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tended, at least, to be ready to join our army. present happy establishment to consider what I have heard, however, that they found a pre- might be the consequence of the Pretender's text for never coming into the line; and I doubt landing among us at the head of a French army. much if they would have marched with us to at- Would he not be looked upon by most men as a tack the French army in their own territories, savior ? Would not the majority of the people or to invest any of the fortified places; for I must join with him, in order to rescue the nation from observe that the French lines upon the Queich those that had brought it into such confusion ? were not all of them within the territories of This danger, sir, is, I hope, imaginary, but I am France. But suppose this Dutch detachment sure it is far from being so imaginary as thai. had been ready to march with us to attack the which has been held out in this debate, the danFrench in their own territories, or to invest some ger of all the powers of the continent of Europe of their fortified places, I can not join in any being brought under such a slavish dependence congratulation upon that event; for a small de- upon France as to join with her in conquering tachment of Dutch troops can never enable us this island, or in bringing it under the same to execute the vast scheme we have undertaken. slavish dependence with themselves. The whole force of that republic would not be I bad almost forgotten, sir (I wish future na. sufficient for the purpose, because we should tions may forget), to mention the Treaty of have the majority of the empire against us; and, Worms. I wish that treaty could be erased therefore, if the Dutch had joined totis viribus from our annals and our records, so as never to in our scheme, instead of congratulating, I should be mentioned hereafter : for that treaty, with its have bemoaned their running mad by our exam- appendix, the convention that followed, is one of ple and at our instigation.
the most destructive, unjust, and absurd that was IV. Having now briefly examined our past ever concluded. By that treaty we have taken Prospects for conduct, from the few remarks I have upon ourselves a burden which I think it imposthe future made, I believe, sir, it will appear that, sible for us to support; we have engaged in supposing our scheme to be in itself possible and such an act of injustice toward Genoa as must practicable, we have no reason to hope for suc- alarm all Europe, and give to the French a most cess if it be not prosecuted with more vigor and signal advantage. From this, sir, all the princes with better conduct than it was during the last of Europe will see what regard we have to juscampaign. While we continue in the prosecu tice when we think that the power is on our side; tion of this scheme, whoever may lose, the Han- most of them, therefore, will probably join with orerians will be considerable gainers. They France in curtailing our power, or, at least, in will draw four or five hundred thousand pounds preventing its increase. Fearly from this nation over and above what
4 The Treaty of Worms was an offensive and dethey have annually drawn, ever since they had
fensive alliance, concluded on the 2d of September, the good fortune to be united under the same
ter the same 1743, between England, Austria, and Sardinia. By sovereign with ourselves. But we ought to con- l it the Queen of Hungary agreed to transfer to the sider-even the Hanoverians ought to consider King of Sardinia the city and part of the duchy of -that this nation is not now in a condition to Placentia, the Vigevanesco, part of the duchy of Pacarry on an expensive war for ten or twelve via, and the county of Anghiera, as well as her years, as it did in the reign of Queen Anne. claims to the marquisate of Finale, which had been We may fund it ont for one, two, or three years : ceded to the Genoese by the late Emperor Charles but the public debt is now so large that, if we
VI. for the sum of 400,000 golden crowns, for which go on adding millions to it every year, our credit
it had been previously mortgaged. The Queen of
Hangary also engaged to maintain 30,000 men in will at last (sooner, I fear, than some among us Italy, to be commanded by the King of Sardinia. may imagine) certainly be undone; and if this Great Britain agreed to pay the sum of £300,000 for misfortune should occur, neither Hanover nor the cession of Finale, and to furnish an annual subany other foreign state would be able to draw sidy of £200,000, on the condition that the King of another shilling from the country. A stop to Sardinia should employ 45,000 men. In addition to our public credit would put an end to our paper supplying these sums, Great Britain agreed to send currency. A universal bankruptcy would en.
