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by parliament. A few particular merchants were then, as now, displeased at restrictions which did not permit them to make the greatest possible advantages of their commerce in their own private and peculiar branches; but, though these few merchants might think themselves losers in articles which they had no right to gain, as being prejudicial to the general and national system, yet I must observe, that the colonies, upon the whole, were benefited by these laws; because these restrictive laws, founded upon principles of the most solid policy, Aung a great weight of naval force into the hands of the mother country, which was to protect its colonies, and without a union with which the colonies must have been entirely weak and de. fenceless, but which became relatively great, subor. dinately, and in proportion as the mother country advanced in superiority over the rest of the maritime powers in Europe, to which both mutually contributed, and of which both have reaped a benefit, equal to the natural and just relation in which they both stand reciprocally, of dependency on one side, and protection on the other.
There can be no doubt, my lords, but that the inhabitants of the colonies are as much represented in parliament as the greatest part of the people of England are represented; among nine millions of whom there are eight which have no votes in electing members of parliament. Every objection, therefore to the dependency of the colonies upon parliament, which arises to it upon the ground of representation, goes to the whole present constitution of Great Britain ; and I suppose
it is not meant to new model that too. Peo. ple may form speculative ideas of perfection, and indulge their own fancies or those of other men. Every man in this country has his particular notion of liberty; but perfection never did, and never can, exist in any human institution. To what purpose then are arguments drawn from a distinction, in which there is no real difference, of a virtual and actual representa. tion? A member of parliament, chosen for any bo- . rough, represents not only the constituents and inhabitants of that particular place, but he represents the inhabitants of every other borough in Great Britain. He represents the city of London, and all other the commons of this land, and the inhabitants of all the colonies and dominions of Great Britain, and is, in duty and conscience, bound to take care of their interests.
I have mentioned the customs and the post tax. This leads me to answer another distinction, as false as the above; the distinction of internal and external taxes. The noble lord, who quoted so much law, and denied upon those grounds the right of the parliament of Great Britain to lay internal taxes upon the colonies, allowed at the same time that restrictions upon trade, and duties upon the ports, were legal. But I cannot see a real difference in this distinction ; for I hold it to be true, that a tax laid in any place is like a pebble falling into, and making a circle in a lake, till one circle produces and gives motion to another, and the whole circumference is agitated from the centre; for, nothing can be more clear than that a tax of ten or twenty per cent. laid upon tobacco, either in the ports of Virginia or London, is a duty laid upon the inland plantations of Virginia, a hundred miles from the sea, wheresoever the tobacco grows.
I do not deny but that a tax may be laid injudiciously and injuriously, and that people in such a case may have a right to complain ; but the nature of the tax is not now the question; whenever it comes to be one, I am for lenity. I would have no blood drawn. There is, I am satisfied, no occasion for any to be drawn. A little time and experience of the inconve. niences and miseries of anarchy may bring people to their senses.
With respect to what has been said or written upon this subject, I differ from the noble lord, who spoke of Mr. Otis and his book with contempt, though he maintained the same doctrine in some points, although in others he carried it further than Otis himself; who allows every where the supremacy of the crown over the colonies. No man on such a subject is con
temptible. Otis is a man of consequence among the people there. They have chosen him for one of their deputies at the congress and general meeting from the respective governments. It was said, the man is mad. What then? One madman often makes many. Massaniello was mad. Nobody doubts it; yet, for all that, he overturned the government of Naples. Madness is catching in all popular assemblies, and upon all popular matters. The book is full of wildness. I never read it till a few days ago, for I seldom look into such things. I never was actually acquainted with the contents of the Stamp Act, till I sent for it on purpose to read it before the debate was expected. With respect to authorities in another house, I know nothing of them. I believe that I have not been in that house more than once since I had the honour to be called up to this; and, if I did know any thing that passed in the other house, I could not and would not mention it as an authority here. I ought not to mention any such authority. I should think it beneath my own and your lordships' dignity to speak of it.
