence of safety; yet our troops fought and conquered under the greatest disadvantages. Boston is a place badly situated for defence, surrounded by hills, and liable to be attacked in various ways; it is, therefore, entirely improper to keep an army at a place so circumstanced, and for this reason your troops ought to be removed from thence.

There has not, as yet, been any regular engagement, nor a fair trial of military skill and courage, between his Majesty' s forces and the Rebels. The numbers of the latter are undoubtedly great, and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to conquer them, if attacked when so securely intrenched. The people of Massachusetts-Bay appear to be obstinate and enthusiastick to the last degree; they ought, therefore, to be treated like madmen, whom it were folly to contend with. I would, on this consideration, advise to shut thorn up with frigates and sloops-of-war, and leave them.

A noble Lord may remember I took the liberty to propose this measure to him in the month of February last, before the reinforcement went out; and, from a full persuasion of the propriety of it, recommended to his Lordship to send all the army to New-York and Philadelphia. I wish that plan had been adopted; it would have prevented much bloodshed and other ill consequences. But it must be admitted that no human foresight can determine in what manner the best concerted plans will operate.

You are losing, to all appearance, a complete year, by your army being kept at Boston. The enemies of Administration exult and reproach you with the ignominious situation of British soldiers, cooped up in a state of inaction. But let not this discourage us. If it were not for the

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real loss of so many brave men who have unhappily fallen, every other consideration is immaterial. You are not, however, without some advantage; time, which brings all things to an issue, seems to be working favourably for you.

I presume, with all deference, still to offer my poor opinion; it is, that the army should be sent to one of the Southern Colonies, to make one strong post. If there is to be more fighting, let the Provincials make the attack, if they please. I take it for granted that you are to have an army of twenty or twenty-five thousand men in North-America next spring; although I mean they should be intrenched and act on the defensive, yet they may act offensively as opportunity offers. Your army, posted in a secure situation, will give loyal subjects encouragement to declare themselves; they only want protection. I think there can be little doubt that the force intended is sufficient to subdue the Colonies to the southward of Delaware river, and that sloops-of-war may easily obstruct the passage of an army from the Northern Provinces, should an attempt be made to cross that extensive river to join the Insurgents on the other side.

Your success against one-half of North-America will pave the way to the conquest of the whole, and it is more than probable you may find men to recruit your army in America; money will engage them to inlist. Such of those deluded people as are determined to continue in rebellion, may be allowed to carry on their military designs and operations in the interior parts of the country as long as they can keep together; they ought not to be followed; let your army still maintain one firm post. In time, the Rebels will be tired out; they will be perplexed if you do not follow them; their guilt, folly, and expense, must breed intestine dissensions; the common men must soon be convinced of the fraud of being paid in paper currency; the foolish and wicked resolves of the Congress with regard to non-importation and non-exportation will soon recoil on themselves and prove their destruction. The Congress, by their ridiculous and presumptuous scheme of a bar to all trade with Britain and her Islands, have exposed themselves to contempt, and, by this time, must be feeling the ruinous effects of it. They vainly imagined that all the merchants and manufacturers of Britain would have taken the alarm, and, through fear of the loss of trade, have yielded to their views; but the good sense of the people of this country has shown them and the world that they are not to be deceived by such artifice. Another of the ingenious devices of the North-Americanswas, to lay in a stock of goods, which they thought sufficient to clothe them for an extraordinary time; but, by authentick advices, they are already in great want of all sorts of necessaries. As one instance within my own knowledge, a letter I have received, within these few days, from a correspondent in North-America, enclosing an order for goods to be sent next spring, if possible, contains this paragraph: "My negroes will suffer much next year, if matters are not speedily accommodated. What the poorer sort of planters will do, I know not; for there is not a piece of linen of any sort to be got in any of the stores." I hope the friends of the Colonies will not be so bold as to assert that they are such a supernatural race as to live without clothes any more than they can exist without meat, drink, and sleep.