a strong squadron into the Mediterranean, to act in
concert with the allied forces. By a separate and sue, and all the little ready money left among
secret convention, agreed to at the same time and us would be locked up in iron chests, or hid in
place as the treaty, but which was never ratified bs-corners by the happy possessors. It would nor publicly avowed, it was stipulated that Great then be impossible to raise our taxes, and conse Britain should pay to the Queen of Hungary an anquently impossible to maintain either fleets or nual subsidy of £300,000, not merely during the war, armies. Our troops abroad would be obliged to but so long "as the necessity of her affairs should enter into the service of any prince that could require." The terms of the Treaty of Worms relamaintain them, and our troops at home would be
tive to the cession of the marquisate of Finale to obliged to live upon free quarter. But this they
Sardinia were particularly unjust to the Genoese,
since that territory bad been guaranteed to them by could not do long; for the farmer would neither
the fourth article of the Quadruple Alliance, consow nor reap if he found his produce taken from
cluded on the 2d of August, 1718, between Great him by the starving soldier. In these circum- | Britain, France, Austria, and Holland.--Coxe's Ausstances, I must desire the real friends of our tria, chap.civ. Lord Mahon's Hist. of England, vol.
iii., p. 231. Belsham's Hist. of England, vol. iv., p. * With all their forces,
| 82, et seq.
The alliance of Sardinia and its assistance | would any gentleman have refused to congratumay, I admit, be of great use to us in defeating | late his Majesty upon any fortunate event hapthe designs of the Spaniards in Italy. But gold pening to the royal family. The honorable gen. itself may be bought too dear; and I fear we tleman would have desired no more than this, shall find the purchase we have made to be but had he intended that his motion should be unanprecarious, especially if Sardinia should be at. imously agreed to. But ministers are generally tacked by France as well as by Spain, the almost the authors and drawers up of the motion, and certain consequence of our present scheme of they always have a greater regard for thempolitics. For these reasons, sir, I hope there is selves than for the service of their sovereign; not any gentleman, nor even any minister, who that is the true reason why such motions seldom expects that I should declare my satisfaction that meet with unanimous approbation. this treaty has been concluded.
As to the danger, sir, of our returning or not It is very surprising, sir, to hear gentlemen / returning to our national custom upon this octalk of the great advantages of unanimity in our casion, I think it lies wholly upon the side of our proceedings, when, at the time, they are doing not returning. I have shown that the measures all they can to prevent unanimity. If the hon we are now pursuing are fundamentally wrong, orable gentleman had intended that what he pro and that the longer we pursue them, the heavier posed should be unanimously agreed to, he would our misfortunes will prove. Unless some signal have returned to the ancient custom of Parlia- providence interpose, experience, I am convinced, ment which some of his new friends have, on will confirm what I say. By the immediate informer occasions, so often recommended. It is tervention of Providence, we may, it is true, suc. a new doctrine to pretend that we ought in our ceed in the most improbable schemes ; but Provaddress to return some sort of answer to every idence seems to be against us. The sooner, thing mentioned in his Majesty's speech. It is therefore, we repent and amend, the better it a doctrine that has prevailed only since our Par will be for us; and unless repentance begins in liaments began to look more like French than this House, I shall no where expect it until dire English Parliaments; and now we pretend to be experience has convinced us of our errors. such enemies of France, I supposed we should For these reasons, sir, I wish, I hope, that we have laid aside a doctrine which the very meth- may now begin to put a stop to the farther prosod of proceeding in Parliament must show to be ecution of these disastrous measures, by refusing false. His Majesty's speech is not now so much them our approbation. If we put a negative as under our consideration, but upon a previous upon this question, it may awaken our ministers order for that purpose; therefore we can not now from their deceitful dreams. If we agree to it, properly take notice of its contents, any farther they will dream on till they have dreamed Euthan to determine whether we ought to return rope their country, and themselves into utter thanks for it or not. Even this we may refuse, perdition. If they stop now, the nation may re. without being guilty of any breach of duty to our cover; but if by such a flattering address we sovereign ; but of this, I believe, no gentleman encourage them to go on, it may soon become would have thought, had the honorable gentle | impossible for them to retreat. For the sake of man who made this motion not attached to it a Europe, therefore, for the sake of my country, long and fulsome panegyric upon the conduct of I most heartily join in putting a negative upon our ministers. I am convinced no gentleman | the question. would have objected to our expressing our duty to our sovereign, and our zeal for his service, in 1 After a protracted debate, the address was the strongest and most affectionate terms: nor carried by a vote of 279 to 149.
