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Principle, get rid of that most justly obnoxious, These are the three consequential propositions. act.
I have thought of two or three more, but they The act of Henry the eighth, for the trial of come rather too near detail, and to the province
of executive government, which I wish parliament treasons, I do not mean to take away, but to con.
If the fine it to its proper bounds and originial inten- always to superintend, nevir to assume.
first six are granted, congruity will carry the latter tion; to make it expressly for trial of treasons,
three. If not, the things that remain unrepealed, and the greatest treasons may be committed in
will be, I hope, rather unseemly incumbrances on places wbere the jurisdiction of the crown dues not
the building than very materially delrimental to extend.
its strength and stability. Having guarded the privileges of local legisla
Here, sir, I should close, but that I plainly pertion, I would next secure to the colonies a fair
ceive some objections remain, which I ought, if and unbiassed judicature; for which purpose, sir,
possible, to remove. The first will be, that, in I propose the following resolution: “That, from the
resorting to the doctrine of our ancestors, as con. time when the general assembly or general court
tained in the preamble to the Chester act, I prove of any colony or plantation in North America, shall
too much; that the grievance from a want of rehave appointed, by act of assembly duly confirmed,
presentation, stated in that preamble, goes to the a settled salary to the offices of the chief justice
whole of legislation as well as to taxation. And and other judges of the superior court, it may be that the colonies, grounding themselves upon what proper that the said chief justice and other judges doctrine, will apply it to all parts of legislative of the superior courts of such colony, shall hold
authority. his and their office and offices during their good behavior, and shall not be removed therefrom, but
To this objection, with all possible deference when the said removal shall be adjudged by bis and humility, and wishing as little as any man majesty, in council, upon a hearing or complaint living to impair the smallest particle of our su. from the general assembly, or on a complaint from preme authority, I answer, that the words are the the governor, or council, or the bouse of repre.
words of parliament, and not mine; and that all sentatives severally, of the colony in which the false and inconclusive inferences drawn from them, said chief justice and other judges have exercised are not mine; for I heartily disclaim any such
inference. I have chosen the words of an act of the said offices.”
parliament, which Mr. Grenville, surely a tolera. The next resolution relates to the courts of
bly zealous and very judicious advocate for the admiralty
sovereignty of parliament, formerly moved to have It is this. “That it may be proper to regulate the read at your table, in confirmation of his tenets. courts of admiralty, or vice admiralty, authorised It is true that lord Chatham considered these by the fifteenth chapter of the fourth of George preambles as declaring strongly in favor of bis the third, in such a manner as to make the same opinion. He was a no less powerful advocate for more commodious to those who sue, or are sued in the privileges of the Americans. Ought I not the said courts, and to provide for the more decent from hence to presume, that these preambles are maintenance of the judges in the same."
as favorable as possible to both, when properly
understood; favorable both to the rights of parliaThese courts I do not wish to take away; they
ment, and the privilege of the dependencies of are in themselves proper establisl:ments. This
this crown? But, sir, the object of grievance in court is one of the capital securities of the act of navigation. The extent of its jurisdiction indeed my resolution, I have not taken from the Chester
but from the Durbam act, which confines the hard. has been increased; but this is altogether as pro ship of want of representation to the case of per, and is indeed, on many accounts, more eligible,
subsidies; and which therefore falls in exactly with where new powers were wanted, than a court
the case of the colonies. But whether the unre. absolutely new. But courts incommodiously
presented counties were de jure or de facto bound, situated, in effect, deny justice; and a court, libe preambles do not accurately distinguish; nor partaking in all the fruits of its own condemnation, indeed was it necessary, for, whether de jure or is a robber. The congress complain, and complain de facto, the legislature thought the exercise of justly, of this grievance.*
grievance of the judges, par'aking of the profits of *The solicitor general informed Mr. B. when some of the se zures, had been redressed by office; the resolutions were separately moved, that the accordingly the resolution was amended.