After your army has fortified one strong place, detachments may be sent to other seaport towns to erect forts under cover of ships-of-war; it will soon appear how far settlements may be extended in the Southern Provinces. If your sloops are vigilant, (which, doubtless, they will be,) it is next to an impossibility that cargoes of goods can be smuggled into North-America to any extent, even in the three winter months, which are only severe to the northward; trading vessels can scarcely escape sloops-of-war properly stationed on the coast and within the great rivers. In this situation, the Colonists will be driven to the last extremity for want of clothes and other necessary articles, particularly those of the woollen kind. It is scarce possible they can subsist, with any degree of comfort, without British and Irish goods; if they are supplied with the manufactures of this country by any indirect means, yet the pretext of the decline of trade may be kept up by designing men, although in fact it be flourishing.

I have read the petitions and addresses from some of the manufacturing towns, giving a dreadful representation of their fears and apprehensions of a total decay of trade,

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"should that be interrupted which we derive from a friendly intercourse with North-America, and by which alone our rank in Europe can be supported." In these petitions they artfully insinuate, that the present flourishing state of commerce throughout the kingdom, is owing to accidental and temporary causes, such as "the peace of Poland, the Spanish flota," &c. Sir, these petitions are calculated merely for the purpose of imposing on weak minds; this country furnishes many articles of commerce, from natural growth, and by the dexterity of our artists, which no other part of the globe can produce; it is impossible, therefore, that we can be deprived of our usual share of trade with every part of the world; North-America, in particular, cannot be supplied with several of her commodities, except from Great Britain. If a survey were taken of the state of the manufactures over all Europe, it will not be found that one nation with another possesses above one year' s superfluous stock of goods, any more than an extraordinary quantity of provisions; on the supposition, therefore, that the American trade should be diverted into a foreign channel, the nation which supplies them must, of course, be itself speedily exhausted, and forced to apply to Britain for a recruit. Sir, I declare myself averse to any further concession towards the Colonies, than what was offered by the conciliatory plan, namely, "that the Colonies should furnish an adequate sum, to be raised amongst themselves towards the general expense." The defence of North-America has cost this nation many millions; and it is but equitable now that the Colonists should contribute to an alleviation of that burden. Administration, in my opinion, betrayed the dignity of this country in making even that proposition, and, after what has since happened, the Rebels are unworthy of such mild treatment. From whom ought proposals of accommodation to come? Have they not been the aggressors? Have they not grossly insulted the constitutional authority of this empire? The North-Americans in general, indeed, are objects of compassion, rather than of resentment; they have been led on, and insensibly made the tools of factious and discontented men in this and their own country. It is more than probable the Stamp Act would have been submitted to, had not the opposition to it been countenanced here.

As affairs are now situated, some new and uncommon expedients ought to be devised, to rectify them. One of our great objects at present should be to succour our innocent and peaceable subjects, in this their time of distress. For this reason, I cannot altogether approve of all the acts passed for the punishment of the delinquents, because they involve the innocent with the guilty. The former, as well as the latter, are in great want of all sorts of clothes. It being unsafe for merchants to send out goods, it is submitted, whether it would not be good policy in Government to give orders for, and export, a quantity of such commodities as our loyal American subjects are known to want most, and particularly clothing for women and children. This would be an act of great benevolence, as well as sound policy. Such goods might be under the care of supercargoes, protected by the army; they would be ready to supply our friends, and also such of the disaffected as might be disposed to submit; this, under good management, would prove beneficial, not detrimental, to the publick: nor would it require a very large sum for this purpose; the goods might be bartered for flour, and other provisions for the army. Merchants would, after some time, be induced to send cargoes to the places where the army was securely posted, which would relieve Government of that trouble. Sugars, rum, molasses, and even tea — articles all of them much wanted — would find purchasers, and be very acceptable; they would be the means of procuring bread, flour, Indian corn, staves, shingles, &c˙, for the West-India Islands; the sloops-of-war would protect trading vessels to different towns and creeks on the rivers; detachments of soldiers might be sent to assist the landing of goods. Trade would thus be at least in the choice of foes as well as friends, and their necessitous situation would constrain them cheerfully to embrace it; for who can suppose that the naked would refuse to be clothed, or the miserable to be relieved? And thus the olive-branch would be held out to them in one hand, while the sword is kept in the other: let them make their option. If they are determined to remain obstinate, we have only to continue firm; and I trust the contest will be decided without

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out much further bloodshed. It cannot be doubted that those who are loyally disposed, of whom there are many, want but a pretext to shake off their obedience to the resolutions of the Congress, to which they now submit through compulsion.

