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houses, and the like; there may be great impositions that are not properly taxes.
Q. Is not the post-office rate an internal tax laid by act of Parliament ?
A. I have answered that.
Q. Are all parts of the colonies equally able to pay taxes ?
A. No, certainly; the frontier parts, which have been ravaged by the enemy, are greatly disabled by that means; and therefore, in such cases, are usually favored in our tax laws.
Q. Can we, at this distance, be competent judges of what favors are necessary ?
A. The Parliament have supposed it, by claiming a right to make tax laws for America; I think it impossible.
Q. Would the repeal of the Stamp Act be any discouragement of your manufactures? Will the people that have begun to manufacture decline it?
A. Yes, I think they will; especially if, at the same time, the trade is opened again, so that remittances can be easily made. I have known several instances that make it probable. In the war before last, tobacco being low, and making little remittance, the people of Virginia went generally into family manufactures. Afterwards, when tobacco bore a better price, they returned to the use of British manufactures. So fulling-mills were very much disused in the last war in Pennsylva nia, because bills were then plenty, and remittances could easily be made to Britain for English cloth and other goods.
Q. If the Stamp Act should be repealed, would it induce the assemblies of America to acknowledge the rights of Parliament to tax them, and would they erase their resolutions ?
A. No, never.
Q. Are there no means of obliging them to erase those resolutions ?
A. None that I know of; they will never do it, unless compelled by force of arms.
Q. Is there a power on earth that can force them to erase them?
A. No power, how great soever, can force men to change their opinions.
Q. Do they consider the post-office as a tax, or as a regulation ?
A. Not as a tax, but as a regulation and conveniency; every assembly encouraged it, and supported it in its infancy, by grants of money, which they would not otherwise have done; and the people have always paid the postage.
Q. When did you receive the instructions you mentioned ?
A. I brought them with me, when I came to England, about fifteen months since.
Q. When did you communicate that instruction to the minister?
A. Soon after my arrival, while the stamping of America was under consideration, and before the bill was brought in.
Q. Would it be most for the interest of Great Britain, to employ the hands of Virginia in tobacco, or in manufactures ? A. In tobacco, to be sure. Q. What used to be the pride of the Americans ?
A. To indulge in the fashions and manufactures of Great Britain.
Q. What is now their pride?
A. To wear their old clothes over again, till they can make new ones.
Ν Ο Τ Ε.
In Mr. Walsh’s “Life of Franklin,"contained in Delaplaine's Repository, are some curious remarks on the preceding examination, transcribed from a manuscript written by Dr. Franklin in reply to a friend, who desired to know by whom the several questions were put. These remarks are as follows.
“ I have numbered the questions,” says Dr. Franklin, “for the sake of making references to them.
“ Qu. I, is a question of form, asked of every one that is examined. Qu. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, were asked by Mr. Hewitt, a member for Coventry, a friend of ours, and were designed to draw out the answers that follow; being the substance of what I had before said to him on the subject, to remove a common prejudice, that the Colonies paid no taxes, and that their governments were supported by burdening the people here; Qu. 7, was particularly intended to show by the answer, that Parliament could not properly and equally lay taxes in America, as they could not, by reason of their distance, be acquainted with such circumstances as might make it necessary to spare particular parts. - Qu. 8 to 13, asked by Mr. Huske, another friend, to show the impracticability of distributing the Stamps in America.- Qu. 14, 15, 16, by one of the late administration, an adversary. — Qu. 17 to 26, by Mr. Huske again. His questions about the Germans, and about the number of people, were intended to make the opposition to the Stamp Act in America appear more formidable. He asked some others here that the Clerk has omitted, particularly one, I remember.
“ There had been a considerable party in the House for saving the honor and right of Parliament, by retaining the Act, and yet making it tolerable to America, by reducing it to a stamp on commissions for profitable offices, and on cards and dice. I had, in conversation with many of them, objected to this, as it would require an establishment for the distributors, which would be a great expense, as the stamps would not be sufficient to pay them, and so the odium and contention would be kept up for nothing. The notion of amending, however, still continued, and one of the most active of the members for promoting it told me, he was sure I could, if I would, assist them to amend the Act in such a manner, that America should have little or no objection to it. 'I must confess,' says I, • I have thought of one amendment; if you will make it, the Act may remain, and yet the Americans will be quieted. It is a very small amendment, too; it is only the change of a single word. "Ay,' says he, what is that?' It is in that clause where it is said, that from and after the first day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, there shall be paid, &c. The amendment I would propose is, for one read two, and then all the rest of the act may stand as it does. I believe it will give nobody in America any uneasiness. "Mr. Huske had heard of this, and, desiring to bring out the same answer in the House, asked me whether I could not propose a small
amendment, that would make the act palatable. But, as I thought the answer he wanted too light and ludicrous for the House, I evaded the question.