OF LORD CHATHAM ON AN ADDRESS TO THE THRONE, IN WHICH THE RIGHT OF TAXING
AMERICA IS DISCUSSED, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, JANUARY 14, 1766.
INTRODUCTION. MR. GEORGE GRENVILLE, during his brief administration from 1763 to 1765, adopted a plan for replenishing the exbausted treasury of Great Britain, which had been often proposed before, but rejected by every preceding minister. It was that of levying direct taxes on the American colonies. His famous Stamp Act was brought forward February 7th, 1765. It was strongly opposed by Colonel Barré, who thus indignantly replied to the charge of ingratitude, brought by Charles Townsend against the Americans, as "children planted by our care, nourished by our indulgence, and protected by our arms," &c. “ They planted by your care?” said Colonel Barré : "No! Your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your tyranny to a then ancultivated and inbospitable country, where they exposed them. selves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable; and, among others, to the cruelties of & savage foe, the most subtle, and, I will take it upon me to say, the most formidable of any people on earth ; and yet, actuated by principles of true English liberty, they met all hardships with pleasure, compared with those they suffered in their native land from the hands of those who should have been their friends. They nourished by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of them! As soon as you began to care about them, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule them, who were, per. baps, the deputies of deputies to some members of this House-sent to spy out their liberties, to misrepresent their actions, and to prey upon them-men promoted to the highest seats of justice; some of wboin, to my knowledge, were glad, by going to a foreign country, to escape being brought to the bar of a court of justice in their own. They protected by your arms ? They have nobly taken up arms in your defense; have exerted a valor, amid their constant and laborious industry, for the de. fense of a country whose frontier was drenched in blood, while its interior yielded all its little savings to your emolument. And-believe me-remember I this day told you so—that same spirit of freedom which actuated that people at first, will accompany them still. But prudence forbids me to say more. God knows I do not, at this time, speak from motives of party heat. What I deliver are the genuine septi. ments of my heart. However superior to me in general knowledge and experience the respectable body of this House may be, I claim to know more of America than most of you, baving seen and been conversant with that country. The people are, I believe, as truly loyal as any subjects the King has; but a people jealous of their liberties, and who will vindicate them, if they should ever be violated."
This prophetic warning was in vain. The bill was passed on the 22d of March, 1765.
A few months after, the ministry of Mr. Grenville came abruptly to an end, and was followed by the administration of Lord Rockingham. That able statesman was fully convinced that nothing but the repeal of the Stamp Act could restore tranquillity to the colonies, which, according to Colonel Barré's predictions, were in a state of almost open resistance. The news of this resistance reached England at the close of 1763, and Parliament was summoned on the 17th of December. The plan of the ministry was to repeal the Stamp Act; but, in accordance with the King's wishes, to re-assert (in doing so) the right of Parliament to tax the colonies. Against this course Mr. Pitt determined to take his stand; and when the ordinary address was made in answer to the King's speech, he entered at once on the subject of Ameri. can taxation, in a strain of the boldest eloquence. His speech was reported by Sir Robert Dean, assisted by Lord Charlemont, and, though obvionsly broken and imperfect, gives us far more of the language actually used by Mr. Pitt than any of the preceding speeches.