As to the West-India Islands, your effecting the conquest of even only two or three of the principal towns on the Continent would, in a great measure, furnish them with necessaries; this should be done with all the despatch possible. With regard to our manufactures at home, (a no less important object,) if the proposed exportation should take place, they would be kept in employment, and thereby much uneasiness prevented. It is surely of the last consequence that the distresses of the industrious part of the nation should be alleviated to the utmost, and their affections to Government preserved. How is this to be effected, if no goods are to be sent to America? The manufactures ought, nevertheless, to be purchased at the risk of the publick, and the goods laid up in store till a demand for them should offer. This is a common cause, and should be supported at the general expense, if any should be incurred.

Sir, I must beg leave also to mention the situation of another class of men suffering great hardship — I mean the merchants and traders to North-American, whose fortunes are locked up whilst the present disputes subsist; not owing to the want of inclination in their principal correspondents abroad to remit, for there are men of as great honour in North-American as anywhere, and who have sent all the payments they could; but in the present general confusion, which obstructs the administration of justice, a stagnation of payments follows of course. It is impossible for the merchant, under these circumstances, to discharge his debts to the shopkeeper and mechanick, and this brings on a general distress. To remedy this evil, a committee of merchants, not in the American trade, might be appointed to examine into the difficulties which the North-American merchants labour under. What they want is money, or a credit for it, to answer their present exigencies; and, I presume, they would be well satisfied with a sum equivalent to one-half of what they are disappointed in. To effect this valuable purpose, I am persuaded a less sum than one million would be sufficient. Government, for this end, might issue bills under the sanction of Parliament,bearing four per cent, interest, to be lent to such merchants as may be found entitled to this aid, under the stipulation of their paying the interest on the bills so lent, half-yearly, to the possessor of them; it being further understood, that the borrower shall, besides his own security, find two sufficient bondsmen to be answerable, by endorsing the bills, for the repayment of the loan at the end of two years after peace is re-established with America, or with the particular Colony where any individual' s effects may be detained. Still further, in order to give full satisfaction, both to the holders of said bills and to the publick, they must be so qualified as to return on the merchant and his two securities, and be no longer passable after the two years are elapsed, from the time publick notice has been given that peace is restored, and courts of law open for the recovery of debts. In this, or some such mode, a very necessary piece of business might be transacted, without much, if any, loss to the publick; and, indeed, no loss can happen, unless not only the merchant, but likewise both his bondsmen, should become insolvent. My own concerns in North-America are too small to induce me to propose this plan from selfish motives; I hope, therefore, this House will do me the justice to believe I am only pleading a general cause, from the satisfaction it would give me to be in the smallest degree instrumental towards promoting the happiness of the British merchants. This is no new thing in the commercial world, for within these few years the Empress of Russia, at a time of general distress, ordered a considerable sum of money to be lent to the merchants in her dominions, which prevented the ruin of several of them.

The manufacturers and traders, who are afraid of the loss of their business, are much mistaken if they think it is to be preserved by a repeal of the acts complained of, or by a submission to the Americans. To rely on their affection to this country would indeed be to build on a sandy foundation. It is notorious to every merchant in the American trade, that the most northern of the Colonies have long been in the practice of smuggling every article of goods

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they could from Holland and Germany; and all the Colonies, without exception, have discovered great partiality to the French Islands, in preference to the British. If you give up your authority over the Colonies, it is losing the substance for the sake of the shadow; it is sacrificing a lasting trade for a momentary, ill-judged tranquillity.

You have been told, with apparent gravity, that "peace is in your power; that you have only to embrace her to possess her." But consider what kind of peace is meant, and from whose mouths the voice of peace proceeds. Does it come from the lips of bosom friends? Does it flow from those you have reason to believe sincere? Is it not rather the language of mockers, revilers, and deceivers, of men who wish your destruction? Peace is recommended by some right honourable gentlemen who tell you the Declaratory Act (an act passed while, they themselves were in office) means nothing. That act certainly meant something at the time it was made: the intention of it must at least have been a deception on this country, to palliate the disgrace of repealing the Stamp Act. Those advocates for a paltry and inglorious peace, seem to depend too much on their rhetorical abilities; they wantonly sport with the Constitution of this great nation, merely with the view to overturn the present Ministry, under the pretence of rescuing their country from imminent danger. Supposing those mighty patriots were to prevail in the present struggle for power, and to have settled with the Americans upon their own terms, these honourable gentlemen, when in office, may again change their language, and tell the Provincials, as they have told you, that they meant nothing. Let the Americans trust them, if they will; but as you have been already deceived by their dissimulation, it would be the height of folly in this country to put confidence in such men a second time.

