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CH A P. VI.

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Message from the throne for an augmentation of the forces. Bill for restreint

ing the commerce of the New England colonies, and to prohibit their fishery on the banks of Netofoundland, sc. brought into the Tlouse of Conuens. Great opposition to the bill. Petition and evidence against it. Peritiora fedha and evidence from the town of Pool in support of the bill. Petition from thie Quakers. Long debates: Motion for an amendment over-rulcd. The bill carried through ly great majorities. Meets with equal opposition in the House of Lords. Petition and evidence as before. Great debates. xt; Question for committing the bill, upon the second reading, carried by u great fall majority. Motion on the third reading for an amendment, to include seteral other colonies in the restrictions of the bill. The question carried upon a division. The bill passed, and returned with the amendment to the BI Commons. ' Protest. Conference; the, Connons give reasons for refusing and

to concur in the amendment; the Lords ugree to the rejection. The bill re? ceives the royal assent. THE "HE answer from the throne purpose. This message was refere

to the address, besides the red, as usual, to the committee of usual thanks, contained an assurance supply: of taking the most speedy and effec While measures were thus taking tual measures, for enforcing due to apply a military force to the cure obedience to the laws and autho- of the disorders in America, other rity of the supreine legislature ; to means were thought necessary to gether with a declaration, that, when- come in aid of this expedient. ever any of the colonies should make The military force might indeed a "proper and dutifiil application, 'coerce and punish the disobedient, his Majesty would be ready to con- and effectually support the magiscur in affording them every just and trate in case of insurrection; but reasonable indulgence; and con- how to get the body of magistracy, cluded with an carnest wish, that to act, or any sufficient number this disposition might have an hap- upon ordinary occasions to engage: py cliect on their temper and con-· heartily in their cause, did not apduct,

pear. The change in the charter The answer was accompanied of Massachusett's Bay bad not prowith a message from the Throne to duced the desired effect. Even if the Commons, in which they were it should, the inferior magistrates informed, that as it was determined, must evidently be taken in the in consequence of the address, to country; sheriils, constables, select take the most speedy and efféctual men, grand and petty juries, must measures for supporting, the just be aiding to the higher magistrates, rights of the crown, and the iwo or nothing could be done; and the Houses of Parliament, some aug- idea of having troops in every pa. ment:ition to the forces by sea and rish would be ridiculous. land would be necessary for that coercive plan being

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The erefore still

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mited time.

relied on, it was proposed to chusę nefits which it derived from those
a j.nishment so universal, as by fisheries.
the inconveniencies, which every

With respect to the other coloman felt, would interest every man nies of New-England included in in. procuring obedience and sub- the bill, he observed, that though mission to the late acts of parlia- there was still a governor and go ment. For this reason the mio vernment in the province of New

nister moved for leave to bring in Hampshire, yet government was so Peruan Feb. 10.

a bill to restrain the trade weak there, that a quantity of pow --Tech

and commerce of the pro- der had been taken out of one of vinces of Massachusett's Bay, and the King's forts by an armed mob; New Hampshire ; the colonies of besides, that from the vicinity of

Connecticut and Rhode-Island, and that province to Massachusett's Bay, des Providence Plantation, in North if it were not included, the purpose -uridae

America, to Great-Britain, Ire- of the act would be defeated. Nor land, and the British Islands in the was the ill temper of the people of West-Indies ; and to prohibit such Connecticut found less deserving of provinces and colonies from carry, their being included in the general ing on any fishery on the banks of punishment, who, upon a report Newfoundland, or other places that the soldiery had killed some therein to be mentioned,

under people in Boston, narched a large certain conditions, and for a li- body of men into the province of

Massachusett's; and though that He supported the proposed bill body returned, on finding the fal(of which he had given some pre- sity of the report, the temper and vious intimation on the following disposition they shewed, as well as grounds : that as the Americans the general state and conduct of the had refused to trade with this king, colony, did not by any means endow, it was but just that we should title them to. favour. The argunot suffer them to trade with any ment of vicinity was also as appliother nation'; that the restraints of cable to the last province as to that the act of navigation, were their of New Hampshire. charter; and that the several re The minister having stated the baxations of that law, were so many reasons on which he acted, declared, acts of grace and favour; all which, that he would not be averse to such when they ceased to be merited by alleviations of the act, as would not the colonies, it was reasonable and prove destructive of its great object; necessary should be recalled by the and therefore he would only prolegislature ; that the fisheries on the pose, it, as temporary, to continue banks of Newfoundland, as well either to tlit end of the year, or of as all the others in North-America, the next session of parliament; were the undoubted right of Great- and lie would also propose, that, Britain