SPEECH, &c. ME. SPEAKER,- I came to town but to-day. I own, I advised them to do it-but, notwithstandI was a stranger to the tenor of his Majesty's ing (for I love to be explicit), I can not give them speech, and the proposed address, till I heard my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen [bowing them read in this House. Unconnected and un to the ministry), confidence is a plant of slow consulted, I have not the means of information. growth in an aged bosom. Youth is the season I am fearful of offending through mistake, and of credulity. By comparing events with each therefore beg to be indulged with a second read-other, reasoning from effects to causes, methinks ing of the proposed address. [The address being I plainly discover the traces of an overruling inread, Mr. Pitt went on :] I commend the King's fluence. speech, and approve of the address in answer, There is a clause in the Act of Settlement as it decides nothing, every gentleman being obliging every minister to sign his name to the left at perfect liberty to take such a part con- advice which he gives to his sovereign. Would cerning America as he may afterward see fit. it were observed! I have had the honor to serve One word only I can not approve of : an “early," the Crown, and if I could have submitted to inis a word that does not belong to the notice the fluence, I might have still continued to serve : ministry have given to Parliament of the troubles but I would not be responsible for others. I in America. In a matter of such importance, have no local attachments. It is indifferent to the communication ought to have been imme- me whether a man was rocked in his cradle on diate !
this side or that side of the Tweed. I sought I speak not now with respect to parties. I for merit wherever it was to be found. It is my stand up in this place single and independent. boast, that I was the first minister who looked As to the late ministry (turning himself to Mr. for it, and found it, in the mountains of the North. Grenville, who sat within one of him), every cap- I called it forth, and drew into your service a ital measure they have taken has been entirely hardy and intrepid race of men-men, who, wrong! As to the present gentlemen, to those when left by your jealousy, became a prey to at least whom I have in my eye (looking at the the artifices of your enemies, and had gone nigh bench where General Conway sat with the lords of the treasury), I have no objection. I have Chas. Butler says in his Reminiscences, “ Those never been made a sacrifice by any of them.
who remember the air of condescending protection
with which the bow was made and the look given, Their characters are fair; and I am always
will recollect how much they themselves, at the moglad when men of fair character engage in his
ment, were both delighted and awed; and what they Majesty's service. Some of them did me the ther
themselves conceived of the immeasurable superi. honor to ask my opinion before they would en ority of the speaker over every other human being gage. These will now do me the justice to that surrounded him."
to have overturned the state in the war before firmities), I will beg to say a few words at presthe last. These men, in the last war, were ent, leaving the justice, the equity, the policy, brought to combat on your side. They served the expediency of the act to another time. with fidelity, as they fought with valor, and con- I will only speak to one point, a point which quered for you in every part of the world. De- seems not to have been generally understood. I tested be the national reflections against them! | mean to the right. Some gentlemen (alluding They are unjust, groundless, illiberal, unmanly ! to Mr. Nugent) seem to have considered it as When I ceased to serve his Majesty as a min. a point of honor. If gentlemen consider it in ister, it was not the country of the man by which that light, they leave all measures of right and I was moved - but the man of that country wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead to dewanted wisdom, and held principles incompati. struction. It is my opinion, that this kingdom ble with freedom.
has no right to lay a tax upon the colonies. At It is a long time, Mr. Speaker, since I have the same time, I assert the authority of this attended in Parliament. When the resolution kingdom over the colonies to be sovereign and was taken in this House to tax America, I was supreme, in every circumstance of government ill in bed. If I could have endured to be car- and legislation whatsoever. They are the subried in my bed—so great was the agitation of ljects of this kingdom ; equally entitled with yourmy mind for the consequences—I would have selves to all the natural rights of mankind and solicited some kind hand to have laid me down the peculiar privileges of Englishmen; equally on this floor, to have borne my testimony against bound by its laws, and equally participating in it! It is now an act that has passed. I would the constitution of this free country. The Amer. speak with decency of every act of this House ; icans are the sons, not the bastards of England ! but I must beg the indulgence of the House to Taxation is no part of the governing or legislat speak of it with freedom.
