Page:American Archives, Series 4, Volume 1.djvu/147
"own foundation. The constitution ascertains and limits both sovereignty and allegiance: and therefore his Majesty's American subjects, who acknowledge themselves bound by the ties of allegiance, have an equitable claim to the full enjoyment of the fundamental rules of the English constitution; and that it is an essential unalter: able right in nature, engrafted into the British constitu' tion as a fundamental law, and ever held sacred and irrevocable by the subjects within this realm that what a man has honestly acquired, is absolutely his own; which he may freely give, but which cannot be taken from him without his consent." This, my Lords, though no new doctrine, has always been my received and unalterable opinion, and I will carry it to my grave, that this country had no right under heaven to tax America. It is contrary to all the principles of justice and civil policy, which neither the exigencies of the State, nor even an acquiescence in the taxes, could justify upon any occasion whatever. Such proceedings will never meet their wished-for success; and, instead of adding to their miseries, as the Bill now before you most undoubtedly does, adopt some lenient measures, which may lure them to their duty; proceed like a kind and affectionate parent over a child whom he tenderly loves; and, instead of those harsh and severe proceedings, pass an amnesty on all their youthful errours; clasp them once more in your fond and affectionate arms; and, I will venture to affirm, you will find them children worthy of their sire. But should their turbulence exist after your proffered terms of forgiveness, which I hope and expect this House will immediately adopt, I will be among the foremost of your Lordships to move for such measures as will effectually prevent a future relapse, and make them feel what it is to provoke a fond and forgiving parent! a parent, my Lords, whose welfare has ever been my greatest and most pleasing consolation. This declaration may seem unnecessary; but I will venture to declare, the period is not far distant, when she will want the assistance of her most distant friends: but should the all-disposing hand of Providence prevent me from affording her my poor assistance, my prayers shall be ever for her welfare " length of days be in her right hand, and in her left hand " riches and honor; may her ways be ways of pleasantness, and all her paths be peace." When Lord Chatham had concluded, Lord Suffolk spoke a short time, and was answered by Lord Temple, who closed the debate. The question was then put, whether this Bill shall Pass? And the House divided: Contents, 57; Non-Contents, 16. So it was resolved in the Affirmative.
THURSDAY, June 2, 1774.
The Lord Chancellor acquainted the House " That his " Majesty had been pleased to issue a commission to the "several Lords therein named, for declaring his royal assent to several Aots agreed upon by both Houses of "Parliament." Then three of the Lords Commissioners, being in their robes, and seated on a form placed between the Throne and the Woolsack, the Lord Chancellor in the middle, with the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury on his right hand, and the Earl of Sandwich on his left; and the Commons with their Speaker being in attendance, The royal assent was pronounced to the Bill, by the Clerk's Assistant.
Anno Decimo Quarto Georgii III. Regis.
An Act for the better providing suitable Quarters for Officers and Soldiers in his Majesty's Service in North America.
Whereas doubts have been entertained, whether Troops can be Quartered otherwise than in Barracks, in case barracks have been provided sufficient for the quartering of all the Officers and Soldiers within any town, township, city, district, or place, within his Majesty's Dominions in North America: and whereas it may frequently happen, from the situation of such Barracks, that, if troops should be quartered therein, they would not be stationed where their presence may be necessary and required; Be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that in such cases, it shall and may be lawful for the persons who now are, or may be hereafter, authorized by law, in any of the Provinces within his Majesty's Dominions in North America, and they are hereby respectively authorized, empowered and directed, on the requisition of the Officer who, for the time being, has the command of his Majesty's forces, in North America, to cause any Officers or Soldiers in his Majesty's service to be quartered and billetted in such manner as is now directed by law where no Barracks are provided by the Colonies.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if it shall happen at any time that any Officers or Soldiers in his Majesty's service shall remain within any of the said Colonies without Quarters, for the space of twenty-four hours after such Quarters shall have been demanded, it shall and may be lawful for the Governor of the Province to order and direct such and so many uninhabited houses, out-houses, barns, or other buildings, as he shall think necessary to be taken (making a reasonable allowance for the same) and make fit for the reception of such Officers and Soldiers, and to put and quarter such Officers and Soldiers therein, for such time as he shall think proper.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this Act, and every thing herein contained, shall continue and be in force, in all his Majesty's Dominions in North America, until the twenty-fourth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six.
VII. BILL FOR GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC. HOUSE OF LORDS. MONDAY, May 2, 1774. The Earl of Dartmouth presented to the House a Bill, intituled, " An Act making more effectual provision for " the Government of the Province of Quebec, in North " America." The said Bill was read the first time. Ordered, That the said Bill be printed. TUESDAY, May 3, 1774. Ordered, That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, to desire " That he will be graciously pleased to ' give directions that there be laid before this House copies ' of such parts of the Instructions given by his Majesty ' to the Governors in the royal Governments in America, ' relative to the taking up of Lands by Settlers, and the ' granting Lands therein, particularly in the Colony of ' Quebec." WEDNESDAY, May 4, 1774. Ordered, That the Bill be read a second time on Monday next; and that the Lords be summoned.