the power of taxing as of right, or as fact with great weight and propriety, against this species of out right, equally a grievance, and equally oppres. delusive geometrical accuracy in moral arguments, sive.
as the most fallacious of all sophistry. I do not know that the colonies have, in any ge. The Americans will have no interest contrary to neral way, or in any cool hour, gone mueb beyond the grandeur and glory of England, when tbey are the demand of immunity in relation to taxes. It not oppressed by the weight of it, and they will is not fair to judge of the temper or dispositions rather be inclined to respect the acts of a superinof any man, or any set of men, when they are com- ending legislature, when they see them the acts of posed and at rest, from their conduct or their ex- that power, wbich is itself the security, not the pressions in a stale of disturbance and irritation. rival, of their secondary importance. In this assurIt is besides a very great mi take to imagine, that ance, my mind most perfectly acquiesces; and I mankind follow up practically any speculative confess I feel not the least alarm, from the dis. principle, either of government or of freedom, as contenta which are to arise from putting people far as it will go in argument and logical ilation. at their ease; nor do I apprehend the destruction We Englishmen stop very short of the principles of this empire, from giving, by an act of free grace upon which we support any given part of our corio and indulgence, to two millions of my fellow.citi, stitution, or even the whole of it together. I could zens, some share of those rights upon which I have easily, if I had not already tired you, give you always been taugbt to value myself. very striking and convincing instances of it. This
It is said indeed that this power of granting, is nothing but what is natural and proper. All go. vested in American assemblies, would dissolve the vernment, indeed every human benefit and enjoy unity of the empire, which was preserved entire, ment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is
although Wales, Chester, and Durham were added founded on compromise and barter. We balance
10 it. Truly, Mr. Speaker, I do not know what inconveniences, we give and take; we remit some
this unity means; nor has it ever been heard of, rights that we may enjoy others; and we choose
that I know, in the constitutional policy of this rather to be happy citizens than subtle disputants.
country. The very idea of subordination of parts And we must give away some natural liberty to
excludes this notion of simple and undivided unity, enjoy civil advantages; so we must sacrifice some
England is the head; but she is not the head and civil liberties, for the advantages to be derived
the members too. Ireland has ever had, from the from the communion and fellowship of a great em.
beginning, a separate, but not an independent, pire. But in all fair dealings, the thing bought legislature; which, far from distracting, promoted must bear some proportion to the purchase paid. the union of the whole. Fvery thing was sweetly None will barter away the immediate jewel of his
and harmoniously disposed through both islands soul. Though a great house is apt to make slaves
for the conversation of English dominion, and the haughty, yet it is purchasing a part of the artificial
communication of English liberties. I do not see importance of a great empire too dear, to pay for tbat the same principles might not be carried into it all essential righis, and all the intrinsic dignity twenty islands, and with the same good effect. of buman nature. None of us who would not This is my model with regard to America, as far risque bis life, rather than fall under a govern- as the internal circumstances of the two countries ment purely arbitrary. But, although there are
are the same. I know no other unity of this em. some amongst us who think our constitution wants
pire, than I can draw from its example during these many improvements, to make it a complete sys. periods when it seemed, to my poor understanding, tem of liberty, perhaps none who are of that opi. more united than it is now, or than it is likely to be nion, would think it right to aim at such improve by the present methods. ment, by disturbing this country, and risquing every thing that is dear to him, In every arduous
But since I speak of these methods, I recollect, enterprize we consider what we are to lose, as Mr. Speaker, almost too late, that I promised, be. well as what we are to gain; and the more and fore I finished, to say something of the proposition better stake of liberty every people possess, the of the *noble Jord on the floor, which has been so less they will hazard in a vain attempt to make it lately received, and stands on your journals. I These are the cords of man.
must be deeply concerned, whenever it is my mis. from adequate motives relative to his interest, and fortue to continue a difference with the majority of not on metuphysical speculations. Aristotle, the
this house. But as the reasons for that difference great master of reasoning, cautions us, and with *Lord North.