You are upbraided with insolence, cruelty, and bloodshed. Ridiculous, false, unjust! Did not the Rebels first begin the attack on the King' s troops in both the engagements? Admitting the Tea Act was wrong, does that justify the audacious steps their lawless mobs look to show their resentment against it? Can any act of Government, even a mistaken zeal for the authority of this country over her Colonists, justify the raising of armies, the concerting and conducting every other device of war, to resist the Legislature of this country? Have they not exercised such cruelties over our loyal subjects as our most inveterate enemies would shudder at? Will you not resent such inhuman acts, committed on your defenceless friends and subjects, who have been (men, women, and children) driven from their peaceful habitations? Did not the Congress first, by their resolves, endeavour to starve your West-India Islands, and also to deprive your industrious manufacturers of employment? Have they not, by every art, endeavoured to throw this kingdom into the utmost consternation and confusion? Can you bear such repeated insults? Can you, after so many and deliberate indignities offered you, treat with them but as with revolted, rebellious subjects, who ought thankfully to submit to such conditions as you may think proper to give them? I hope and trust the Ministry will continue firm, and that after ages shall not be able to say, that in the days of George III America was lost to England. Let us be steady in pursuing the interests of this country, but at the same time merciful and forgiving. It is more than probable that the ringleaders in this mischief are but few in number; if they can be laid hold of they deserve no mercy; convince the lower class of those infatuated people that the imaginary liberty they are so eagerly pursuing is not by any means to be compared to that which the Constitution of this happy country already permits them to enjoy. Patience and perseverance in this great work are absolutely necessary. The time does not yet seem to have arrived for the Americans to acknowledge their error. The natural course of things will do more for you than great armies. Where is the necessity of haste? It is even better to risk a war also with your real enemies, than to end the present contest in a dishonourable, pitiful, and disgraceful way. Some things require great despatch; others, mature deliberation. The more time you take to settle these controversies, you will obtain the better terms. Negotiations for peace resemble transactions in trade — he who is most eager to buy or sell usually makes the worst bargain.

This country, when united, which it certainly must be in

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cases of necessity, where the well-being of the nation is at stake, is always able to defend herself against the whole world; consequently powerful enough to reduce her revolted Colonies to obedience. Let the Colonists know, that the longer they resist, the heavier burden they will incur, as in justice they must be made to defray the expenses of subduing the present Rebellion. They have given you the opportunity, and now is the time to insist on terms safe and honourable for this country. Inform them in plain language that you are determined to erect forts, and in future to keep up a sufficient force amongst them to maintain peace. Your naval power is great; your resources for military men, while you have riches, are immense; but, above all, your cause is just; be not afraid, Heaven will support you.