| tive power. The taxes are a voluntary gift I hope a day may soon be appointed to con- and grant of the Commons alone. In legislation sider the state of the nation with respect to the three estates of the realm are alike concernAmerica. I hope gentlemen will come to this ed; but the concurrence of the peers and the debate with all the temper and impartiality that Crown to a tax is only necessary to clothe it his Majesty recommends, and the importance of with the form of a law. The gift and grant is the subject requires ; a subject of greater im- of the Commons alone. In ancient days, the portance than ever engaged the attention of this Crown, the barons, and the clergy possessed the House, that subject only excepted, when, near a lands. : In those days, the barons and the clergy century ago, it was the question, whether you gave and granted to the Crown. They gave yourselves were to be bond or free. In the and granted what was their own! At present, mean time, as I can not depend upon my health since the discovery of America, and other cirfor any future day (such is the nature of my in cumstances permitting, the Commons are beIt need hardly be said that Lord Bute is aimed
come the proprietors of the land. The Church at throughout the whole of these two paragraphs.
(God bless it !) has but a pittance. The propThe passage illustrates a mode of attack wbicherty on the lords, compare
erty of the lords, compared with that of the comLord Chatham often used, that of pointing at an in- mons, is as a drop of water in the ocean; and dividual in a manner at once so significant as to ar- this House represents those commons, the prorest attention, and yet so remote as to involve no prietors of the lands; and those proprietors virbreach of decorum-saying the severest things by tually represent the rest of the inhabitants. implication, and leaving the hearer to apply them; / When therefore, in this House, we give and tbus avoiding the coarseness of personal invective,
grant, we give and grant what is our own. But and giving a wide scope for ingenuity in the most stinging allusions. In the present case, the allusion
in an American tax, what do we do? “We, to Bute as having "made a sacrifice" of Chatham, by
your Majesty's Commons for Great Britain, give driving him from power through a secret ascendency and grant to your Majesty”-what? Our own over the King; to "the traces of an overruling in- ' property? No!“We give and grant to your fuence” from the same quarter as a reason for with Majesty" the property of your Majesty's comholding confidence from the new ministry ; and to mons of America! It is an absurdity in terms. Bate's shrinking from that responsibility which the The distinction between legislation and taxet Act of Settlement imposed upon all advisers of
ation is essentially necessary to liberty. The the King-these and other allusions to the favorite of George III. would be instantly understood and
| Crown and the peers are equally legislative pow. keenly felt among a people who have always re
ers with the Commons. If taxation be a part garded the character of a favorite with dread and
| of simple legislation, the Crown and the peers abhorrence. Lord Chatham, to avoid the imputa. have rights in taxation as well as yourselves ; tion of being influenced in what he said by the pre-rights which they will claim, which they will vailing prejudices against Bute as a Scotchman, re.) exercise, whenever the principle can be supportfers to himself, in glowing language, as the first led by power. minister who employed Highlanders in the army;
There is an idea in some that the colonies are calling" from the mountains of the North" "a hardy
virtually represented in the House. I would and intrepid race of men," who had been alienated by previous severity, but who, by that one act of
fain know by whom an American is represented confidence, were indissolubly attached to the house | here. Is he represented by any knight of the of Hanover.
shire, in any county in this kingdom ? Would . At the Revolution of 1688.
| to God that respectable representation was aug
mented to a greater number! Or will you tell | in the reign of Henry VIII., the other in that of him that he is represented by any representative Charles II. (Mr. Grenville then quoted the acts, of a borough ? a borough which, perhaps, its and desired that they might be read; which beown representatives never saw! This is what ing done, he said,] When I proposed to tax is called the rotten part of the Constitution. It America, I asked the House if any gentleman can not continue a century. If it does not drop, would object to the right; I repeatedly asked it, it must be amputated. The idea of a virtual and no man would attempt to deny it. Protecrepresentation of America in this House is the tion and obedience are reciprocal. Great Britmost contemptible idea that ever entered into ain protects America; America is bound to yield the head of a man. It does not deserve a se obedience. If not, tell me when the Americans rious refutation.
