Abbildungen der Seite



whether he might, or might not, be safe in passing a bill‘ of the kind mentioned in his state of the 'case, could regard himself only, and does, by no means, determine the rights we claim under the royal charter-‘And ~we have-the pleasure to assure the governor, we have been‘ credi" 1v informed that the boardv of trade, about a year‘ ago, ‘stated'a question to the attorney and solicitor-general, with respect to the validity of this instruction of a suspending clause, over governments claiming particular rigius bycharter; to which they have not yet given any answer, that we can learn. And

we know, that notwithstanding two'ibills extending the royal‘ ‘instructions over councils and assemblies in America had

been attempted in parliament without success, and a third bill was brought in with the same clanse,yet it could not obtain a passage there. And we are informed, that a noble

friend to, liberty and the rights ofthe British subject, a mem' her of thathouse, ‘exposed this third attemp'tiso fully, upon

service to the-British interest in America.

the second reading of‘the-bill,» that the clauses on this head objected'to Werefdropt without "a division in the committee. And until such actsfof parliament shall be obtained, ‘which we have good reasonto hope will never, be imposed upon us, the governor must agree with us,that it is our duty to defend the rights and, privileges we enjoy-under the'royal charter. ‘As in the present case, we are not bound by any ‘acts'o‘f parliament, and are certainly clear: of the act limiting the eastern colonies, both as to the force'and the intention of it, we hope the governor, from his known abilities and good will to thevprosperity of this province, will immediately discern the difference between this bill and acts of assembly creating bills of credit on common and ordinary occasions. What force royal instructions may have on bills of credit passed on common-and ordinary occasions is not immediately before us, and may be considered ata'proper time. But we hope the governor,‘notwithstanding any penal bond‘ he may have entered into, will, onreflection, think himself at liberty, and find it consistentwith his safety and honour, to give'his as‘-v sent to this bill, which may, at this time, be of such great

‘ But if we should unhappily still differ in opinion, notwithstanding these reasons, and such as have been offered by our , former assemblies, we must be obliged, as our last resource, to apply to the crown for redress, or to the lords of trade, or our proprietaries, as the case may require ; in which, we doubt not, the governor will favour us with his assistance. And in order to furnish ourselves with every thing necessary for our own vindication, and that this case may appear in its full light, we entreat the governor will be pleased to inform , us, whether the royal instruction is the only impediment; or whether he has any farther instructions from our proprietaries, which influence him in refusing his assent to our bill? and, if he has, that he would be pleased to lay those instruc' tions before us for our consideration.’ And the answer to the second was as follows: ‘ The undoubted proofs his majesty has ever given of his gracious and paternal affection for all his subjects, however

' i 1


distant from his royal presence, and the fresh marks we have ‘

now before us of his care and regard for the welfare and‘s'e

curity of his subjects in North America, excite in us the

warmest returns of duty and gratitude ; and we hope we have

,1 fully testified, that we have nothing more at heart, in all our

\ deliberations, than to answer the reasonable expectations of

the crown from this young but loyal colony. We have cheer;

fully passed a bill for granting twenty thousand pounds for

the king’s use, which now lies before the governor for his ap

probation, and we hope will answer all the purposes recom

\ mended to his care by Sir Thomas Robinson’s letter of the 26th of October last.’

It was now the governor’s turn; and the reader must recollect his former declarations, in order'to wonder enough at his introductory paragraph, which was as follows: _

‘ Gentlemen, when your bill for striking twenty thousand pounds, &c. was before me, I duly considered the dangerous circumstances in which the province was involved; and the absolute necessity of speedy measuresto remove the French from their encroachments, and this induced me, instead of adding a caus'e to suspend the force of the act till his majcm


ty’s pleasure could be known, to send it back to you, that you might frame such a one as I was at liberty to give my consent to; and at the same time to signify to you, that I would agree to the striking any sum the present emergency might require, provided funds were established for sinking the same in five years, that beingthe term prescribed by an act of parliament for regulating paper-money in the eastern governments ; and I thought the reason of that act extended here, though the force of it did not; and I hoped that I should be excused, if I so far relaxed the instruction upon the present occasion, as to act agreeable to the rule laid down by parliament for the neighbouring governments, and I am sorry, for ~the sake of the public, to find by your message, that you have so far misapprehended me, asto conceive that I intended to insist on the suspending clause in this dangerous situation of affairs, which the words of my message do in no wise import, and that upon the whole, you refuse to accede to the reasonable measures I proposed.’--Proceeding then to Ryder’s opinion; he would not allow, it regarded only common and ordinary emissions: said, that if governor Thomas was never censured Rn‘ dispensing with the instmction, itwas because the transaction itself had never been made. known to his majesty or his ministers ; that the fact mentioned by them, relating to the case laid by the lords of trade before the attorney and solicitor-general, was quite unknown


