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defray, we should still be flatly told by the governor, 'that he is convinced from the whole tenor of our behaviour, that we have no design to contribute any thing towards the defence of this country.'
"The governor is pleased further to censure us for not desiring a conference on the bill to prevent the importation of Germans, or other passengers, in too great numbers in one ship or vessel, and to prevent the spreading of contagious distempers, &c. We own that it is sometimes practised, when the governor and assembly differ in judgment concerning a bill, to request a conference, if there be any hope by such a conference to obtain an agreement; but we, being, from many circumstances attending the bill, without such hope at present, contented ourselves with laying before the governor, in a message, our reasons for nol agreeing to his proposed amendments, and submitted those reasons to his consideration; the bill may stilt be resumed, and a conference entered into at a future session, if there should be any prospect of success. If our proceeding was irregular, which we think it was not, the governor may be pleased to remember, he himself set us a more irregular example at our last sitting, when we presented him the bill for granting twenty-five thousand pounds to the King's use; for he neither proposed any amendment, nor desired any conference, nor would return us our bill (when we expressly sent for it to be reconsidered) according to the constant custom in this government, but only acquainted us, that, it being a bill of a very extraordinary nature, he would send it home to the ministry;' which we hope he has accordingly done, as we believe it will be found, however the governor may have misapprehended it, to have nothing extraordinary in its
nature, or inconsistent with our duty to the crown, or assuming more than our just rights and privileges.
"On the whole, while we find the governor transforming our best actions into crimes, and endeavouring to render the inhabitants of Pennsylvania odious to our gracious sovereign and his ministers, to the British nation, to all the neighbouring colonies, and to the army that is come to protect us; we cannot look upon him as a friend to this country. We are plain people, unpractised in the sleights and artifices of controversy, and have no joy in disputation. We wish the governor of the same disposition; and when he shall, as we hope he will on better consideration, alter his conduct towards us, and thereby convince us that he means well to the province, we may then be able to transact the public business together with comfort both to him and ourselves; of which till then we have small expectation."
Such was the language of liberty, truth, and candor! We feel the force of it; we cannot resist its authority. And if the governor had the mortification to find they had ordered both his message and their answer to be printed in their gazettes, he had also the pleasure to find himself excused for the present by their adjournment from the impossible task of constructing such a reply as the pressure of his case required.
Perhaps they thought the absurdity he had fallen into, by charging them with a resolution to take advantage of their country's danger, to aggrandize and render permanent their own power and authority, too glaring to need any comment. Perhaps they did not think it proper to retort, that the inhabitants of a colony, so remote from the principal seat of empire, had
abundantly more to apprehend from an excess of power in their governor, than the governor could possibly have from a like excess in their representatives; the executive, as before observed, being a single principle always in force, and the legislative composed of two co-equal principles, which must always tally, or can no otherwise operate, than by restraining and controlling the operations of each other, as in the case before us; and, perhaps, they had not the resolution of the House of Commons of July 2d, 1678, in sight at that time, which was as follows, viz.
"That all aids and supplies granted to his Majesty in Parliament, are the sole gift of the Commons; that all bills for the granting any such aids and supplies ought to begin with the Commons; and that it is the undoubted and sole right of the Commons to direct, limit, and appoint, in such bills, the ends, purposes, considerations, conditions, limitations, and qualifications of such grants, which ought not to be changed by the House of Lords." To say nothing of certain remarkable provisions of theirs in the year 1678 (which, in a course of conferences with the Lords, they adhered to) to appoint a receiver of their own for the administration of the money then granted for the payment and disbanding of the army, and the payment of the same into the Chamber of London, instead of the Exchequer.
An Acknowledgment from the Officers of the Regular Forces of certain Presents made to them by the Assembly. The Governor's Message to the Assembly, said to be founded on a Representation of General Braddock's, requiring them to enable him to furnish the said General with Provisions under proper Convoys. The Assembly desire to have the General's Letter laid before them, which the Governor declines, and thereby occasions a new Controversy. The Assembly send up two Money Bills; not approved by the Governor. The Assembly adjourn, but are again convoked on Occasion of Braddock's Defeat. The Governor's Speech. The Assembly vote an Aid of Fifty Thousand Pounds by a Tax on all real and personal Estates. The Address of the Assembly to the Governor. Their Fifty Thousand pounds Money Bill returned, with an Amendment, by which the whole Proprietary Estate was to be exempted from the Tax. The Message of the Assembly to the Governor on that Occasion, desiring his Reasons for that Exemption. The Governor's Reply, containing Four curious Reasons. The Assembly's Rejoinder refuting those Reasons.
THEIR adjournment was to the 1st of September; but they were assembled by special summons on the 13th of June; and the first minute on their books of public note is one, to specify the approbation given by the Lords Justices to Governor Thomas's act for granting five thousand pounds out of bills of credit for the King's use. The date of this approbation is October 9th, 1748, so that it was subsequent to the King's instruction so pertinaciously insisted upon; and having, either by some accident or neglect been overlooked thus long, the governor, as we have seen, had in the December before taken the advantage to express himself thus hardily to the assembly; "Colonel Thomas's conduct is no rule to me, nor will mine be for any one that may succeed me; and, if we may judge from his not transmitting that act to England, we may presume, that he did not look upon that particular as the most recommendatory part of his admin
istration. It is true, he was never censured for it; and, indeed, how could he, as the transaction was never made known to his Majesty or his ministers."
And the next minute that follows this, concerning the said approbation, notifies,
That sundry letters from Sir Peter Halket and Colonel Dunbar were then read, acknowledging the receipt of certain presents from the House to the officers of their respective regiments, of the most considerate and acceptable kind, and returning thanks for the same.
The reason of this summons assigned by the governor in his message was to this effect, "That General Braddock having begun his march towards fort Duquesne, had represented to him, 'that, in case he should reduce that fort, his intentions were to leave a garrison, with all the guns, stores, &c. he should find in it; that in case the French should abandon and destroy the fortifications, &c., as he had reason to apprehend they would, he should then repair it, or construct some place of defence; but that in either case, as the artillery, stores, &c. he had with him would be absolutely necessary for the prosecution of his plan, he was determined to leave none of them behind him, and expected to have all his wants of that kind, as well as provisions for his garrison, supplied by the governments of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; and, that he might not be delayed in his operations, those things might be immediately forwarded to him under proper convoys;'" adding, that the said general had lately received intelligence, which 'he had communicated to him, that the French, together with their Indians, intended as soon as the army was far advanced to fall upon the back country; and that, though the general thought it a bravado, he also thought it advisable to take all possible precautions against it;