, and she might accordingly, particular persons might be exdispose of them as she pleased; cepted, upon their obtaining certi: that as both Houses had declared a ficates from the Governor of the rebellion in the province of Massa- province, in which they resided, chusett's Bay, it was therefore just of their good behaviour, , or upto deprive that province of the be on their subscribing to a lest,, ac

knowledging

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knowledging the rights of parlia- vince. It was said, that in what the

eier other matters of policy our se real This bill, besides the matter that ministers might be found deficient, il dose was peculiar to its own nature, they had the ivost infallible receipt brought up in its course the whole for making rebellions, and the happening series of Anierican controversy. piest talent in hitting upon inca. With regard to this particular mea sures for the ruin of trade and comsure, the principle of involving the merce, and the disinembement of innocent in the punishment of the a great empire, of any set of men guilty, was alternately combated, that ever conducted the public afwith serious argument, pathetic re- fairs of any country. monstrance, and pointed ridicule. It was said, that ihe cruelty of the What legislature had ever establish- bill exceeded the examples of hos- uitbord ed a precedent of equal cruelty and tile rigour with avowed enemies

; i la injustice, with the condemning of that in all the violence of our most half a million of people to perish dangerous wars, it was an establishwith famine, for the supposed ed rule in the marine service, to crimes of a few unknown persons ? spare the coast-fishing craft of our Such precedents were only to be declared enemies; always considersought for in the history of the most ing, that we waged war with nasavage and barbarous tyrants; but tions, and not with private men; not among the judicial acts of le-' and that it would be unworthy the gislators. Why were three other character of a great and brave peoprovinces to be punished for a re- ple, and even savage and barbellion supposed only in one? or if barous, to deprive poor wretches of they were also in rebellion, why their means of hard-earned liveliwere they not declared so? One hood, and the miserable village iniprovince was to be deprived of its habitants of the sea-coasts, of their subsistence, because a rebellion, no daily food. It was known that ! body knew where, nor by whom, the people of New England subsist! was, however, said to be lurking in much on fish; and that the sale of that soine part of it. A second province commodity supplies them with the was to be punished, because it hap- means of purchasing flour and sevepened to be next door to

ral other articles necessary to life; bellion; a third, because it would three of the provinces in question he doing nothing to let that es not raising wheat for the fourth cape; and a fourth must be starved, part of their demand: so that we because the ministers could not now inhumanly intend to starve otherwise square their plan. Very whole provinces, and these our own bad reasons they said, had been people, excepting only such, as a given for punishing the other New. Governor may think proper England colonies; but no

vour; a paltry pretence of lenity, at all had been assigned for in- which will serve only to corer the cluding Rhode Island in the common most scandalous partiality, and give restriction: unless perhaps the mere rise to unjust preference, 'mondpoly, neighbourhood might be the cause, and to all kinds of the most shamewhich was left to be guessed, mi- ful and pernicious jobbs. They nistry being silent as to that pro- desired the proposer of the bill to

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in the fishery, and the circuitous trade hands of our natural rivals and enc

recollect that he had frequently selves, nor restore them to those of politesproken of the multitude of friends whom we had thus violently and und denne he had in all those provinces; and unjustly deprived of the means of

now, by his own measure, he not subsistence; that distance and local

only confounded the innocent with circumstances shut us out in the first z upon to the guilty, but friends with enemies, instance; and with respect to the alle andre and involved his own partizans other, that the little capital, vesmbimet

onc common ruin with the rest. sels, and implements of fishermen,

But this was not only to operate tho majority of whom must ever le paris upon, supposed rebels, or upon those be necessarily poor, could only be

wlio had the misfortune of being kept up by the constant returns of ceruzkr i thair neighbours, or who it was profit, and when the returns failed,

imagined cither did or might con- the capital and implements would be eil erut ceal rebellion; but it was also to lost for ever. That the people must

of our un punish the people of Great-Britain, either perish, or apply themselves In estate who were charged with no delin- to other occupations, from which

quency, not even of concealment or they could not be recalled at will. neighbourhood, and who must lose That we were thus finding out the

a very great share of their-property means for Providence of punishing which was lying in the proscribed our own cruelty and injustice; for

provinces, in consequence of this that those fisheries, which were a nuradhit bill