General Conway said that if Administration meant any thing, they should have prosecuted the operations by sea. He condemned the whole of the arrangements now proposed. He was certain the force now going to be voted was not sufficient. He was certain that no force they could, with their utmost exertions, raise or maintain, would be adequate to the task; it was not only his own opinion, but that of several General officers, men of rank and eminence in their profession; nay, it was the opinion of one of the first General officers in Europe, whose name, if insisted on, he was ready to mention. But supposing the force to be adequate; suppose you could carry everything according to your own expectations, what would it amount to? Do you think the other Powers of Europe will sit silent and inactive at such a season? Do you think, though they should not take an open part, they will not encourage and spirit up these people? that they will not give that kind of assistance which America wants, and they can best spare? It is true, Holland has prohibited any communication with the British Colonies. Has France or Spain issued any such publick order? Or if they did, ought it to be depended on? I am sure it ought not. I have the strongest reason to believe, by information from persons well acquainted with the matter, that none of them are to be relied on; and I have heard, from no mean authority, that at least one of the former Powers has given, and will continue to give them every secret aid, till they shall no longer have an interest in concealing their real sentiments. For my part, I disapprove of the whole proceedings, from the beginning to the end; the principles, the measures, the system, all claim my strongest disapprobation. I am, therefore, determined to set my face openly against them. The noble Lord [North] who has the direction of the affairs of this country, tells you that the Americans aim at independence. I defy the noble Lord, or any other member of this House, to adduce one solid proof of this charge. He says the era of 1763 is the time they wish to recur to, because such a concession on our part would be, in effect, giving up their dependance on this country. I deny the conclusion, too. I would ask the noble Lord, did the people of America set up this claim of independence previous to the year 1763? No, they were then peaceable and dutiful subjects. They are still dutiful and obedient. [Here a murmur of disapprobation.] I repeat my words, I think them so inclined; I am certain they would be so, if they were permitted. The acts they have committed arise from no want of either; they have been forced into them. Taxes have been attempted to be levied on them; their charters have been violated, nay, taken away. Administration have attempted to coerce them by the most cruel and oppressive laws. What will not men attempt in such a situation? What will not freemen feel under such a complication of misery and distress? How does any man in this House think men should act, when overwhelmed with a train of calamities? How ought freemen and Englishmen to act under such circumstances? I will not say that the assertion may be strictly legal, but I am sure it is founded in the fundamental principles of this Constitution and the natural rights of mankind, to affirm they are fully justified in their resistance; and I hope that that principle is deeply engraven in the heart of every Englishman. I would ask, is there one of you that would tamely or basely submit to such a manifest injustice? I say it is injustice in the most aggravated sense, to take money from people against their consent, nay, their express disapprobation, without a single information relative to their abilities or means of payment. The noble Lord says the contest is not now about taxation, but whether the people of America are to form a dependant

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part of this empire or not. But I beg leave to say, that the dispute this moment existing is about taxation; for but once give up the claim, and every single step you have taken throughout this business has been no less mad and ridiculous than violent and unjust. You sought a revenue, to which you had not a single fair pretension, because they fully contributed to the proportion of the publick burdens, by acquiescing in the monopoly of their trade. In fine, though measures of coercion were constitutional, were equitable, I am perfectly satisfied they are totally impracticable. I am sure there is not a gentleman of the profession, however sanguine, will rise and tell the House, that he believes the force to be voted this day is by any means proportioned to the extent of the necessary operation, though the regiments were effective and every way complete. If this be, then, the case, it is plain some other plan is in contemplation. Let, then, the noble Lord in the blue ribbon rise and give us some information. I do not desire the detail; let us have general outline, to be able to judge of the probability of its success. It is indecent not to lay before the House some plan, or the outlines of a plan. What does the noble Lord mean? How does he intend to act? If his plan is conciliation, let us see it, that we may form some opinion upon it; if it be hostility and coercion, I do repeat, that we have no cause for a minute' s consideration; for I can with confidence pronounce, that the present military armament will never succeed.

Mr˙ Jenkinson contended, that several of the acts desired by the Americans to be repealed did not directly relate to the present contest. He said, he was afraid that all attempts to conciliate would be fruitless. A noble Lord [Lord Chatham] in the other House had formed a plan of conciliation; another originated in that House; but what was the reception they met with? They were both treated with every possible mark of disrespect and contempt; nay, so determined were the Continental Congress to reject any pacifick overture, that they refused so much as to receive the latter as a basis for treaty or negotiation. He said, if there was the least prospect of success, it would be the accompanying our terms of conciliation with a considerable force. There were several terms to be made before conciliation could be obtained. He could mention many, but at present would only mention one: that security should be given to all those who had adhered to the Government of this country over America, and had, in consequence, been driven from America. Terms of force were the measures chalked out by his Majesty, in his speech from the throne; a formidable armament, conditions of conciliation, and gracious offers of forgiveness and protection. On this foundation the present vote was proposed; if, therefore, premature explanations were desired; if the gentlemen who pledged themselves to support those measures had altered their minds in one event, or had withdrawn their confidence from the King' s servants, he saw no possible way to remedy matters but by a change of Administration; observing, that at this very time, after going such lengths, how cowardly it would be to decline the contest almost at the very outset.

