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the government, but the commons had little besides that one of giving money and granting aids, which was their undoubted and inherent right, and therefore every thing that intrenched upon that the commons might be allowed to be extremely jealous of.”
As it would be dangerous to proceed in the subject now before us without authorities, I shall add the continuation of Rapin’s History of England, by Tindal, vol. III, page 231, and the record relating to the same controversy between the houses of lords and commons, as it lies upon the journals of the commons, inthe' fourth session of king William’s second parliament.
Tindal says, that the lords added a clause to the money bill sent up by the commons, by which they taxed themselves. That clause was disagreed to by the commons, qnemz'ne contradicente, as an encroachment on their rights in the article of giving money, and sent to the lords to desire a conference thereupon; to whom they represented, ‘F That the commons had disagreed to the clause added by their lordships to the money bill, as being a notorious encroachment upon the rights of the house of commons to order and settle all matters relating .to the giving of money, which their ancestors had been so jealous of; that they thought it a diminution of this their fun; damental privilege to give their lordships any reason for supporting it; and their lordships, after a long debate, resolved to recede from the said clause by so great a majority, that the house did not divide upon ‘it—and SQ dropped the clause.
On the journals of the house of commons it appears,
“That the lords had agreed to the bill, entitled, ‘ An act Vol. X.
for granting to their majesties an aid of four shillings in Page 780. the pound, 8m. with an amendment. Provided, neverthe
less, that all and every the peers that are to be rated by virtue of this act, for their oflices or personal estate, shall be rated by Thomas earl of Pembroke, lord privy seal, George marquis of Halifax, William earl of Devon, lord steward of the houshold, Charles earl of Shrewsbury, &0. 8w. or any five of them, and not otherwise; and shall not be subjected to the imprisonment of his or their persons, any thing in this .act contained to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided also, and it is hereby declared, that the several rates and taxes to which the lords and peers of this realm shall be liable, by virtue of this act, shall be received by a collector to be nominated by the peers; which said collector shall cause the same to be paid into his majesty’s receipt of exchequer, on or before the twenty-fifth day of March, 1693.” And the question being put, that the house do agree with the lords in the said amendment, it passed in the negative. And, by order of the house, sir Thomas Clarges reported the reasons to be ofi'ered at a conference with the lords, “ That the right of granting supplies to the crown is in the commons alone as an essential part of their constitution, and ,the limitation of all such grants, as to the matter, manner, measure, and time, is only in them, which is so well known to be fundamentally settled in them, that to give reasons for it, has been esteemed by our ancestors to be
2 ‘vealsening of that right, and the clause sent down by their lordshipswas
It is well known, that before the revolution the whole standing income of
the state was in the power and disposal of the crown; and Tind. Cont. was called the revenue of the crown; there was then no Rap. distinction of what was to be allotted to the king’s use, and
what for the service of the public, by which means the king might reserve what part he thought fit for his own designs, and employ no more than be pleased for the purposes of the nation; accordingly it was found, after the restoration, the public revenue had been constantly embezzled, and immense sums very often sunk without being applied to the uses for which they were granted; it was therefore wisely concerted, atler the revolution, for the security of the nation from perpetual misapplications of the public money, to allot a separate income for the maintenance of the king’s houshold, and the support of his dignity, which is now called the civil list, and to put the rest of the public revenues entirely under the command of the parliament. .