were emancipated? When they want the proThe Commons of America, represented in tection of this kingdom, they are always very their several assemblies, have ever been in pos. ready to ask it. That protection bas always session of the exercise of this, their constitutional been afforded them in the most full and ample right, of giving and granting their own money. manner. The nation has run bersell into an imThey would have been slaves if they had not mense debt to give them their protection; and enjoyed it! At the same time, this kingdom, now, when they are called upon to contribute a as the supreme governing and legislative power, small share toward the public expense-an exhas always bound the colonies by her laws, by pense arising from themselves--they renounce her regulations, and restrictions in trade, in nav- your authority, insult your officers, and break igation, in manufactures, in every thing, except out, I might almost say, into open rebellion. that of taking their money out of their pockets The seditious spirit of the colonies owes its without their consent.
birth to the factions in this House. Gentlemen Here I would draw the line,
are careless of the consequences of what they Quam altra citraque neque consistere rectum. say, provided it answers the purposes of opposi
(As soon as Lord Chatham concluded, Gen- tion. We were told we trod on tender ground. eral Conway arose, and succinctly avowed his. We were bid to expect disobedience. What is entire approbation of that part of his Lordship's this but telling the Americans to stand out speech which related to American affairs, but against the law, to encourage their obstinacy disclaimed altogether that "secret overruling with the expectation of support from hence ? influence which had been hinted at." Mr.
“Let us only hold out a little," they would say, George Grenville, who followed in the debate,
“our friends will soon be in power.” Ungrateexpatiated at large on the tumults and riots
ful people of America! Bounties have been exwhich had taken place in the colonies, and de- / tended to them. When I had the honor of servclared that they bordered on rebellion. He con- ing the Crown, while you yourselves were loaddemned the language and sentiments which he
ed with an enormous debt, you gave bounties on had heard as encouraging a revolution. A por- | their lumber, on their iron, their hemp, and many tion of his speech is here inserted, as explanatory
other articles. You have relaxed in their favor of the replication of Lord Chatham.
the Act of Navigation, that palladium of the I can not, said Mr. Grenville, understand the
British commerce; and yet I have been abused difference between external and internal taxes. in all the public papers as an ene
| in all the public papers as an enemy to the trade They are the same in effect, and difler only in
of America. I have been particularly charged name. That this kingdom has the sovereign, with giving orders and
with giving orders and instructions to prevent the supreme legislative power over America, is the Spanish trade, and thereby stopping the changranted; it can not be denied; and taxation is a
nel by which alone North America used to be part of that sovereign power. It is one branch supplied with cash for remittances to this counof the legislation. It is, it has been, exercised try. 1 dely any man to produce any such orover those who are not, who were never repre.
ders or instructions. I discouraged no trade but sented. It is exercised over the India Company,
what was illicit, what was prohibited by an act the merchants of London, the proprietors of the
of Parliament. 1 desire a West India merchant stocks and over many great manufacturing
(Mr. Long), well known in the city, a gentletowns. It was exercised over the county pala
man of character, may be examined. He will tine of Chester, and the bishopric of Durham, tell you that I
tell you that I offered to do every thing in my before they sent any representatives to Parlia- power to advance the trade of America. I was ment. I appeal for proof to the preambles of above giving an answer to anonymous calumthe acts which gave them representatives ; one nes; but in this plac
nies; but in this place it becomes one to wipe
off the aspersion. • We have here the first mention made by any (Here Mr. Grenville ceased. Several memEnglish statesman of a reform in the borough sys. bers got up to speak, but Mr. Pitt seeming to tem. A great truth once uttered never dies. The rise, the House was so clamorous for Mr. Pitt! Reform Bill of Earl Grey bad its origin in the mind
Mr. Pilt! that the speaker was obliged to call of Chatham. « On neither side of which we can rightly stand
to order.] • Mr. Grenville, it will be remembered, had now
Mr. Pitt said, I do not apprehend I am speakDo connection with the ministry, but was attempting | ing twice. I did expressly reserve a part of my to defend his Stamp Act against the attack of Mr. subject, in order to save the time of this House; Pitt.
| but I am compelled to proceed in it. I do not