Lord John Cavendish said this was treating Parliament with every possible degree of disrespect. Measures are concerted in the Cabinet; the King is made by his Ministers to express his general intentions; the House of Commons is desired to support those measures by voting an enormous war establishment; and when questions are asked and explanations desired, even by the very friends of Administration, the gentlemen who call for a plan are very laconically referred to the King' s speech. The speech holds out generals, and refers you to particulars; when these particulars are called for, the speech is quoted, as the true standard of information. He trusted that Englishmen would never submit to slavery, much less to the tyranny of their own countrymen; and it was the peculiar business of all those in this country who valued their own liberties, to defend those of their brethren in America; for they might depend, that the same system of Government that was attempted there, would at length make its way hither, and the liberties of America and Great Britain be buried in one grave. His Lordship observed, that we armed at the time of the affair of Falkland' s Island, and put the nation to an enormous expense to no purpose, a peace having been secretly concluded.

Lord Frederick Campbell said, peace was not concluded;

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but that vigorous and seasonable armaments produced peace, as he hoped that we were proceeding to vote, would do on the present occasion.

Lord John Cavendish insisted he was right, though the fact might have been seemingly as the noble Lord stated it; for the point in issue was, the disavowal of the Court of Spain, which preceded the increased naval and military estimates; and the only matter which remained to be adjusted at the time the House voted the money, was barely the punctilio, who should disarm first. The House was, therefore, deceived. He remembered a prodigious naval establishment was voted in the year alluded to; we suddenly disarmed, and yet the demands on Parliament the succeeding session, and ever since, were as high as if no such armament, accompanied by the circumstances now mentioned, had been ever voted.

Mr˙ Dempster complimented General Convay, both in his civil and military capacity. He replied to an observation of Mr˙ Jenkinson relative to the General' s contending that the Americans were justifiable in resisting the execution of an act he had himself, in his Ministerial character, brought into that House, the Declaratory Act. He contended there was no manner of inconsistency in the right honourable gentleman' s conduct; for when the bill asserted that Great Britain was sovereign, and had a right to make laws for the Colonies in all cases whatsoever, the true construction of that law, the intention of those who framed and supported it was, that the Parliament of Great Britain had a right to bind the Colonies constitutionally, not arbitrarily; they had a right to secure their dependancy on the mother country, not to tax them unrepresented, nor condemn them unheard; they had a right to rule them like Englishmen, not to oppress them like slaves.

Governour Johnstone was not surprised Administration were unwilling to give information; for he believed they had none. A remarkable proof of it, he said, was, that Mr˙ Penn had not, since his arrival from the very city where the Congress had twice assembled and deliberated, been asked a single question; hot even when he presented the Petition from the American Congress to the noble Lord who is Secretary of State for that Department.

Governour Pownall (who had been up several times before, but the Chairman pointed to others) began with observing that still persevering, he arose to speak under every disadvantage and ill impression that a man could offer himself. He appeared, he said, like one determined to force his impertinences on the House, and to obtrude opinions which the committee were unwilling to hear, yet that was not his turn of character; he very seldom troubled them, but at present, besides the desire he had to speak his mind, he had particular reasons respecting himself and his conduct in this business, which he wished to give, in explanation of what might be otherwise much misunderstood and much misrepresented. He said, he had been invariably an advocate for peace; was so at this hour, and ever should be; and yet, circumstanced as affaire now were between this country and America, he should give his vote against our laying down our arms, and for the continuance and strengthening of our force. If ever, said he, I had misrepresented the state of facts; if ever I had used the information of which I was possessed either to trumpet up a false alarm, or to give false hopes; if ever I gave or supported an opinion to serve any party whatever; if ever in any instance I treated these matters as party matters, I should be ashamed to rise in this House; I should not dare to open my mouth on the subject now, in this horrid period of events. Now that I am going to speak to facts, and give my opinion on those facts, if there is any person who can fix upon any one article in which I ever misinformed the House, either as to a single fact, or as to the effects of things, I beg he may not only disbelieve me now, but mark the fact. He said, that in the wretched commencement of this sad business, in the year 1769, he had given his opinion against measures of force, and by stating the evil and destructive consequences of such measures, had endeavoured to turn the mind of our leaders from measures of force to modes of policy; he had never varied from that line either in his conduct or opinion. Was it now in the power of the House to have a choice, and was it now the question whether we should pursue this civil quarrel under modes of policy or by measures of force, he should now, as he did in 1769, give his opinion and his

