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house Bill was brought on for second reading, and he was intreated to erase the expressions which had given offence to the Bench. Lord Lyttelton also bantered Lord Radnor on his piety, and threatened to move that the protest be expunged. Lord Radnor stood his ground, the Bill was committed by 33 to 25, and the following additional protest was entered.
Because the several reasons already entered against passing Bills of this nature have in this debate received additional weight and force from the argument of the prelates, and their unanimous vote; for though by refusing without any reason assigned, to divide for the previous question, moved upon the question of rejection, after the first reading (which gave time for procuring a petition in favour of the Bill), they appeared to me to countenance this Bill; yet as their Lordships have this day solemnly avowed in argument, that they had no such intention, and think they unjustly suffer by the imputation of it, it would be injurious to the Reverend Bench, as well as to the argument, not to say I am strengthened in my objections to the Bill, by their Lordship's declaration of their having been uniformly as well as unanimously against it.
The first affair of Lexington took place on the 19th of April, 1775, the unfortunate march from Concord to Boston, afterwards called the battle of Lexington, a short time after, and the capture of Ticonderoga on the Ioth of May. The colonists afterwards called themselves the United Colonies, chose Washington as their Commander-in-Chief on the 15th of June, and fought the battle of Bunker's Hill on the 18th. Parliament met on the 26th of October, and the King's Speech contained passages in which the determination of the Americans to establish an independent empire is affirmed. The Address was as usual an echo of the Speech, but Lord Rockingham moved that the following words be inserted after the words “gracious Speech from the Throne':‘That we behold with the utmost concern the disorders and discontents in the British colonies rather increased than diminished by the means which have been used to suppress and allay them; a circumstance alone sufficient to give this House just reason to fear, that those means were not originally well considered, or properly adapted to answer the ends to which they were directed. We are satisfied by experience, that this misfortune has, in a great measure, arisen from the want of full and proper information being laid before Parliament of the true state and condition of the colonies, by reason of which, measures have been carried into execution injudicious and inefficacious, from whence no salutary end was reasonably to be expected, tending to tarnish the lustre of the British arms, to bring discredit on the wisdom of his Majesty's councils, and to nourish, without hope of end, a most unhappy civil war. Deeply impressed with a sense of this melancholy state of the public concerns, we shall, on the fullest information we can obtain, and with the most mature deliberation we can employ, review the whole of the late proceedings, that we may be enabled to discover, as we shall be most willing to apply, the most effectual means for restoring order to the distracted affairs of the British empire, confidence to his Majesty's government, obedience, by a prudent and temperate use of its powers, to the authority of Parliament, and satisfaction and happiness to all his people. By these means, we trust, we shall avoid any occasion for having recourse to the alarming and dangerous expedient of calling in foreign forces to the support of his Majesty's authority within his own dominions, and the still more dreadful calamity of shedding British blood by British hands.’ A debate followed, and the amendment was negatived by 69 to 29. The following protest was entered.
1st, Because we cannot, as Englishmen, as Christians, or as men of common humanity, consent to the prosecution of a cruel civil war, so little supported by justice, and so very fatal in its necessary consequences, as that which is now waging against our brethren and fellow subjects in America. We have beheld with sorrow and indignation, session after session, and notwithstanding repeated warnings of the danger, attempts made to deprive some millions of British subjects of their trade, their laws, their constitution, their mutual intercourse, and of the very food which God has given them for their subsistence. We have beheld endeavours used to enforce these impolitic severities at the point of the bayonet. We have, on the other hand, beheld so large a part of the empire, united in one common cause, really sacrificing with cheerfulness their lives and fortunes, and preferring all the horrors of a war raging in the very heart of their country, to ignominious ease. We have beheld this part of his Majesty's subjects, thus irritated by resistance, and so successful in it, still making professions, in which we think it neither wise nor decent to affect a disbelief, of the utmost loyalty to his Majesty; and unwearied with continued repulses, repeatedly petitioning for conciliation, upon such terms only as shall be consistent with the dignity and welfare of the mother country. When we consider these things, we cannot look upon our fellow subjects in America in any other light than that of freemen driven to resistance by acts of oppression and violence. 