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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 riots which had taken place in the colonies, and decla. red, that they bordered on rebellion. He condemned the language and sentiments which he had 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 difference 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 represented. It is exercised over the India company, the mer. chants of London, the proprietors of the stocks, and over many great manufacturing towns. It was exerci. sed over the county palatine of Chester, and the
bishoprick of Durham, before they sent any representatives 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 in 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 to: wards 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 toexpect 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
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 discou. raged no trade but what was illicit, what was prohibited 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 com. pelled 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! he proceeded :
- Gentlemen, sir,t have been charged with giving 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.
that America has resisted. Three millions of people, so dead to all the feelings of liberty as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest. I come not here armed at all points, with law cases and acts of parliament, with the statute book doubled down in dog's ears, to defend the cause of liberty : if I had, I myself would have cited the two cases of Chester and Durham. I would have cited them, to have shown that, even under former arbitrary reigns, parliaments were ashamed of taxing a people without their consent; and allowed them representatives. Why did the gentleman confine himself to Chester and Durham ? He might have taken a higher example in Wales; Wales that never was taxed by parliament till it was incorporated. I would not debate a particular point of law with the gentleman. I know his abilities. I have been obliged to his diligent researches. But, for the defence of liberty, upon a general principle, upon a constitutional principle, it is a ground on which I stand firm; on which I dare meet any man. The gentleman tells us of many who are taxed, and are not represented.-The India company, merchants, stockholders, manufacturers. Surely many of these are represented in other capacities, as owners of land, or as freemen of boroughs. It is a misfortune that more are not equally represented. But they are all inhabitants, and as such are they not virtually represented ? Many have it in their option to be actually represented. They have connexions with those that elect, and they have influence over them. The gentleman mentioned the stockholders. I hope he does not reckon the debts of the nation as a part of the national estate. Since the accession of king William, many ministers, some of great, others of more moderate abilities, have taken the lead of government."
He then went through the list of them, bringing it down till he came to himself, giving a short sketch of the characters of each of them. None of these, he said, thought or ever dreamed of robbing the colonies of their constitutional rights. That was re
served to mark the era of the late administration : not that there were wanting some, when I had the honour to serve his majesty, to propose to me to burn my fingers with an American stamp act. With the enemy at their back, with our bayonets at their breasts, in the day of their distress, perhaps the Ame. ricans would have submitted to the imposition ; but it would have been taking an ungenerous, an unjust advantage. The gentleman boasts of his bounties to America! Are not these bounties intended finally for the benefit of this kingdom ? If they are not, he has misapplied the national treasures. I am no courtier of America. I stand up for this kingdom. I maintain that the parliament has a right to bind, to restrain America.
Our legislative power over the colonies is sovereign and supreme. When it ceases to be sovereign and supreme, I would advise every gentleman to sell his lands, if he can, and embark for that country. When two countries are connected together like England and her colonies without being incorporated, the one must necessarily govern. The greater must rule the less ; but so rule it, as not to contradict the fundamental principles that are common to both.
If the gentleman does not understand the difference between external and internal taxes, I cannot help it; but there is a plain distinction between taxes levied for the purposes of raising a revenue, and duties imposed for the regulation of trade, for the accommodation of the subject; although, in the consequences, some revenue might incidentally arise from the latter.
The gentleman asks, when were the colonies emancipated ? But I desire to know, when were they made slaves ? But I dwell not upon words. When I had the honour of serving his majesty, I availed myself of the means of information, which I derived from my office.
office. I speak therefore from knowledge. My materials were good. I was at pains to collect, to digest, to consider them; and I will be bold to affirm, that the profits to Great Britain from the trade of the colonies, through all its branches, is two mil