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vote against force. But that was not the ground on which we stood; our debates were not whether or no we should go to war; we were at war. The Americans (by a miserable fatality become our enemies) "had closed with us in an appeal from reason to arms," "were determined to use the power which their Beneficent Creator had put into their hands, and to persevere with the utmost energy in the cause in which they were fatally involved. That they had great internal resources, and every reasonable and well-grounded assurance of foreign aid." That while they thought that we expected of them an unconditional submission, their ultimatum held out to us was, the laying down our arms, and a confession and relinquishing of our errors in opinion and conduct. That so going back to 1763, a period in which these errors were realized by practice, they might then treat with us as to what remained. He said the winter of course gave a natural respite to military force. He wished any ground might be found to give an actual suspension of arms; but he could not, as a Britain, and in a British House of Commons, entertain the idea, in the face of the enemy under arms, of our laying down our arms, and surrendering at discretion. He wished for peace; he thought peace might be had; but as the Americans were in all events prepared for war, they set us the example; we should also be prepared, if peace could not be had this winter. The Americans meditated, and were able to establish, and would establish, as an independent state, a Republick; "but necessity," to use their own words, "had not yet driven them to that desperate measure. They still wish to remain united to the nation, subordinate to the mother country, obedient to its sovereignty. They still lamented, as the last and worst of all evils, (slavery only excepted,) the breach with us, and most sincerely and ardently wished a reconciliation." He said, he was of opinion that peace might be had on safe and honourable terms; he ventured very peremptorily to affirm it. He said, You may, if you will, have peace on terms which will save the honour of Government; which will establish the sovereignty of this country, a constitutional sovereignty; and restore the union of the empire in all its commercial felicity; and, those matters settled, you may have a revenue by compact. But this peace is not to be obtained by dishonourable concessions and repeals. Repeals of statutes back to the year 1763 would give them the advantage-ground, while concessions would cut the ground from under your own feet. You would concede, by such preliminaries, data from whence conclusions, which you could not resist, would be drawn, to the giving much more than is now asked. And yet every justice might; be done to the rights and claims of the Americans, and even your own rights and sovereignty confirmed and established without these direct concessions and repeals. By a revision and reforming of your whole system, in the true spirit of the establishment of your Colonies, in the true spirit of your act of navigation and the laws of trade, as first formed in Lord Clarendon' s time, who understood the affairs of the Colonies better than ever they have been understood since. This being his full persuasion, and having assured himself from his Majesty' s speech, that however necessary it had been thought, and really was, to prepare for war at all events; yet his Majesty' s Ministers had engaged themselves to some plan of pacification. This, he said, he thought was a matter so much to be wished, and which was truly so much wished, that, as far as in him lay, he should give his aid and assistance to it. That he wished as anxiously and as ardently as the gentlemen who called upon Ministers to produce their plan, to see it come forward; and did hope they would produce it. He hoped that every line that might lead to peace would be tried before the opening of the next campaign; but yet thought that, by a respectable and even formidable armament, we ought to be prepared for that campaign, if necessity obliged us to open it. But setting his foot firm on this ground of peace, he thought that those whom his Majesty entrusted with his powers of Government could alone make it; that therefore, under the same idea by which he objected to the present motion, he should object to the bringing forward any other propositions, by any person whatsoever, which was meant to anticipate, or to frustrate those measures of peace, which he hoped he should see put by his Majesty into the hands: of his Ministers; that until we saw how far these were practicable and honourable, or otherwise, he should be against any other

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person' s taking the business out of their hands; that as we heard last year the conciliatory proposition explained into an auction, at which the Americans were to bid up for their rights, so now he found we were to have (by a competition of propositions to be brought forward by some gentlemen) a Dutch auction, at which parties were to bid downwards for the good will and favour of the Americans; those to be best entitled to it who could offer the lowest terms. He thought this, he said, so unfitting, that he would put the previous question upon any such propositions, even upon those which an honourable gentleman [Mr˙ Burke] had given notice he would propose and move.

