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several of the Lords, on their House's agreeing with the Commons in the said Address. Dissentinent,
ift. The previous question was moved, not to preTent the proceedings in the address communicated at the copference with the Commons, but in order to present the petitions of the N. American merchants, and of the West India merchants and planters, which petitions the house might reject if frivolous, ör postpone if not urgent, as might seem fit to their wildom; but to hurry on the business to which thefe peti tions so materially and directly related, the express prayer of which was, that they might be heard before any
resolution may be taken by this right honourable house respecting America," to refuse so much as to fuffer them to be presented, is a proceeding of the most unwarrantable nature, and directly fubversive of the most sacred rights of the subject. It is the more particularly exceptionable, as a Lord, in his place, at the express desire of the West India merchants, informed the house, that if necefliated so to do, they were ready, without counsel, or farther preparation, instantly to offer evidence to prove, that several islands of the West-Indies could not be able tofubfift after the bperation of the proposed address in America. Jurtice, in regard to individuals, policy with regard to the public, and decorum, with regard to ourselves; required that we should admit this petition to be prea sented. By refusing it, justice is denied.
2dly. Because the papers laid upon our table by the ministers, are so manifestively defective, and so avowedly curtailed, that we can derive from them nothing like information of the true state of the objest on which we are going to act, or of the conse2 1 1
quences of the resolutions which we may take. We. ought, as we conceive, with gladness, to have accepted that information from the merchants, which if it had not been voluntarily offered, it is our duty to seek. There is no information concerning the state of our colonies (taken in any point of view,) which the merchants are not far more competent to give than governors or officers, who often know far less of the temper and disposition, or may be more difposed to misrepresent it than the merchants. Of this we have a full and melancholy experience, in the mistaken ideas on which the fatal acts of the last parliament were formed.
3dly. Because we are of opinion, that in entering into a war, in which mischief and inconveniences are real and certain (but the utmost extent of which it is impossible to forsee) true policy requires that those who are most likely to be immediately affected, should be thoroughly satisfied of the deliberation with which it was undertaken: and we apprehend that the planters, merchants, and manufacturers will not bear their losses and burthens, brought on them by the proposed civil war, the better for our refusing so much as to hear them previous to our engaging in that war; nor will our preciptation in resolving, add much to the success in executing any plan that may be pursued.
We protest therefore against the refusal to fuffer such petitions to be presented, and we thus clear ourselves to our country of the, disgrace and mischief, which must attend this unconstitutional, indecent, and improvident proceeding.
Richmond, Portland, Ponfonby,
Rockingham, Scarborough, Wycombe, Abergavenny, Effingham, Abingdon, Torrington, Craven, Stanhope, Courtenay, Cholmondelay, Tankerville. Then the main question was put, whether to agree with the Commons in the said address, by inserting the words (Lords Spritual and Temporal, and) It was resolved in the affirmative. Contents
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27 Disentient, ist. Because the violent matter of this dangerous address was highly aggravated by the violent manner in which it was precipitately hurried through the House, Lords were not allowed the interposition of a moment's time for deliberation, before they were driven headlong into a declaration of civil
A conference was held with the Commons, an address of this importance presented, all extraneous information, although offered, positively refused, all petitions arbitrarily rejected, and the whole of this most awful business received, debated, and concluded in a single day.
2dly. Because no legal grounds were laid in argu, ment or in fact, to shew that a rebellion, properly so called, did exist in Massachusett's-Bay, when the papers of the latest date, and from whence alone we derive our information, were written. The overt-acts to which the species of treason affirmed in the address ought to be applied, were not established, nor any offenders to be marked out: but a general mass of the acts of turbulence, said to be done at various times and places, and of various natures, were all thrown together to make out one general constructive treason. Neither was there any sort of proof of the continu.
ance of any unlawful force, from whence we could infer that a rebellion does now exist. And we are the more cautious of pronouncing any part of his Majesty's dominions in actual rebellion, because of the cases of constructive treason, under that branch of the 25th of Edward the Third, which describes the crime of rebellion, have been already fo far extended by the judges, and the distinctions upon it so nice and subtle, that no prudent man ought to declare any single per son in that situation, without the clearest evidence of the uncontrovertible over-acts, to warrant such a declaration. Much less ought so high an authority as both houses of parliament, to denounce so severe a judgment against a considerable part of his Majesty's subjects, by which his forces may think themselves jultified in commencing a war without any further order or commission,
3dly. Because we think that several acts of the late parliament, and several late proceedings of admimistration with regard to the colonies, are real griev. ances, and just causes of complaint; and, we cannot, in honour, or in conscience, consent to an address which commends the temper by which proceedings, so very intemperate, have been carried on; nor can we persuade ourselves to authorize violent courses a. gainst persons in the colonies who have refilted au. thority, without, at the same time, redressing the grievances which have given but too much
provoca tion for their behaviour.
4thly. Because we think the loose and generat alfurances given by the the address, of future redress of grievances, in case of submission, is far from fatisfactory, or at all likely to produce their end, whilst the acts complained of continue unrepealed, or unamend
ed, and their authors remain in authority here, because these advisers of all the measures which have brought on the calamites of this empire, will not be trusted whilst they defend as just, neceffary, and even indulgent, all the acts complained of as grievances by the Americans; and must, therefore, on their own principles, be bound in future to govern the colonies in the manner which has already produced such fatal effects; and we fear that the refusal of this House so much as to receive, previous to determination (which is the most offensive mode of rejection) petitions from the unoffending natives of Great Britain, and the West-India islands, affords but a very discouraging prospect of our obtaining hereafter any petitions at all from those whom we have declared actors in rebellion, or abettors of that crime.
Lastly, Because the means of enforcing the author. ity of the British legislature, is confided to perfons of whose capacity, for that purpose, from abundant experience, we have reason to doubt; and who have hitherto ufed no effectual means of conciliation or of reducing those who oppose that authority:-this appears in the constant failure of all their projects, the insufficiency of all their information, and the disappointment of all the hopes, which they have for several years held out to the public. Parliament has never refused any of their proposals, and yet our affairs have proceeded daily from bad to worse, until we have been brought, step by step, to that state of confusion, and even civil violence, which was the natural result of these desperate measures.
We therefore protest against an address amounting to a declaration of war, which is founded on no proper parliamentry information; which was introdu