are my apology for thus troubling you, suffer me to were to lay the duties, which furnished their state tbem in a very few words. I shall compress contingent, upon the importation of your mangthem in as small a body as I possibly can, having factures, you know you would never suffer such a already debated tbat matter at large, when the ques. tas to be laid. You know too, that you would not tion was before the committee.
suffer many other modes of taxation. So that,
when you come to explain yourself, it will be First then, I cannot admit that proposition of a
found that you will neither leave to themselves ransom by auction—because it is a mere project, the quanium, nor the mode, nor indeed any thing. It is a thing new, unheard of, supported by no ex. The whole is delusion from one end to the other. perience, justified by no analogy, without example of our ancestors, or root in the constitution. It is
Fourthly, this method of ransom by auction (un. neither regular parliamentary taxation, nor colony less it be universally accepted) will plunge you grant. Experimentum in corpore vile, is a good into great and inextricable difficulties. In what rule, which will ever make me adverse to any trial year of our Lord are the proportions of payments of experiments on what is certairly the most valua- to be settled? To say nothing of the impossibility, ble of all subjects, the peace of this empire. that colony agents should have general powers of
taxing the colonies at their discretion, consider, I Secondly, it is an experiment which must be implore you, that the communication, by special fatal, in the end, to our constitution. For what
messages and orders, between these agents and is it but a scheme for faging the colonies in the their constituents, on each variation of the case, antichamber of the noble lord and his successors? when the parties come to contend together, and To settle the quotas and proportions in this house to dispute on their relative proportions, will be a is clearly impossible. You, sir, may flatter your matter of delay, perplexity, and confusion that can self, you shall sit a state auctioneer, with your never have an end. hammer in your hand, and knock down 10 each colony as it bids. But to settle (on the plan laid
If all the colonies do not appear at the outcry, down by the noble lord) the true proportional pay. what is the condition of those assemblies who offer, ment for four or five and twenty governments, by themselves or their agents, to tax themselves according to the absolute and relative wealth of up to your ideas of their proportion? The reeach, and according to the British proportion of fractory colonies, who refuse all composition, will wealth and burthen, is a wild and chimerical remain taxed only to your old impositio r.s; whicb, notion. This new taxation must therefore come in however grievous in principle, are trifling as 16 by the back door of the constitution. Each quota production. The obedient colonies in this scheme must be brought to this house ready formed; you
are heavily taxed. The refractory remain un. can neither add nor alter. You must register it.
burtbened. What will you do? Will you lay new You can do nothing farther. For on what grounds and heavier taxes by parliament on the disobedient! can you deliberate, either before or after the pro. Pray consider in what way you can do it? You are position? You cannot hear the counsel for all these perfectly convinced that in the way of taxing you provinces quarrelling each on its own quantity of can do nothing but at the ports. Now suppose it
is Virginia that refuses to appear at your auction, payment, and its proportion to others. If
you sbould attempt it, the committee of provincial ways
while Maryland and North Carolina bid band. and means, or by whatever other name it will somely for their ransom, and are taxed to your delight to be called, must swallow up all the time quota? How will you put these colonies on a par?
Will you tax the tobacco of Virginin? If you do, of parliament.