. For

, as New-England was more inexhaustible, and infinitely hypnose not productive of staple-commo- imore valuable source of wealth and

and dedities, sufficient to pay the great power than all the mines in the we balance which it was always under new world, would not only be lost moet ek a necessity of owing in this country, to ourselves, but would be thrown e villa it kad no other means of dis- into the scale against us, by falling,

charging that debt than through in a very great degree, into the dependent on it: so that to cut off nies, They observed also, that those means was, in fact, to beggar', the fisherman, having no occupaour merchants and manufacturers; tion, must of course become a soland the British legislature was, in dier. Thus we provoke a rebellion its wisdom, going to pass a disabling by the injustice of one set of acts, bill

, to prevent the payıncnt of debts and then recruit the rebellious army to its British subjects.

by another, It was further contended, that In support of the bill, besides the the absurdity of the bill was even arguments that were originally equal to its cruelty and injustice. urged, the charges of injustice and That its object was to take away a cruelty were denied; and it was trale from our colonies, which all said, that whatever distress the bill who understood its vature knew we might bring upon the colonies, they muld not transfer to ourselves. could not complain of the legisla That God and nature had given the ture, as they not only deserved it fisheries to them, and not to us; and by their' disobedience, but had set limits to our avarice and cruelty, themselves set the example. That which we could not pass; that they had entered into the most unwhen they were once destroyed, we lawful and daring combinations, as could neither benefit by thém our far as in them lay, to ruin out VOL. XVIII, 1775.

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merchants,

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merchants, impoverish our manu tain the best of our friends, and facturers, and to starve our W'est. those friends too might be the more India islands. That nothing could numerous part of the inhabitants; be more equitable than to prohibit but still the miseries of a siege, and the trade of those who had prohi- possibly of a famine, must be subbited ours. That if any foreign mitted to, or the town never could power had offered us only a small be recovered. part of the insult and injury that Never, said they, was a measure we had received from our colonies, more truly necessary than the pretie whole nation would have been sent. The colonies had too long in a flame to demand satisfaction,' imposed upon and deluded us, by and woe to the ministers who were the bugbear of withdrawing their slack' in obtaining it. Were we trade, hoping, through the terror then to act the part of bullies with of our merchants and manufacturers, this all the rest of mankind, only to be to bend the legislature to, a comkicked at hoine by our own peu pliance with all their demands, 2007

until they had brouzlit their designs The charge of cruelty was said to to such a ripeness, as to be able to be equoy ill founded. This was throw off the mask, and openly tu å bill of humanity and mercy, as

their rebellious purposes. well as of coercion; it being the That this was the third time, within only moderate nicans of bringing a few years, in which they had the disobedient provinces to a serise

thrown the whole commerce of this of their duty, without involving country into a state of the greatest The empire in the horrors of a civil confusion. That both colonies and var. : They had daringly incurred

were beiter lost than all the penalties of contumaey and preserved upon such terms; that rebellion, and were liable to the life itself could not be worth the scierest military exceution, without keeping in a constant stue of uvany imputation of cruelly. In certainty and fear.. Things were the sun stead of these ercadiul punishıinents now come to a crisis, and the conwhich they so justly merited, they flict must be borre. We must either were to be brought to their senses relinquishıour connections with Ame: without any severity, only by a re- rica, or tis then upon such a stre striction on their trade, which would and certain basis, as woull effectually Jizst no longer than their contumacy. prevent the return of those evils.

Thus government would be sup The minority replied, that thic ported, without the miseries of necessity was pretended, not seal. tvar, or the effusion of blood. That this measure, so far from ne

As: to the charge of involving cessary, was by no means expedio the innocent with the guilty, friends ent. "That the parallel with foreign with foes, the propriety or impro- na:ions did not hold. That nothing priety, the justice or injustice of bound a foreign nation but fear. such an art, depended on the ne But is that the bond of internal go. cessity of the measure.' That when- vernment, and the foundation of ever this was the case, the necessity security, at liome?: To revenge innight be lamented, but could not juries in your own doniestic disbe helped: That a lown of ours, held putes is not the way to prevent by rebels or memies, might con. their return. The pay. to lasting

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