2ndly, Because this unnatural war, thus commenced in oppression, and in the most erroneous policy, must, if persevered in, be finally ruinous in its effects. The commerce of Great Britain with America was great and increasing, the profits immense, the advantages, as a nursery of seamen, and as an inexhaustible magazine of naval stores, infinite ; and the continuance of that commerce, particularly in times of war, when most wanted to support our fleets and revenues, not precarious, as all foreign trade must be, but depending solely on ourselves. These valuable resources, which enabled us to face the united efforts of the House of Bourbon, are actually lost to Great Britain, and irretrievably lost, unless redeemed by immediate and effectual pacification. 3rdly, Because Great Britain, deprived of so valuable a part of its resources, and not animated, either with motives of self-defence, or with those prospects of advantage and glory, which have hitherto supported this nation in all its foreign wars, may possibly find itself unable to supply the means of carrying on a civil war, at such a vast distance, in a country so peculiarly circumstanced, and under the complicated difficulties which necessarily attend it. Still less should we be able to preserve, by mere force, that vast contiment, and that growing multitude of resolute freemen who inhabit it; even if that or any country, was worth governing against the inclination of all its inhabitants. But we fear, that while we are making these fruitless efforts, refusing to give credit to the declarations of our fellow subjects, and blindly confiding in the insidious professions of the natural enemies of this country, we are preparing an easy prey for those who prudently sit quiet, beholding British forces, which, if united, might be in a condition, from their valour, numbers, and discipline, to carry terror into the very heart of their kingdoms, destroying each other. Every event, whichever way it turns, is a victory to them. Our very hospitals furnish them with daily triumphs; the greater, as they are certain, without any risk to them of men or money. 4thly, Because we conceive the calling in foreign forces to decide domestic quarrels, to be a measure both disgraceful and dangerous; WOL. II. M
and that the advice which ministers have dared to give to his Majesty, which they have avowed and carried into execution, of sending to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port Mahon, the dominions of the Crown of Great Britain, a part of his electoral troops, without any previous consent, recommendation or authority of Parliament, is unconstitutional. That Hanoverian troops should, at the mere pleasure of the ministers, be considered as a part of the British military establishment, and take a rotation of garrison duties through these dominions, is, in practice and precedent, of the highest danger to the safety and liberties of this Kingdom, and tends wholly to invalidate the wise and salutary declaration of the grand fundamental law of our glorious deliverer, King William, which has bound together the rights of the subject and the succession of the Crown. 5thly, Because the ministers, who are to be entrusted with the management of this war, have proved themselves unequal to the task, and in every degree unworthy of public trust. Parliament has given them every assistance they asked; no unforeseen accidents have stood in their way; no storms have disabled or delayed their operations; no foreign power hath, as yet, interfered: but notwithstanding these advantages, by their ignorance, negligence, and want of conduct, our arms have been disgraced; upwards of ten thousand of the flower of our army, with an immense artillery, under four generals of reputation, and backed with a great naval force, have been miserably blockaded in one sea-port town, and after repeated and obstinate battles, in which such numbers of our bravest men have fallen, the British forces have not been able to penetrate one mile into the country which they were sent to subdue; important fortresses are seized, the governors are driven from their provinces, and it is doubtful whether, at this moment, we are in possession of a single town in all North America. Whether we consider its extent or its commerce, England has lost half its empire in one campaign. Nor can we impute the misconduct of ministers to mere inability, nor to their ignorance of the state of America, upon which they attempt to justify themselves. For while some members of administration confess they were deceived as to the strength and condition of the provinces, we have from others received official information, that the insufficiency of the navy was concealed from Parliament, and part of Administration, from a fear of not receiving support from its members. We cannot therefore consent to an address which may deceive his Majesty and the public into a belief of the confidence of this House in the present ministers, who have deceived Parliament, disgraced the nation, lost the colonies, and involved us in a civil war against our clearest interests; and, upon the most unjustifiable grounds, wantonly spilling the blood of thousands of our fellow subjects.
Thomas Howard, Earl of Effingham.
The second reading of the American prohibitory Bill, 16 Geo. III, cap. 5, was taken in the House of Commons on the 1st of December. The House went into Committee on the 5th, and a motion ‘that the Chairman leave the chair' was negatived by 34 to 126. It was passed on the 11th of December by 1 12 to 16, was sent to the Lords, read a first time on the 12th of December, and a second on the 15th of December, when the negative was moved by the Duke of Manchester. But the committal was carried by 78 to 19. It received the royal assent on the 22nd of December. It prohibits all trade and intercourse with New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and repeals the Boston port Act, and the Acts of the last Session for restraining the trade and commerce of the colonies. The following protest was inserted against going into committee.
1st, Because this Bill, by considering the colonies in America as