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preme in every circumstance of government and legislation whatsoever. They are the subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with yourselves to all the natural rights of mankind, and the peculiar privileges of Englishmen. .
Equally bound by its laws, and equally participating of the constitution of this free country, the Americans are the sons, not the bastards of Eng. land. Taxation is no part of the governing or legislative power. The taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the commons alone. In legislation the three estates of the realm are alike concerned; but the concurrency of the peers and the crown to a tax, is only necessary to close with the form of a law.
The gift and grant is of the commons alone. In ancient days, the crown, the barons, and the clergy, possessed the lands. In those days, the barons and the clergy gave and granted to the crown. They gave and granted what was their own. At present, since the discovery of America, and other circumstances permitting, the commons are become the proprietors of the land. The crown has divested itself of its great estates. The church (God bless it!) has but a pittance. The property of the lords, compared with that of the commons, is as a drop of water in the ocean; and this house represents these commons, the proprietors of the lands; and those proprietors virtually represent the rest of the inhabitants.
When, therefore, in this house we give and grant, we give and grant what is our own. But in an American tax, wbat do we do? We, your majesty's commons of Great Britain, give and
grant to your majesty, what? our own property? --No, we give and grant to your majesty the property of the commons of America. It is an absurdity in terms.
The distinction between legislation and taxation is essentially necessary to liberty. The crown, the peers, are equally legislative powers with the commons. If taxation be a part of simple legislation, the crown, the peers, have rights in taxation as well as yourselves; rights they will claim, which they will exercise, whenever the principle can be supported by power.
There is an idea in some, that the colonies are virtually represented in this house. I would fain know by whom an American is represented here? Is he represented by any knight of the shire, in any county in this kingdom? Would to God that respectable representation was augmented to a greater number! Or will you tell him that he is represented by any representative of a borough, a borough which, perbaps, no man ever saw? That is what is called the rotten part of the constitution. It cannot continue a century. If it does not drop it must be amputated. The idea of a virtual representation of America in this house, is the most contemptible idea that ever entered into the head of man. It does not deserve a serious consideration.
The commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this, their constitutional right, of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it. At the same time, this kingdom, as the supreme governing and legislative power, has always bound the colonies by her laws, by her regulations, and restrictions in trade, in navigation, in manufactures, in every thing, except that of taking their money out of their pockets without their consent. Here I would draw the line,
Quam ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum. He concluded with a familiar voice and tone, but so low that it was not easy to distinguish what he said. A considerable fause ensued after Mr. Pitt had done speaking.
SPEECH OF MR. GRENVILLE ON THE SAME
SUBJECT. He began with censuring the ministry very severely, for delaying to give earlier notice to parliament of the disturbances in America. He said they began in July, and now we are in the middle of January; lately they were only occurrences; they are now grown to disturbances, to tumults, and riots. I doubt they border on open rebellion; and if the doctrine I have heard this day be confirmed, I fear they will lose that name, to take that of a revolution. The government over them being dissolved, a revolution will take place in America. I cannot understand the difference between external and internal taxes. They are the same in effect, and differ only in name. That this kingdom has the sovereign, the supreme legislative power over America, is granted. It cannot be denied; and taxation is a part of that sovereign power. It is one branch of the legislation. It is, it has been exercised, over those who are not, who were never represented. It is exercised over the India Company, the merchants of London, and the proprietors of the stocks, and over great mannfacturing towns. It was exercised over the county palatine of Chester, and the bishopric of Durham, before they sent any representatives to parliament. I appeal for proof to the preambles of the acts which gave them representatives; one in the reign of Henry VIII. the other in that of Charles II. He then quoted the acts, and desired they might be read; which being done, he said : When I proposed to tax America, I asked the house, if any gentleman would object to the right ; I repeatedly asked it, and no man would attempt to deny it. Protection and obedience are reciprocal. Great Britain protects America, America is bound to yield obedience. If not, tell me when the Americans were emancipated ? When they want the protection of this kingdom, they are always very ready to ask it. That protection has always been afforded them in the most full and ample manner. The nation has run itself into an immense debt to give them this protection; and now they are called upon to contribute a small share towards the public expense, an expense arising from themselves, they renounce your au. thority, insult your officers, and break out, I might almost say, in open rebellion.
The seditious spirit of the colonies owes its birth to factions in this house. Gentlemen are careless of the consequences of what they say,
provided it answers the purposes of opposi. tion.
We were told we trod on tender ground; we were bid to expect disobedience. What was this, but telling the Americans to stand out against the law, to encourage their obstinacy with expecta. tion of support from hence? let us only hold out a little, they would say, our friends will soon be in power. Ungrateful people of America! bounties have been extended to them. When I had the hopour of serving the crown, while you yourselves were loaded with an enormous debt, you have given bounties on their lumber, on their iron, their hemp, and many other articles. You have re. laxed, in their favour, the act of navigation, that palladium of British commerce; and yet I have been abused in all the public papers as an enemy to the trade of America. I have been particularly charged with giving orders and instructions to prevent the Spanish trade, and thereby stopping the channel by which alone North America used to be supplied with cash for remittances for this country. I defy any man to produce any such orders or instructions. I discouraged no trade but what was illicit, what was prohibited by act of parliament. I desire a West India merchant, well known in this city, (Mr. Long) a gentleman of character, may be admitted. He will tell you, that I offered to do every thing in my power to advance the trade of America. I was above giving an answer to anonymous calumnies; but in this place, it becomes me to wipe off the aspersion,