It was not till the ninth and tenth of William III, that the civil list was settled upon the king for life, though he had earnestly desired it, and bad subjected that revenue to be charged to the uses of the war. And 011 U16 opening of the third sessions of the third parliament, when they did settle it upon him during his majesty’s life, the king tells them, “that the revenues' of the crown had been so anticipated by his consent for public uses, that he was wholly destitute of means to support the civil list;” Nevertheless, by an act of the twelfth and thirteenth William III, three thousand seven hundred pounds a week (as the uecessityof the public affairs required it) was taken out of that revenue “ to be applied and disposed of to and for the public uses during his majesty’s life.” By an act granting an
~._4 4 ,_\__e
aid to her majesty by a land tax, passed in the first year of the reign of queen Anne, for carrying on the war against France, the
receivers of the chief rents of her majesty, and of the Ch. 1, § 23. queen Dowager, and the receivers of any persons claim
ing under the crown were enjoined under severe penalties to deduct their taxes of four shillings in the pound out of the said rents, and in like manner the fee-farm rents of the crown, the palaces of St. James’s, Whitehall, Windsor-Castle, and Somerset-house, &c. are subjected to the land tax through all the succeeding acts of parliament. By an
act of the first of king George, entitled, An act to ena- Jour. H- Com. ble his majesty to grant the regalities of North-Wales, Vol. XIV, South-Wales, and county of Chester, to his royal high- Page 48.
ness the prince of Wales, &c. it is enacted, “ that it shall
and may be lawful for the king’s most excellent majesty, by letters patent, the. to give and grant unto his said royal highness all the said honors, castles, &c. withinthe counties‘ of Flint, Denby, Montgomery, Carnarvon, &.C- and the county Palatine of Chester, and every or any of them, which
do not belong to his majesty, his heirs and successors, 8w. so nevertheless ‘
that the same do not extend to any taxes, aids or revenues whatsoever granted or to be granted to the crown by parliament, to or for any public
use or uses whatsoever; to have and to hold the said honors, castles, lord-_
ships, manors, messuages, lands, tylhes, tenements, rents, hereditaments, possessions, and premises, so to be granted as aforesaid unto him the said prince, and his heirs, kings of Great Britain ; subject, nevertheless to such annual and other payments and incumbrances as are le- _ gally charged thereupon, or usually satisfied out of the Com. Deb. revenues of the same.” And upon a computation of the Vol. 1X. revenues of the late prince of Wales, in the year 1736, Page 327. when the land tax was at two shillings in the pound, the Hist. Reg. deductions were five thousand pounds a year for the land Vol. XX II, tax upon fifty thousand pounds, the six-penny duty to the Page 387. civil list, and the fees payable at the exchequer, about two et seq. thousand pounds more; so that his nett revenue on the
fifty thousand pounds a year, allowed him by the king, would not amount to more than forty-three thousand pounds yearly, besides his dutchy of Cornwall. By this estimate we see the royal family, for what they received out of the civil list, were subject to parliamentary taxes, until it was otherwise provided by particular acts; and indeed by the seventh and eighth of William III, chap. 1?, sect. 12, it is enacted, "That no letters patents, granted by the king’s majesty, or any of his royal predecessors, 8w. shall be construed or taken to exempt any person, city, borough, &c. or any of the inhabitants of the same, from the burden and charge of any sum or sums of money granted by the act; and all non alzstanter, in such letter patent made, or to be made, in bar of any act of parliament for the supply or assistance of his majesty, are declared to be void, and of none effeet.” If upon these, and many other authorities which might be adduced
to the same purpose, it should appear, that the revenues oi‘ the crown, and of the royal family, are, and have been, subjected to the national taxes of Great Britain, as well as the estates of all the peers and commoners of our mother-country, from whence we derive ourselves and our constitution, it will be difficult to conceive any good reasons why our proprietaries, and their great estate in this province, should alone, of all his majesty’s subjects, be exempted from the payment of taxes for the defence and security of their own estates. But our governor is pleased to inform us, that if we tax them at all, it must be as proprietaries and chief governors, which is the only capacity by which they are connected with, or related to, the inhabitants; that they hold the government and soil under the the same grant, and their title to both is entered in their persons, and cannot be separated, without destroying their authority. Now we certainly have other connec
tions with Thomas Penn, and with Richard Penn, besides their being chief governors: and I suppose they may separately eject or commence actions
at law for rent, or other actions, in his majesty's courts within this province, in their private capacity, in the same manner that other inhabitants and freeholders could do in like cases; and the powers of government might have descended through the eldest branches of the family, or either of our proprietaries, without injuring their property in the soil; and in this case, the governor would have been sufliciently authorised by commission under him, in whom the powers of government were vested. But the commission of property (which our governors have not been concerned with till
very lately) would have beeh insuflicient, unless executed by all who had a
property in the lands, and is now executed by the governor by virtue of
that commission in opposition to his commission as lieutenant-governor,
which lexpressly enjoins him not to grant lands, or otherwise interfere with
the proprietaries affairs of property. '
But to return, as it is evident that the peers of Great Britain do notvotc in the election ‘of members to serve in parliament, yet their estates are taxed by bills of aids, and supplies to the crown, which arise out of the house ofcommonsi I am of opinion, that the conclusion the governor draws from his reasoning in the message of the thirteenth of August last, is in direct opposition to the rights and usage of the house of commons; and consequently our offering a bill, whereby the proprietary estate was to be taxed with all other estates within this province, was not against the yery principles of the British constitution, as he would imagine.
