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main in the hands of their own treasurers at their own dis
'Yet no money to issue but by joint orders of the. president general and grand council: except where sums have been appropriated to particular purposes, and the president geral 2's previously impowered by an act to draw such sums.
To prevent misapplication of the money, or even application that might be dissatisfactory to the crown or the people, it was thought necessary, to join the president general mid grand council in all issues of money.
That the general accounts shall be yearly settled and reported to the several assemblies.
By communicating the accounts yearly to each assembly, ‘they will be satisfied of the prudent and honest conduct of their representatives in the grand council.
That a quorum of the grand council, impowered to act with the president general, do consist of twentyfve members; among whom there shall be one or more froma majority of the colonies. ‘)L
The quorum seems large, but it was thought it would not be satisfactory to the colonies in general, to have mat-' ters of importance 'to the whole transacted by a smaller number, or even by this number of twenty-five, unless there were among them one at least from a majority of the colonies ; because otherwise, the whole quorum being made up of members from three or four colonies at one end of the union, something might be done that would not be equal with respect to the rest, and thence dissatisfaction and discords /m1ght riselto the PYCJlld-ICC of the whole.
‘ LAWS TO BE TRfiNSMIT‘I'ED
That the laws made by them for the purposes ajbresaz'd shall not be repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of England, and shall be transmitted to—tlzehing in aouncil for approbation, as soon as may be after their pas
sing‘ ; and not disapproved within three years after pre
sentation, to remain in force. ,
This was thought necessary for the satisfaction of the crown, to preserve the connection of the parts of the British empire with the whole, of the members with the head, and to induce greatercare and circumspection in making of the laws, that they be good in themselves and for the general benefit.
nsn'a or re: PRESIDENQ' GENERAL.
That in case of the death of the president general, the speaker of the grand council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested with the same powers and authorities, to continue till the hing’s pleasure be known.
It might be better, perhaps, as was said before, if the crown appointed a vice-president, to take place on the death or absence of the president general: for so we should be more sure of a suitable person at the head of ‘the colonies. On the death or ‘absence of both‘, the speaker to take place
(or rather the eldest king’s-governor) till his majesty’s .
pleasure be known.
OFFICERR HOW APPOINTED
That all military commission ofiieers, whether for land or sea service, to act under this general constitution, shall be nominated by the president general; but the approbation of the grand council is to be obtained, before they receive their Commissions. And all civil ofl'cers, are to be nominated by the grand council, and to receive the president general’s approbation before they ojiciate.
It was thought it might be very prejudicial to the service, ‘to have ofiicers appointed unknown to the people, or unacceptable, the generality of Americans serving willingly under officers they know: and not caring to engage in the-service, nnder strangers, or such as are often appointed by govertiors through favor or interest. The service here meant, is not the stated settled service in standing troops; but any
r7“ ' ' 7 ,
sudden and short service, either for defence of our colonies, or invading the enemies country; (such as, the expedition
to Cape Breton in the last war; in which many substantial 7’
farmers and tradesmen engaged as common soldiers, under oihcers of their own country, for whom they had an esteem and afl‘ection; who would not have engaged in a standing army, or under oilicers from Englan(l.)—-It was therefore thought best, to give the council the power of approving the ofiicers, which the people will look upon as a great security of their being good men. And without some such provision as this, it was thought the expence of engaging men in the service on any emergency would be much greater, and the number who could be induced to engage much less; and that therefore it would be most for the king’s service and general benefit of the nation, that the prerogative should relax a little‘ in this particular throughout all the colonies in America ; as it had already done much more in the charters of some particular colonies, viz. Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The civil oflicers will be chiefly treasurers and collectors of taxes; and the suitable persons are most likely to be known by the council.
VACANCIES HOlV QUPI’LIED
But in case of vacancy by death, or removal of any oficer civil or military under this constitution, the governor of the province in which such vacancy happens may appoint, till the pleasure of the president general and grand council can be known.
The vacancies were thought best suppplied by the governors in each province, till a new appointment can be regularly made; otherwise the service might suffer before the
_meeting of the president general and grand council.