you give it its dead wound to your English revenue Thirdly, it does not give satisfaction to the at home, and to one of the very greatest articles complaint of the colonies. They complain that of your own foreign irade. If you tax the import they are taxed witbout their consent, you answer, of that rebellious colony, what do you tax but that you will fix the sum at which they sball be your own manufactures, or the goods of some other tased. That is, you give them the very grievance obedient, and already well taxed colony? Who for the remedy. You tell them, indeed, that you has said one word on this labyrinth of detail, which will leave the mode to themselves. I really beg bewilders you more and more as you enter into it? pardon--it gives me pain to mention it-but you who has presented, who can present you with a must be sensible that you will not perform this clew to lead you out of it? I think, sir, it is in. part of the compact, For, suppose the colonies possible that you should not recollect that the
colony bounds are so implicated in one another Compare the two. This I offer to give you is (you know it by your other experiments in the bill plain and simple; the other full of perplexed and for prohibiting the New England fishery) that you intricate mazes. This is mild, that harsh. This is can lay no possible restraints on almost any of found by experience effectual for its purposes; the them, which may not be presently eluded, if you other is a new object. This is universal, the other do not confound the innocent with the guilty, and calculated for certain colonies only. This is im. burthen those whom upon every principle you mediate in its conciliatory operation; the other reought to exonerate. He must be grossly ignorant mote, contingent, full of hazard. Mine is what beof America, who thinks that, without falling into comes the dignity of a ruling people; gratuitous, this confusion of all rules of equity and policy, you unconditional, and not held out as a matter of bar. can restrain any single colony, especially Virginia gain and sale. Thave done my duty in proposing it and Maryland, the central and most important of to you. I have indeed tired you by a long dis. them all.
course; but this is the misfortune of those to whose
influence nothing will be conceded, and who must Let it also be considered, that either in the pre. win every inch of their ground by argument. You sent confusion you settle a permanent contingent, have heard me with goodness; may you decide which will and must be trifling, (and then you have with wisdom! for my part, I feel my mind greatly no effectual revenue), or you change the quota al disburthened, by what I have done to day. I have every exigency, and then on every new reparation been the less fearful of trying your patience, beyou will bave a new quarrel.
cause, on this subject, I mean to spare it altogether Reflect besides, that when you have fixed a quota of the American affairs, I have steadily opposed
in future. I have this comfort, that in every stage for every colony, you have not provided for prompt the measures that have produced the confusion, and punctual payment. Suppose one, two, five,
and may bring on the destruction of this empire. I ten years arrears. You cannot issue a treasury
now go so far as to require a proposal of my own. extent against the failing colony. You must make
If I cannot give peace to my country, I give it my new Boston ports bills, new restraining laws, new
conscience. acts for dragging men to England for trial. You must send out new feels, new armies. All is to But what (says the financier) is peace to us withbegin again. From this day forward the empire is out money? Your plan gives us no revenue. No! never to know an hour's tranquility. An intestine But it does--for it secures to the subject the fire will be kept alive in the bowels of the colonies, power of REFUSAL; the first of all revenues.which one time or other must consume this whole Experience is a cheat, and fact a liar, if this power empire. I allow indeed that the empire of Germany in the subject of proportioning his grant, or of not raises her revenue and her troops by quotas and granting at all, bas not been found the richest mine contingents; but the revenue of the empire, and of revenue ever discovered by the skill or by the the army of the empire, is the worst revenue and fortune of man. It does not indeed vote you one the worst army in the world.
