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and of the liouse of lords, asserting the right of parliament relating to America, including a power to tax the people there?
A. Yes, I have heard of such resolutions.
Q. What will be the opinion of the Americans on those resolutions ?
A. They will think them unconstitutional, and unjust.
Q. Was it an opinion in America before 1763, that the parliament had no right to lay taxes and duties there?
A. I never heard any objection to the right of laying duties to regulate commerce; but a right to lay internal taxes was never supposed to be in parliament, as we are not represented there.
Q. On what do you found your opinion, that the people in America made any such distinction ?
A. I know that whenever the subject has occurred in conversation where I have been present, it has appeared to be the opinion of every one, that we could not be taxed in a parliament where we were not represented. But the payment of duties laid by act of parliament, as regulations of commerce, was never disputed.
Q. But can you name any act of assembly, or public act of any of your governmeuts, that made such distinction ?
A. I do not know that there was any ? I think there was never an occasion to make any such act, till now that you have attempted to tax us; that has occasioned resolutions of assembly, declaring the distinction, in which I think every assembly on the continent, and every nember in every assembly, have been unani
Q. What then could occasion conversations on that subject before that time?
A. There was in 1754 a proposition made (I think it came from hence) that in case of a war, which was then apprehended, the governors of the colonies should nieet, and order the levying of troops, building of forts, and taking every other necessary measure for the general defence ; and should draw on the treasury here for tlie sums expended, which were afterwards to be raised in the colonies by a general tax, to be laid on them by act of parliament. This occasioned a good deal of conversation on the subject, and the general opinion was, that the parliament neither would nor could lay any tax on us, till we were duly represented in parliament, because it was not just, nor agreeable to the nature of an English constitution. & Q. Don't you know there was a time in New York, when it was under consideration to make an application to parliament to lay taxes on that colony, upon a deficiency arising from the assembly's refusing or neglecting to raise the necessary supplies for the support of the civil government ?
A. I never heard of it.
Q. There was such a application under consideration in New-York; and do you apprehend they could suppose the right of parliament to lay a tax in America was only local, and confined to the case of a deficiency in a particular colony, by a refusal of its assembly to raise the necessary supplies ?
A. They could not suppose such a case, as that the assembly would not raise the necessary supplies to sup. port its own government. An assembly that would refuse it must want common sense, which cannot be supposed. I think there was never any such case at New-York, and that it must be a misrepresentation, or the fact must be misunderstood. I know there have been some attempts, by ministerial instructions from hence, to oblige the assemblies to settle permanent salaries on governors, which they wisely refused to do; but I believe no assembly of Now-York, or any other colony, ever refused duly to support government by proper allowances, from time to time, to public officers,
Q. But in case a governor, acting by instruction, should call on an assembly to raise the necessary supplies, and the assembly should refuse to do it, do you not think it would then be for the good of the people of the colony, as well as necessary to government, that the parliament should tax them? A. I do not think it would be necessary.
If an assembly could possibly be so absurd as to refuse raising the supplies requisite for the maintenance of government among them, they could not long remain in such a situation, the disorders and confusion occasioned by it must soon bring them to reason.
Q. Ifit should not, ought not the right to be in GreatBritian of applying a remedy?
A. A right only to be used in such a case, I should have no objection to, supposing it to be used merely for the good of the people of the colony.
Q. But who is to judge of that, Britain or the colony? A. Those that feel can best judge.
Q. You say the colonies have always submitted to external taxes, and object to the right of parliament only in laying internal taxes ; now can you shew that there is any kind of difference between the two taxes to the colony on which they may be laid ?
A. I think the difference is very great. An external tax is a duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first cost, and other charges on the commodity, and when it is offered to sale, makes a part of the price. If the people do not like it at that price, they refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an internal tax is forced from the people without their consent, if not laid by their own representatives. The stamp-agt says, we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each otheir, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry, nor make our wills, unless we pay such and such sums, and thus it is intended to extort our money
from us, or ruin us by the consequences of refusing to pay it.
Q. But supposing the external tax or duty to be laid on the necessaries of life imported into your colony, will not that be the same thing in its effects as an internal tax ?
A. I do not know a single article imported into the northern colonies, but what they can either do without, or make themselves.
Q. Don't you think cloth from England absolutely necessary to them?
A. No, by no means absolutely necessary; with industry and good management, they may very well supply themselves with all they want.
Q. Will it not take a long time to establish that manufacture among them? and must they not in the mean while suffer greatly?
A. I think not. They have made a surprising progress already. And I am of opinion, that before their old clothes are worn out, they will have new ones of their own making.
Q. Can they possibly find wool enough in North America ?
A. They have taken steps to increase the wool. They entered into general combinations to eat no more lamb, and very few lambs were killed last year.
This course persisted in will soon make a prodigious difference in the quantity of wool. And the establishing of great manufactories, like those in the clothing towns here, is not necessary, as it is where the business is to be car. ried on for the purposes of trade. The people will all spin, and work for themselves, in their own houses.
Q. Can there be wool and manufacture enough in one or two years ? A. In three years, I think,
may. Q Does not the severity of the winter, in the Northern Colonies, occasion the wool to be of bad quality ?
A. No; the wool is very fine and good.
Q. In the more Southern Colonies, as in Virginia; don't you know that the wool is coarse, and only a kind of hair?
A. I don't know it. I never heard it. Yet I havebeen sometimes in Virginia. I cannot say I ever took particular notice of the wool there, but I believe it is good, though I cannot speak positively of it; but Virginia, and the colonies south of it, have less occasion for wool; their winters are short, and not very severe, and they can very well clothe themselves with linen and cotton of their own raising for the rest of the year.
Q. Are not the people, in the more northern colonies, obliged to fodder their sheep all the winter ?
A. In some of the most northern colonies they may be obliged to do it some part of the winter.
Q. Considering the resolutions of parliament, as to the right, do you think, if the stamp-act is repealed, that the North Americans will be satisfied ?"
A. I believe they will.
A. I think the resolutions of right will give them very little concern, if they are never attempted to be carried into practice. The colonies will probably consider themselves in the same situation, in that respect, with Ireland ; they know you claim the same right with regard to Ireland, but you never exercise it. And they may believe you never will exercise it in the Colonies, any more than in Ireland, unless on some very extraordinary occasion.
Q. But who are to be the judges of that extraordinary occasion? Is it not the parliament ?
A. Though the parliament may judge of the occasion, the people will think it can never exercise such right, till representatives from the colonies are admitted into parliament, and that whenever the occasion arises, repre. sentatives will be ordered.
Q. Did you never hear that Maryland, during the last war, had refused to furnish a quota towards the common defence ?
A. Maryland has been much misrepresented in that matter. Maryland, to my knowledge, never refused to contribute, or grant aids to the crown. The assemblies every year, during the war, voted considerable sums, and formed bills to raise them. The bills were, According to the constitution of that province, sent up to the council, or upper house, for concurrence, that they inight be presented to the governor, in order to be enacted into laws. Unhappy disputes between the two houses arising, from the defects of that constitution principally, rendered all the bills but one or two abortive, The proprietary's council rejected them. It is true Maryland did not contribute its proportion, but it was in my opinion, the fault of the government, not of the people.
Q. Was it not talked of in the other provinces as a proper measure to apply to parliament to compel them?
A. I have heard such discourse ; but it was well known, that the people were not to blame, no such application was ever made, nor any step taken towards it.
Q. Was it not proposed at a publie meering?