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testimony against it! It is now an act that has passed. I would speak with decency of every act of this house : but I must beg the indulgence of the house to speak of it with freedom.

I hope a day may be soon appointed to consider the state of the nation with respect to America. I hope gentlemen will come to this debate with all the temper and impartiality that his majesty recommends and the importance of the subject requires. A subject of greater importance than ever engaged the attention of this house that subject only excepted, when, near a century ago, it was the question, whether you your selves were to be bound or free. In the mean time, as I cannot depend upon my health for any future day, such is the nature of my infirmities, I will beg to say a few words at present, leaving the justice, the equity, the policy, the expediency of the act, to another time. I will only speak to one point, a point which seems not to have been generally understood. I mean to the right. Some gentlemen seem to have considered it as a point of honour. If gentlemen consider it in that light, they leave all measures of right and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead to destruction. It is my opinion, that this kingdom has no right to lay a tax upon the colonies. At the same time, I assert the authority of this kingdom over the colonies, to be sovereign and supreme, in every circumstance of government and legislation whatsoever. They are the subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen. Equally bound by its laws, and equally participating of the constitu. tion of this free country. The Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England. Taxation is no part of the governing or legislative power. The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone. In legislation the three estates of the realm are alike concerned, but the concurrence of the peers and the crown to a tax, is only necessary to close with the form of a law. The gift and grant is of the commons alone. In ancient days, the crown, the barons, and

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the clergy, possessed the lands. In those days, the barons and the clergy gave and granted to the crown. They gave and granted what was their own.' At pre

. sent, since the discovery of America, and other circumstances permitting, the commons are become the proprietors of the land. The church, God bless it, has buta pittance. The property of the lords, compared with that of the cominons, is as a drop of water in the ocean; and this house represents those com. mons, the proprietors of the lands; and those proprietors virtually represent the rest of the inhabitants. When, therefore, in this house we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax, what do we do? We your majesty's commons for Great Britain give and grant to your majesty, what?

Our own property? No. We give and grant to your majesty, the property of your majesty's commons of America. It is an absurdity in terms.

The distinction between legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty. The crown, the peers, are equally legislative powers with the commons. If taxation be a part of simple legislation, the crown, the peers have rights in taxation as well as yourselves; rights which they will claim, which they will exercise, whenever the principle can be supported by power.

There is an idea in some, that the colonies are virtually represented in the house. I would fain know by whom an American is represented here ? Is he represented by any knight of the shire, in any county in this kingdom? Would to God that respectable representation was augmented to a greater number! Or will you tell him that he is represented by any representative of a borough-a borough which, perhaps, its own representatives never saw. This is what is called the ratten part of the constitution. It cannot continue a century. If it does not drop, it must be amputated. The idea of a virtual representation of America in this house is the most contemptible idea that ever entered into the head of a man. It does not deserve a serioris refutation.

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The commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it. At the same time, this kingdom, as the supreme governing and legislative power, has always bound the colonies by her laws, by her regulations, and restrictions in trade, in navigation, in manufactures in every thing, except that of taking their money out of their pockets without their consent. Here I would draw the line,

Quam ultra citraque neque consistere rectum,

AS soon as lord Chatham concluded, General Conway arose, and succinctly avowed his entire approbation of that part of his lordship's speech which related to American affairs; but disclaimed altogether that “ secret overruling influence which had been hint

. ed at."

Mr. George Grenville who followed in the debate, expatiated at large on the tumults and ri ots which had taken place in the colonies, and decla. red, that they bordered on rebellion. He condemned the language and sentiments which he lead heard as encouraging a revolution. A portion of his speech is here inserted, as explanatory of the replication of Lord Chatham.

“ I cannot, said Mr. Grenville, understand the dif. ference between external and internal taxes. They are the same in effect, and differ only in name. That this kingdom has the sovereign, the supreme legislative power over Ameaica, is granted. It cannot be denied; and taxation is a part of that sovereign power. It is one branch of the legislation. It is, it has been, exercised, over those who are not, who were never It is exercised over the India company, chants of London, the proprietors of the stocks, and sed over the county palatine of Chester, and the over many great manufacturing towns. It was exerci.


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bishoprick of Durham, before they sent any repres sentatives to parliament. I appeal for proof to the preambles of the acts which gave them representatives; one in the reign of Henry VIII, the other that of Charles II. Mr. Grenville then quoted the acts, and desired that they might be read; which being done, he said: “When I proposed to tax America, I asked the house if any gentleman would object to the right; I repeatedly asked it, and no man would attempt to deny it. Protection and obedience are reciprocal. Great Britain protects America; America is bound to yield obedience. If not, tell me when the Americans were emancipated? When they want the protection of this kingdom, they are always very ready to ask it. That protection has always been affored them in the most full and ample manner. The nation has run herself into an immense debt to give them their protection; and now they are called upon to contribute a small share towards the publick expense, an expense arising from themselves; they renounce your authority, insult your officers, and break out, I might almost say, into open rebellion. The seditious spirit of the colonies owes its birth to the factions in this house. Gentlemen are careless of the consequences of what they say, provided it answers the purposes of opposition. We were told we trod on tender ground. We were bid toex. pect disobedience. What was this but telling the Americans to stand out against the law, to encourage their obstinacy with the expectation of support from hence? Let us only hold out a little; they would say, our friends will soon be in power. Ungrateful people of America! Bounties have been extended to them. When I had the honour of serving the crown, while you yourselves were loaded with an enormous debt, you have given bounties on their lumber, on their iron, their hemp, and many other articles. You have relaxed in their favour, the act of navigation, that palladium of the British commerce; and yet I have been abused in all the publick papers as an enemy to the trade of America. I have been particularly charged VOL. I.


with giving orders and instructions to prevent the Spanish trade, and thereby stopping the channel, by which alone North America used to be supplied with cash for remittances to this country. I defy any man to produce any such orders or instructions. I discouraged no trade but what was illicit, what was prohi. bited by an act of parliament. I desire a West India merchant, well known in the city,* a gentleman of character, may be examined. He will tell you, that

, I offered to do every thing in my power to advance the trade of America. I was above giving an answer to anonymous calumnies; but in this place, it becomes one to wipe off the aspersion.”

Here Mr. Greenville ceased. Several members got up to speak, but Mr. Pitt seeming to rise, the house was so clamorous for Mr. Pitt! Mr. Pitt! that the speaker

was obliged to call to order. Mr. Pitt said, I do not apprehend I am speaking twice. I did expressly reserve a part of my subject

, in order to save the time of this house; but I am compelled to proceed in it. I do not speak twice ; I only finish what I designedly left imperfect. But if the house is of a different opinion, far be it from me to indulge a wish of transgression against order. I am content, if it be your pleasure, to be silent.”—Here he paused— The house resounding with Go on! goon! he proceeded :

« Gentlemen, sir,t have been charged with giring birth to sedition in America. They have spo. ken their sentiments with freedom against this unhappy act, and that freedom has become their crime. Sorry I am to hear the liberty of speech in this house imputed as a crime. But the imputation shall not discourage me. It is a liberty I mean to exercise. No gentleman ought to be afraid to exercise it. It is a liberty by which the gentleman who calumniates it might have profited. He ought to have desisted from his project. The gentleman tells us, America is obstinate; America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice


* Mr. Long

+ To the Speaker

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