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Motion, that the Bill Do Pass, Debate, the Bill Passed

Earl of Buckinghamshire


Then it was moved "That the Bill do Pass?"

Which being objected to; —

A debate ensued.

It was opened by the Earl of Buckinghampshire, who confessed this to be the most exceptionable of the American measures, but thought it was excused by necessity.

Lord Shelburne

He was answered by Lord Shelburne, who spoke with great ability, spirit, and knowledge, of the subject.

Lords Denbigh, Sandwich, and the Lord Chancellor

The Lords Denbigh, Sandwich, and the Lord Chancellor, were the chief supporters of the Bill.

Duke of Manchester

The Duke of Manchester spoke with that grace of manner and elegance of language which so peculiarly distinguish him.

Marquis of Rockingham

The Marquis of Rockingham spoke late in the debate. His speech lasted near three quarters of an hour; and


never was more attention given to a speaker on any occasion. He spoke with all the weight and authority of an able statesman, and all the feeling of a patriot, deeply concerned for the interest of his country. He entered fully into the civil policy which had originally given rise to the disturbances in America, and had in consequence produced bills and regulations so ill calculated to allay them. He took post upon the measure of his own administration, the repeal of the Stamp Act, on which he argued with great force. He insisted that that repeal was no more than a return to the ancient policy of Great Britain, from which the tax had been a deviation. He then stated the new taxes laid on after his removal from office, as originating from no plan or policy whatsoever, but merely as the result of pique and passion; that they were in effect confessed to be so, because they were afterwards repealed for the greater part, as being laid by the avowal of Administration itself, in contradiction to all the principles of commerce. — That the Tea Duty, equally uncommercial and unproductive, was left as a pepper-corn, merely for the sake of contest with America, as the Ministry had likewise avowed. He censured very severely the doctrine of taxing for the sole purpose of exercising an invidious right, and insisted that taxes ought to be for the real purpose of supporting Government, and not purely to irritate and stir up dangerous questions. That the Stamp Act was a great object, and might have produced in time considerable revenues; but to risk the whole trade of England, and the affections of the Americans, in a quarrel with the Colonies for pepper-corns, he thought a very unwise proceeding. After this, he entered into the particulars of the Bill, and, among other things, in answer to the difficulties asserted to be laid on officers without such protection as was given by this Bill, he said that he thought the condition of men of honor and sensibility to be far worse under this Bill; for that no acquittal could be honorable, where the prosecutor had not the usual means of securing a fair trial. He concluded with a very emphatical recommendation of temper, as necessary in all things, but particularly in measures of this nature, and in subjects of so much delicacy: his own remarkable calmness and steadiness of mind, gave additional force to this part of his speech.

Duke of Richmond

The Duke of Richmond spoke last in the debate, and with his usual spirit, pointed his answer chiefly to what fell from the Chancellor and Lord Sandwich: he concluded with recommending to the perusal of the House, a pamphlet, called "Considerations on the Measures carrying on against America," and the Bishop of St˙ Asaph' s Sermon, preached 1773, before the Society for propagating the Gospel, as containing the soundest doctrines and the best policy.

Bill Passed

After long debate,

The question was put, "Whether this Bill shall Pass?"

It was resolved in the Affirmative: Contents, 43, Non-Contents, 12.



* The Bill passed the House on the 6th of May, and being carried up to the House of Peers, occasioned warm debates upon the same principles upon which it was discussed in the House of Commons. The Lords of the minority entered on this, as on the former Bill, a very strong Protest. Neither House was full during the debates on this Bill, as the arguments on the two latter Bills, had been all along very much blended; and the parties had tried their strength by division on the Bill for altering the Massachusetts Charter. On both questions, however, the numbers of the minority had all along continued very low and disproportioned. — Ann˙ Regis.