Qu. 27, 28, 29, I think these were by Mr. Grenville, but I am not certain. — Qu. 30, 31, I know not who asked them. - Qu. 32 to 35, asked by Mr. Nugent, who was against us. His drift was to establish a notion he had entertained, that the people in America had a crafty mode of discouraging the English trade by heavy taxes on merchants. - Qu. 36 to 42, most of these by Mr. Cooper and other friends, with whom I had discoursed, and were intended to bring out such answers as they desired and expected from me. — Qu. 43, uncertain by whom. — Qu. 44, 45, 46, by Mr. Nugent again, who I suppose intended to infer, that the poor people in America were better able to pay taxes than the poor in England. — Qu. 47, 48, 49, by Mr. Prescott, an adversary.
“ Qu. 50 to 58, by different members, I cannot recollect who. — Qu. 59 to 78, chiefly by the former ministry. — Qu. 79 to 82, by friends. — Qu. 83, by one of the late ministry. — Qu. 84, by Mr. Cooper. — Qu. 85 to 90, by some of the late ministry. — Qu. 91, 92, by Mr. Grenville. — Qu. 93 to 98, by some of the late ministry.- Qu. 99, 100, by some friend, I think Sir George Saville. — Qu. 101 to 106, by several of the late ministry. - Qu. 107 to 114, by friends. - Qu. 115 to 117, by Mr. A. Bacon. Qu. 118 to 120, by some of the date ministry. — Qu. 121, by an adversary.
Qu. 122, by a friend. L Qu. 123, 124, by Mr. Charles Townshend. — Qu. 125, by Mr. Nugent. — Qu. 126, by Mr. Grenville. — Qu. 127, by one of the late ministry. — Qu. 128, by Mr. G. Grenville. — Qu. 129, 130, 131, by Mr. Wellbore Ellis, late Secretary of War. — Qu. 132 to 135, uncertain. — 136 to 142, by some of the late ministry, intending to prove that it operated where no service was done, and therefore it was a tax.
Qu. 143, by a friend, I forget who. — Qu. 144, 145, by C. Townshend. - Qu. 146 to 151, by some of the late ministry. - Qu. 152 to 157, by Mr. Prescott, and others of the same side. Qu. 158 to 162, by Charles Townshend. — Qu. 163, 164, by a friend, I think Sir George Saville. — Qu. 165, by some friend. — Qu. 166, 167, by an adversary. — Qu. 168 to 174, by friends.
“Mr. Nugent made a violent speech next day upon this examination, in which he said, “We have often experienced Austrian ingratitude and yet we assisted Portugal, we experienced Portuguese ingratitude, and yet we assisted America. But what is Austrian ingratitude, what is the ingratitude of Portugal, compared to this of America ? We have fought, bled, and ruined ourselves, to conquer for them; and now they come and tell us to our noses, even at the bar of this House, that they were not obliged to us,' &c. But his clamor was very little minded."
A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT
OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
The Plan remarked upon was under the consideration of the ministry before the close of the year 1766, and, as I am inclined to think, after the commencement of 1765. I can go no nearer as to its date. It is needless to enter into the particulars of it, as the Remarks explain themselves; except perhaps as to the following points.
The trade was to be open; there were to be two superintendents to it; in the northern district, the trade was to be carried on at fixed posts; in the southern, within the Indian towns; the military were to have no power over the superintendents or the Indian trade, even in war time, unless with the superintendents' assent, or in great exigencies; the superintendents, by themselves or deputies, were to make annual visitations among the Indians, and their proceedings were to be very summary; and no credit was to be given to the Indians beyond fifty shillings, for no higher debt was to be made recoverable. — B. V.
The regulations in this Plan seem to me to be in general very good; but some few appear to want explanation, or farther consideration.
Clause 3. Is it intended by this clause to prevent the trade that Indians, living near the frontiers, may choose to carry on with the inhabitants, by bringing their skins into the settlements ? This prevention is hardly practicable; as such trade may be carried on in many places out of the observation of government,