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‘twenty-five thousand pounds to ‘the Ring’s use. Thethouse
alleged, and truly, that the money was outstanding in many hands, and could not suddenly be collected, without distressing and ruining the people. However, on the credit of this fund, we voted the first five thousand pounds for provisions, and ordered the money to be borrowed on interest. And at the last sitting, when the governor refused to pass our bill for giving twenty-five thousand pounds to the king’s use, he may be pleased to remember, that he sent us down a message
in which, after the reason given for not passing the bill, there '
are these words: “ As this is a time of imminent danger, and the forces raised and destined for the service of the colonies, must wait the supplies from this province, 1' again intreat you to fall upon some other method of raising money, that we may not lose this happy opportunity of recovering his majesty’s dominions now invaded by the French king.” The house accordingly fell on this other m‘ethod: they gave ten thousand pounds of the money in their power to the king’s use; they appointed a committee to purchase the provisions required, and impowered'them to draw for the sum on the treasurer or trustees of the loan-oflice, as ‘had been usual; with this only difference, that as former draughts were payable on' sight, and therefore bore no interest, these being payable in a year, were to bear interest; and in the mean time the. outstanding money was ordered to be got in, that the draughts might be punctually discharged. Monied men, knowing the goodness of the fund, and confiding in the justice and punctuality of the assembly, which has always honourably discharged the public debts, have voluntarily furnished the committee with cash for these draughts, which they have laid by in their chests to receive in time the interest. Thus the king’s forces have been expeditiously supplied, the people have time to pay off their debtsto the public, and no one is oppressed, distressed, or injured; norvis any encroachment made on the powers of government, or any thing done that has not been usual, or which the assembly are not by law impowered to do. Yet this is whatithe governor represents as “ creating bills oi‘ credit, and issuing them in lieu of
money, without the approbation of the government;” by‘
which, persons unacquainted with the fact, might understand we had been making paper-money, and issuing it on loan, or in some other manner, to produce an advantage to ourselves, and, attempted to make it a legal tender Without the governor’s assent, &c. all which is mere misrepresentation or misapprehension, as will appear by the resolves them-— selves, to which we beg leave to refer. After this explanation of our conduct, we believe it will clearly appear, that the governor’s insinuation, as if we had used powers dangerous to the government, is as groundless as it is unkind.
‘ be other charges, of “denying the governor access to our journals, and printing the secretary of state’s letters,” having been made and answered in former messages between the governor and the house, we think it unnecessary to take any further notice of them here. But we are surprized to find, that after having effectually given fifteen thousand
‘pounds, in provisions and other necessaries for the king’s
forces, maintained at so great an expence our Indian allies, established a constant regular post through two hundred miles of country, merely for the service of the armyyand advanced a considerable sum to make a long and chargeable road through the wilderness and mountains to the Ohio, for the use of the king’s forces, the whole expence of which we have engaged to 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 lcontagious distempers, &c. We own that it is sometimes practised, when the governor and assembly differ in judgment concerning a bill, to requegt a conference, if there be any hope by such a' conference to obtain an agreement; but we being, from many bill, without such hope at present,‘
circumstances attending the
Contented ourselves with laying before the governor, in'a message,ourireasons for not agreeing to his proposed amends ments, and‘submitted those reasons to his consideration; the bill may still 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 neith'er 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 abill 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 endeavoring to render’ the inhabitants of Pennsylvania odious to our gracious sovereign and his ministers, to the British nation, td all the neighbors ing 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 h. ve no joy in disputation. We wish the g0vernor 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 cannotresist 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 princii ' ples, 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 commonsvof July 2, 1678, in sight at that time, which was as follows, viz.
‘That all aids and supplies granted to his majesty in pare liament, 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 if the commons to direct, limit, and appoint in such bills, the ends, purposes, considerations, conditions, limitations, and qualifications, of such grants, which ought n0,t,t0 be changed
' by the house of lords.’ To say ‘nothing of certain remarka—
ble provisions of theirs in the ‘year 1678 (which, in a course of conferences with the lords, th‘ey 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. ‘ Their adjournment was to the first 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 gover‘ nor Thomas’s act for granting five thousand pounds out of
bills of credit; for the king’s use. The date of this approba?
tion is October 9, 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 administration. 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, acknowleging the receipt of certain 7
presents from the house to the olficers of their respective regiments, of the most considerateand acceptable kind, and returning thanks for the ‘same. \
The reason of this summons assigned by the governor in his message was to this efi‘ect, ‘That general Braddock having begun his march towards fort Du Quesne, had represented/to him, ‘ That in case .he should reduce that fort, his intentions were to leave a garrison, with all the guns, stores, 8m. he should find in it; that in case the'French should abandon and destroy the fortifications, Ste. 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, 81c. 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 saidgeneral had