Primary tabs

Lord North' s Explanation of his Resolution



We are assured the following is Lord North' s explanation of the above Resolve:

"By this Resolution of the House of Commons, America is offered all she can ask for — the security of her liberties, consistent with the safety of the state.

"The Americans grant that they are willing and ready to contribute a share to the necessary expenses of Government. Now, all that Parliament ask by this Resolution, is, that the different Assemblies would state what sums they are severally able to grant; that they are now only required to lay before the British Legislature an estimate of the proportion of taxes they will levy, according to the relation they bear to Great Britain and the rest of the Colonies.

"That when the rate or quota is once fixed, Parliament will give all the security they can ask for the establishment of their liberties, by a fixed Constitution; that they will stand on a better predicament than Scotland, as they will be allowed to fix the mode and raise the taxes (by such ways and means as they shall think most agreeable and expedient) by their own Assemblies, being secured against any exorbitant demand of the British Legislature; for by this barrier, the English Commons cannot tax them much without taxing our constituents more.

"The Americans have even said their sole objection was applied to the Parliament' s claim of taxing them unrepresented; that this is not given up, therefore all objections should cease of course.

"The best friends to America have always allowed the power of compelling every branch of the state to assist in bearing the common burthens, and that this power can be lodged nowhere more fitly than it the Parliament, which connects and presides over the component part of the Empire, and directs all their operations for the attainment of a common good.

"That the power will never be exerted, except when a Colony refuses to comply with and fulfil its own engagements; and it is therefore beneficial, as it is the interest of all America, that every Province be obliged to contribute its fair and just proportion."

America' s best friends in Europe agree, that the Colonies ought to aid in defraying the expenses of the state. Lord Chatham proposed that this should be done by a legal Congress; Mr˙ Burke, and Mr˙ Hartley, by the old mode of requisition; but still they all agree in this, that taxes ought to be levied, and that if the Colonies refuse, they must be compelled to it.

Lord North' s proposition, therefore, in this respect, stands on the same ground with the rest; but it is better on this account, that it invites the different Assemblies to propose the annual sums that they are willing and able to bear, and leaving the mode of levying to the Legislature of each Province; promising also, that the moneys arising by the Duties proposed for the regulation of trade, shall be applied to the sole use of the Province in which it was raised, and accounted in part of the sum stipulated to be contributed by it.

The Tea Act also will be repealed, if asked for.

These propositions to come from the different Assemblies in a dutiful Address.

That his Majesty does not wish to distress America, but must not lose the authority of Government.