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Read the third time


Thursday, November 30, 1775.

The Bill was read a third time.

It was moved, "That the said Bill do pass?"

The Marquis of Rockingham opposed it in very strong terms. He observed, that it would be a disgrace to the statute-books, as it held out an indemnity, while, in fact, it asserted the persons indemnified were guilty of no offence whatever: on the contrary, it legalized the measure of sending his Majesty' s Electoral troops into the garrisons of Gibraltar and Port-Mahon, while, at the same time, it held out an indemnification for an offence against some law existing at the time the supposed illegal act was committed.

Viscount Weymouth agreed with the noble Marquis; he thought the bill totally unnecessary. He was sure the measure was, in itself, perfectly legal and justifiable, and offered to divide with his Lordship, if he should think proper to put the question for rejecting it.

The Earl of Suffolk could not see any necessity for the bill. Besides, though such a bill should be looked upon


as necessary, in its present form he could never approve of it, because the preamble was at direct variance with the enacting clauses; that is, it proposed to indemnify such persons as advised his Majesty to send his Electoral troops into the garrisons of Gibraltar and Minorca, while the preamble, which is always taken as the ground of the bill, stated, "that doubts having arisen," & c.

Earl Gower united in opinion with the noble Lords; said his sentiments from the beginning were the same as now, and that he thought the measure legal and constitutional, and had, accordingly, advised it, in concert with the rest of his Majesty' s Ministers; and now, in conformity with those sentiments, he should be for rejecting the Bill.

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

It was resolved in the negative.

Ordered, That the said Bill be rejected.