1mm eoLoNr our DEFEND m'sur ON EMERGENCY, Szc. That the particular military as well as civil establishments
in each colony remain in their present state, the general constitution notwithstanding ,- and that on sudden ‘emergencies
any colony may defind itself, and lay the accounts of expence thence arising before the president general and general council, who may allow and order payment of the same, as far as they judge‘ such accounts just and reasonable. Otherwise the union of the whole would weaken the parts, contrary to the design of the union. The accounts “are to be judged of by the president general and grand council, and allowed if found reasonable : this was thought necessary to encourage colonies to defend themselves, as the expence would be light when borne by the whole; and also to check imprudent and lavish .expence in such defences.9
l. LETTER to Governor Shirley, concerning the Imjzosition of direct Taxes u/zon the Colonies, without their Consent.‘
SIR, I RETURN you the loose Sheets of the plan, with thanks to your excellcncy for communicating them.
9 ‘This plan of union, it will appear from the next page, was rejected; and another proposed to be substituted by the English minister, which had for its chief object, the taking power from the people in the colonies, in order to give it to the crown.
I These letters to Governor Shirley first appeared in the London Chronicle for Feb. 6—8, 1766, with an introduction signed A Lwvrnf Britain. In the beginning of the year 1776, they were republished in Almon's Remembrancer, with an additional prefatory piece, under the signatare of A Mourner over our L'alamities—l shall explain the subject of them in the words of one of these writers. “ The Albany Plan of Union was sent to the government here for approbation : had it been approved and established by the authority from hence, English America thought itself sufficiently able to cope with the French, without other assistance; several of the colonies having alone, in former wars, withstood the whole power of the enemy, unassisted not only by the mothercountry, but by any of the neighboring provinees.~The plan, however, was not approved here; but a New one was formed instead of it; by which it was proposed, that ‘ the governors of all the colonies, attended by one or two members of their respective councils, should assemble, and concert measures for the defence of the whole, erect forts where they judged proper, and raise what vtroops they thought necessary, with power to draw on the treasury here
I apprehend, that excluding the people of the colonies from all share in the choice of the grand council will give extreme dissatisfaction; as well as the taxing them by act of parliament, where they have no representation. It is very possible, that this general government might be as well and faithfully administered without the people, as with them ; but where heavy burdens are to be laid upon them, it has been found useful, to make it as much as possible their own act; for they bear better, when they have, or think they have, some share in the direction; and when any public measures are generally grievous, or even distasteful, to the people, the wheels of government move more heavily.
H LE'I'I‘ER to the same; concerning direct Taxes in the Colonic:
imjlosed wit/rout consent, indirect Taxes, and ‘the .dlbauy Plan Q)"
Union. ‘ H’ednesday ‘Warning. Sm, I MENTIONED it yesterday to your excellency as my opinion, that excluding the people of the colonies from all share in the choice of the grand council would probably give
for the. sums that should be wanted, and the treasury to be reimbursed by a tax laid an 11.): colonic: L] at‘! of pnr11'amnr,”—-Tl1is New ‘plan being communicated by Governor Shirley to a gentleman of Philadelphia (Dr. Franklin) than in Boston (who hath very eminently distinguished himself, before and since that time, in the literary world, and whose judgment, pemtration, and candor, as well as his readiness and ability to suggest, forward, or carry into execution, every scheme of public utility, hath most deservedly endeared him, not on]; to our fellow-subjects throughout the continent of North America, but to his numberless friends on this side the Atlantic) occasioned the following remarks from him, which perhaps may contribute in» some degree to its being laid aside. As they very particularly show the then sentiments of the Americans on the subject of a parliamentary tax, before the French power in that country was subjected, and before the late restraints on their commerce; they satisfy me, and i hope they will convince your readers (contrary to what has been advanced by some of your correspondents) that those particulars have had no. share in producing the present opposition to such a tax, nor in disturbances occasioned by it, which these papers indeed do almost prophetically foretcl. For this punpose, having accidentally fallen into my hands, they are communicated to you by one who is, not purl/‘ally, but in ll): mm m/argzd mm. “ A Lover. or Banana"