He then went to the explaining some matters of fact which had been asserted. First, in answer to an idea of his being intended to be one of the Commissioners mentioned in the speech: he totally disavowed any communication about it, or the least knowledge of it. He said, if it were offered, he should wish to know, first, whether the powers to be granted were such as could be of any use. These Commissioners could not treat with the present self-created Congress; and, on the other hand, that no Provincial Assembly would treat with them. He said there must be other means found to obtain even preliminaries whereon to treat. In answer to a charge made against Ministry for sending the transports so late to America, and to Quebeck especially, he said, single ships might and did go all the year round to some part or other of America; that they might even get up to Quebeck so late as Christmas; that until the river was shut by being frozen up, the northwesters and monsoons, in the latter season, were not against but for them when once in the river; that though there might be bad weather before, yet winter did not usually set in so as to shut up the river till Christmas, A gentleman had said that the French exclaimed against our conduct at the breaking out of last war, in seizing their ships without a previous declaration of war, as a breach of the law of nations. He explained this, and showed that the French were the aggressors, and that they broke the law of nations, by seizing our Indian traders, carrying them prisoners in irons to Canada, confiscating their goods to a great amount, destroying their habitations and settlements, and taking the King' s forts by force. That he had the accounts of these losses made out in an authentick way, had sent them to the Minister at the time, and had now duplicates of them by him; that he hoped, therefore, we should hear no more of this reproach.

Mr˙ Burke raised the laugh of the House at Mr˙ Pownall' s expense, by ridiculing his declaration of what he could do, and what he knew; and by humorously saying the Governour had tolled the bell, and given notice, that on Friday he would perform the funeral service over his intended, and, as yet, unknown, proposal for a reconciliation. As he was to be killed by a previous question, he begged to tell the House a story. He then related a legend of a Prince whose parents superstitiously imagined he was to lose his life by a lion, and therefore prevented him from going out, for fear of his meeting a lion; but that one day he was in a room where that animal was imitated in the tapestry, which in rage he struck at, and there being a nail in the wall under that part of the tapestry where the lion' s jaw appeared, it tore his hand, and killed him. Now, (said Mr˙ Burke,) I find that I am to be killed by the foot of a more ignoble beast — that universal murderer, a previous question; I fear the liberties of this country will die by a previous question. He observed, that Ministers had already given up the idea of taxation, and seemed rather doubtful of recovering America on any terms; but in such a state of political despair, the honourable gentleman told them, that not only peace and America might be recovered and restored, but that a revenue might be yet obtained. He admitted that the honourable gentleman had knowledge; but now, he said, (looking at Mr˙ Jenkinson,) let me turn from knowledge to authority, which has always more weight in this House. I shall now speak to the real Minister. From his speech it is obvious what is intended. An army is to "do the business;" since that is the case, he should rest satisfied without further inquiry, but just to beg leave to know if there was one gentleman of the military profession in the House (and, blind as he was, he could discern several red coats) who would rise and tell the House, that from his conscience he was satisfied the estimate on the table, and the arrangements in consequence of it, would answer the ends proposed.

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Mr˙ Powys, in reply to Mr˙ Jenkinson, said also, that now he found it was that war was intended.

[An altercation arose, whether the Board of Trade had not neglected to apply to Governour Tryon, when in England, for information on American affairs.]

Sir John Wrottesley mentioned his having been in company with some respectable and sensible American gentlemen, who talked of the present dispute, and informed him that there were three ways of terminating it with honour. The one, by treaty; the second, by repealing all the acts subsequent to 1763; and the third, by conquest. Sir John added, that these Americans had informed him the New-York Petition (which, like most of the others, was unfortunately clogged with a clause denying the legislative authority of Great Britain over her Colonies) was fabricated here and sent to New-York, where, in compliment to the fabricator, it was signed and sent back to be presented. Sir John wished an end to the quarrel, but not at the expense of the honour or the rights of this country.

Mr˙ Burke urged Sir John to have the person to the bar of the House who gave him the information, offering, on his part, to bring three evidences to disprove the fact.

The Committee divided on the first Resolution: Ayes, 227; Noes, 73.

Sir Charles Whitworth reported from the Committee, that they had come to several Resolutions, which they had directed him to report, when the House will please to receive the same.

Ordered, That the Report be received upon Friday morning next.