Bill Read the Third Time, and, After Long Debate, Passed


The order of the day being read, for the third reading of the Bill, intituled, "An Act for the better Regulating the Government of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England," and for the Lords to be summoned,

The said Bill was accordingly read the third time.

Moved, "That the Bill, with the amendments, do Pass?"

Which being objected to;

After long debate,

The question was put, "whether this Bill, with the amendments, shall Pass?"

It was resolved in the Affirmative.



* The Bill passed (the Commons) by a prodigious majority, after a debate which lasted with uncommon spirit for many hours. Equally warm debates attended the Bill in the House of Lords. The objections were nearly the same with those made in the House of Commons, with particular reflections upon the greater rapidity with which it was hurried through the House of Lords; and the peculiar impropriety in a court of justice, of condemning the Colony, and taking away its charter, without any form of process. The Lords in opposition, cried out against a Bill altering the constitution of a Colony without having so much as the charter containing the constitution so altered, laid before them. That the Bill had also altered the courts and the mode of judicial proceedings in the Colony, without an offer of the slightest evidence to prove any one of the inconveniences, which were stated in general terms in the preamble, as arising from the present mode of trial in the Province.

The absolute necessity of a powerful and speedy remedy for the cure of a Government, which was nothing but disorder, was, in substance, the principal reason alleged for the omission of inquiry and evidence, and the superseding the ordinary rules of judicial proceeding. Besides, the Ministerial Lords denied, that the process was of a penal nature; they insisted that it was beneficial and remedial, and a great improvement of their constitution, as it brought it nearer to the English model. This again was denied by the Lords of the minority, who said that the taking away of franchises granted by charters, had ever been considered as penal, and all proceedings for that purpose conducted criminally. Otherwise, it was said, nothing could be safe in any man' s hands, the taking away of which another man might consider as beneficial. That a Council holding their places at the pleasure of the Crown, did not resemble the House of Lords; nor approach in any thing to the perfection of the British constitution.

The debate on the third reading was long, but the division only twenty to ninety-two. — Ann˙ Regis.

This Bill occasioned several long and warm debates. But the Lords still keeping their House shut, and not even admitting the members of the House of Commons, unless to deliver Bills, and then to depart immediately, it is not known that any account of these debates has been preserved any where.

At the beginning of the next Session, (which was the first Session of the fourteenth Parliament,) the Duke of Manchester recommended to the House a relaxation of the standing order, excluding all strangers from admission below the bar of the House; and also recommended the admission of the members of the House of Commons, as formerly. Both recommendations were agreed to; and from that time the debates of the Lords have been preserved. — Parl˙ Deb.