To which it may be answered,
Have the proprietaries, says the Have the peers of Great Britain a governor, a right to vote in the elec- right to vote in the election ofrepretion of representatives as landhold- sentatives as landholdersPsurelynot. ers? surely not. Being hereditary Being hereditary peers of Great Brigovernors of the province, and hav- tain, and having a vote in the legising a vote in the legislature by their lature by their own particular repres own particular representative the-go- sentation in the house oflords- HOW vernor. How then came you by a then came the house of commons by
‘ titled to any, though owners of land
a right to tax the peers as fellowsuhjects and landholders, seeing they had no voice in choosing them, nor were entitled to any, though owners 0 land in every county?
right to tax'them as fellow-subjects and landholders, seeing they had no voice in choosing you, nor were en
in every county?
From the very principles therefore (says the governor) of the British constitution, you have no right to fax them as freeholders, or fellow-subjects, But all this kind ofreasoning serves only to ease us from the whole force of it, and leaves the governor to dispute the principles of the British constitution with a British house of commons, before whom he will undoubtedly think it his duty to produce stronger arguments than these. The fallacy of this manner of reasoning is very obvious. I
The knights, citizens and burgesses, represent the whole commons of England; but the peers are present in parliament for themselves only; as it would be unjust to tax the peers if they had no representation in the legislature, by which they might give their consent; so it would be equally unjust to tax the proprietary estate here, without his assent by his representative the governor.
The peers and our proprietaries have their negatives upon all bills; but the equity of taxing themselves, as well as all others, for their common safety and defence, induces the lords to give their assent to bills offered to them for that purpose; and do doubt the same equity ought to be equally binding on our proprietaries; and it may be hoped, that all restrictions, by which their deputy is disabled from discharging his duty, will, in due time, be considered by our superiors. Our proprietaries, I presume, have no right to vote for our representatives, though they are certainly landholdeis in this province; and under this consideration they are exempted from paying assemblymen’s wages by our country rate and levy act. The peers of Great-Britain are as certainly landholders, and many of them ‘burges- / ses and members of corporations; yet they neither vote for'the knights of the shire or burgesses; and under the same consideration are exempted from contributing to their expences. The commons petitioned in parliament, first of Richard II, that all persons having lay fee might contribute to the charge of the knights. The king answered, that the lords of the realm would not lose their old liberties: yet in‘ the same reign, by the twelfth of Richard I], chap. 2, it is enacted, that if any lord, ori'any other man, spiritual or temporal, hath purchased any lands or tenements, or other possessions, that were wont to be contributory to such expences before the time of the said purchase, that the said lands, tenements and possessions, and the tenants of the same, be contributory to the said expences, as the said lands, tenements and possessions, were wont to be before the time of the same purchase. This law, which hath continued through so many ages, appears to be founded in justice and equity, and will necessarily become the rule of our conduct; for as our paper money acts are near expir