to him; that, however, when they should report their opinion, ~

and his majesty should think fit to issue different instructions, he should endeavour to pay the proper obedience ; that the debates in parliament, 8tc.- had little connection with the matter then before them; that though the parliament did not

agree to give a general‘ sanction to all instructions from his ‘

majesty, yet the instruction in question having been the re-. sult of addresses from both houses, it could not be doubted but they would support their own act; that he joined with them in opinion, that the only method to have the validity and force ,of the same finally determined would be by an application to his majesty, and was desirous they should lay the ‘whole affair before his majesty’s ministers; that being,

150 -:~ , '1 + '. ".v ‘t-rrnnnsvtvsnu. _ it;

as he was, vin a great measure, astranger to their constitution, the proprietaries" instructions were quite necessary to him; that those he had received from them, were so perfectly calculated to promote and secure the happiness of the province,

and so reasonable in themselves, that they required nothing '

of him, but what he should have thought it his duty to do without them; that though he did not think it quite decent, and he believed unprecedented, fora governor [to be called upon for a sight of his instructions, he would nevertheless

‘communicate them to the house whenever the public service should require it; that, accordingly, he took that opportunity

to acquaint them, that he had it in charge from the proprietaries, to recommend to them in the most pressing manner, to provide with all imaginable dispatch for the defence and safety of the province, not only by affording such aids as his

vmajesty from time to time should require,but by establishing

a regular militia, providing arms and stores of war, and building proper magazines; all to be done in such amanner as to be least burdensome to the inhabitants, and particularly so, as not to oblige any to bear arms who were or might be

, conscientiously scrupulous ‘against it; that he required this, in

pursuance of the proprietaries’ instructions; and that he was the more urgent in it, because the province never had been in more imminent danger than it was at that time : that beingto give true and exact accounts of the state of the province to his majesty and his ministers, as well as 'to the proprietaries, he desired a‘ clear and determinate answer to this point, that he might be able to lay the same before his majesty in such a manner as might make the interposition of parliament un

necessary; that he was really concerned to find, that instead ‘

of providing for the art'ncles recommended to them'by his majesty, in a manner agreeable tohis rhyal directions [it has been already observed. that noimanner had vbeen, or could be, with propriety, directed by theking] they insisted ‘on his passing the bill, in the shape theyhad sent it up, though before informed he could not do it; that he then again assured them, he would not assent to that or any other bill for emit~

ting paper-money, but upon the terms above-mentioned; he



also took o\ccasion to add, ambng other things, that this dispute so long depending, might certainly have received his majesty’s determination long ago, had they applied for it. (which, by the way, might have been retorted with equal truth on the pi~oprietaries]-That, were there no other method of raising money for the present service, but that by‘ them proposed and insisted upon, their conduct might have

' appeared in a more favourable light; but that as they had, or '

ought to havehad in bank, by the laws in being, fourteen or fifteen thousand pounds, together with a revenue of seven ' thousand pounds a year; as the city and province were in n'ch and flourishing circumstances, the people numerous,and burdened with none or very trifling taxes, he could not cons sent to pass the bill proposed; it being (said he) a direct breach of a royal instruction intended to enforce an act of parliament of the sixth of Queen Anne, which [whether act ‘

or instructions is doubtful] they knew had been shamefully

slighted and disregarded in this and the neighbouring provinces. " Upon the whole, continued he, you will consider, gentlemen, in what light you will appear to his majesty and‘ a British parliament, who are expending great sums of money for the defence of these colonies, while you, the very province most concerned as being invaded, instead of contri' buting towards your own defence, are entering into an ill-' timed controversy concerning the' validity of royal instructions, which might have been determined long ago, and may be delayed to a more convenient- time, without any the least injury to the rights of the people. Let me therefore, gentlemen, once more recommend the present unhappy circumstances of this country to your most serious consideration; and entreat you .to lay aside (for the present at least) every thing that may admitof any dispute, and enter heartily _ into such measures as may best answer the public expectations, and assist his majesty in the measures he has concert~ ed, and is carrying into execution, for the preservation of this country.’ ‘ ' ‘ '

, The assembly again, as if second thoughts, sent him up the reply that‘follou's.

to 'give‘ the governor time for

« ZurückWeiter »