I am far from bearing any ill will to the Ameri. cans; they are a very good people, and I have long known them. I began life with them, and owe much to them, having been much concerned in the plantation causes, before the privy council, and so I became a good deal acquainted with American affairs and peo. ple. I dare say, their heat will soon be over, when they come to feel a little the consequences of their opposition to the legislature. Anarchy always cures itself; but the fermentation will continue so much the longer, while hnt headed men there find that there are persons of weight and character to support and justify them here.
Indeed, if the disturbances should continue for a great length of time, force must be the consequence, an application adequate to the mischief, and arising out of the necessity of the case ; for, force is only the difference between a superiour and subordinate jurisdiction. In the former, the whole force of the legislature resides collectively, and when it ceases to re
side the whole connexion is dissolved. It will, indeed, be to very little purpose that we sit here enacting laws, and making resolutions, if the inferiour will not obey them, or if we neither can nor dare enforce them; for then, and then, I say, of necessity, the matter comes to the sword. If the offspring are grown too big and too resolute to obey the parent, you must try which is the strongest, and exert all the powers of the mother country to decide the contest.
I am satisfied, notwithstanding, that time and a wise and steady conduct may prevent those extremities which would be fatal to both. I remember well when it was the violent humour of the times to decry standing armies and garrisons, as dangerous and incompatible with the liberty of the subject. Nothing would do but a regular militia. The militia are embodied; they march, and, no sooner was the militia law thus put into execution, but it was then said to be an entolerable burthen upon the subject, and that it would fall, sooner or later, into the hands of the crown. That was the language, and many counties petitioned against it. This may be the case with the colonies. In many places they begin already to feel the effects of their resistance to government. Interest very soon divides mercantile people; and, although there may be some mad, enthusiastick, or ill designing people in the colonies, yet I am convinced that the greatest bulk, who have understanding and property, are still well affected to the mother country. You have, my lords, many friends still in the colonies; and take care that you do not, by abdicating your own authority, desert them and yourselves, and lose them for ever,
In all popular tumults the worst men bear the sway at first. Moderate and good men are often silent for fear or modesty; who, in due time, may declare themselves. Those who have any property to lose are sufficiently alarmed already at the progress of these publick violences and violations, to which every man's dwelling, person, and property, are hourly exposed. Numbers of such valuable men and good subjects are
ready and willing to declare themselves for the sup: port of government in due time, if government does not fling away its own authority..
My lords, the parliament of Great Britain has its rights over the colonies; but it may abdicate its rights.
There was a thing which I forgot to mention. I mean, the manuscript quoted by the noble lord. He tells you, that it is there said, that, if the act concerning Ireland had passed, the parliament might have abdicated its rights as to Ireland. In the first
place, I heartily wish, my lords, that Ireland had not been named at a time when that country is of a temper and in a situation so difficult to be governed ; and when we have already here so much weight upon our hands, encumbered with the extensiveness, variety, and importance, of so many objects in a vast and too busy empire; and the national system shattered and exhausted by a long, bloody, and expensive war, but more so by our divisions at home, and a fluctuation of councils. I wish Ireland therefore had never been named.
I pay as much respect as any man to the memory of lord chief justice Hale: but I did not know that he had ever written upon the subject; and I differ very much from thinking with the noble lord, that this manuscript ought to be published. So far am I from it, that I wish the manuscript had never been named ; for, Ireland is too tender a subject to be touched. The case of Ireland is as different as possible from that of our colonies. Ireland was a conquered couritry; it had its pacta conventa, and its regalia. But to what purpose is it to mention the manuscript ? It is but the opinion of one man. When it was written, or for what particular object it was written, does not appear. It might possibly be only a work of youth, or an exercise of the understanding, in sounding and trying a question problematically. All people, when they first enter professions, make their collections pretty early in life; and the manuscript may be of that sort. However, be it what it may, the opinion