hundred and fifty-two thousand seven hundred and
fifty pounds eleven shillings and twopence three Ins:ead of a standing revenue, you will there. farthings, nor any other palery limited som. But fore have a perpetual quarrel. Indeed, the noble it gives the strong box itself, the fund, the bank Jord, who proposed this project of a ransom by from whence only revenues can arise amongst a auction, seemed himself to be of that opinion. His people sensible of freedom: Posita luditur arca. project was rather designed for breaking the union Cannot you in England, cannot you at this time of of the colonies, tban for establishing a revenue. day; cannot you (an house of commons) trust to He confessed, he apprehended, that bis proposal the principle which bas raised so mighty a revenue, would not be to their laste. I say, this scheme and accumulated a debt of near one hundred and of disunion seems to be at the bottom of the proforly millions in this country! Is this principle ject; for I will not suspect that the noble Jord to be true in England, and false every where else? meant nothing but merely to delude the nation by Is it not true in Ireland? Has it not hitherto been an airy phantom, which he never intended to true in the colonies? Why should you presume, realize. But whalever his views may be, as I pro.ihat in any country a body, duly constituted for pose the peace and union of the colonies as the any function, will neglect to perform its duty, and very foundation of my plan, it cannot with one, abdicate its trust? Such a presumption would go whose foundation is perpelual, descend. against all government, in all modes. But, in truth,
this dread of penury of supply, from a free assem India; or an institution fit for the transmission, it bly, has no foundation in nature. For, first observe, is the East-India company. America has none of that besides the desire which all men bave naturally these aptitudes. If America gives you taxable ob. of supporting the honor of their own government, 'jects, on which you lay your duties here, and gives that sense of dignity, and that security to pro- you, at the same time, a surplus by a foreign sale perty, which ever attends freedom, has a tendency of her commodities, to pay the duties on these ob. to increase the stock of the free community. Most jects, which you tax at bome, she has performed may be taken where most is accumulated. And her part to the Bri'jsb revenue. But with regard what is the soil or climate where experience has to her own internal establishments, she may, I not uniformly proved, that the voluntary Aow of doubt not she will, contribute in moderation. I say beaped up plenty, bursting from the weight of its in moderation; for she ought not to be permitted own rich luxuriance, has ever run with a more to exhaust herself. She ought to be reserved to a copious stream of revenue, tban could be squeezed war; the weight of which, with the enemies that from the dry husks of oppressed indigence, by we are most likely to have, must be considerable the straining of all the political machinery in the in her quarter of the globe. There she may serve world.
you, and serve you essentially. Next we know that parties must ever exist in a
For that service, for all service, whether of re. free country. We know too, that the emulations of venue, trade, or empire, my trust is in her interest such parties, their contradictions, their reciprocal in the British constitution. My hold of the coloa necessities, their hopes, and their fears, must send nies is in the close affection which grows from them all in their turns to bim that holds the balance common names, from kindred blood, from similar of the state. The parties are the gamsters; but privileges, and equal protection. These are ties government keeps the table, and is sure to be the which, though light as air, are as strong as links winner in the end. Wben this game is played, I
of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of really think it is more to be feared, that the peo.
their civil rights associated with your governments ple will be exhausted, than that government will they will cling and grapple to you; and no force not be supplied. Whereas, whatever is got by
under Heaven will be of power to tear them from acts of absolute power ill obeyed, because odjous, their allegiance. But let it once be understood, or by contracts ill kept, because constrained, will that your government may be one thing, and their be narrow, feeble, uncertain, and precarious. «Ease privileges another, that these two things may exist
without any mutual relation, the cement is gone; would retract vows made in pain, as violent and
the cohesion is loosened; and every thing bastens void."
to decay and dissolution. As long as you have I, for one, protest against compounding our de. wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this mands; I declare against compounding, for a poor country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred limited sum, the immense, ever growing, eternal temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever debt, which is due to generous government from the chosei. ice and sons of England worslijp free: protected freedom. And so may I speed in the dom, they will turn their faces towards you. great object I propose to you, as I think it would not only be an act of injustice, but would be the The o or: they multiply, the more friends you worst economy in the world, to compel the colo. will have; the more ardently they love liberiy, the dies to a certain sum, either in the way of ransom, mure perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they or in the way of compulsory compact.
can have any where. It is a weed that grows in
every soil. They may have it from Spain, they But to clear up my ideas on this subject, a may have it from Prussia. But until you become revenue from America transmitted hiiher-do not lost to all feeling of your true interest, and your delude yourselves—you never can receive it--no, natural dignity, freedom they can have from none not a shilling. We bave experienced that, from but you. This is the commodity of price, of which remote countries, it is not to be expected. If you have the monoply. This is the true act of when you attempted to extract a revenue from navigation, which binds to you the commerce of Bengal, you were obliged to return in iron what the colonies, and through them secures to you
the you had taken in imposition, what can you expect wealth of the world. Deny them this participa. from North America? For certainly, if ever there frion of freedom and you break that sole bond, was a country qualified to produce wealth, it is, which originially made, and must still preserve,