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Objections to the Bill in America, (Note,)


And would not this be an American Land Tax, by the authority of a British Parliament? Would not our enemies, as well as the rest of Europe, ridicule us, for giving into a more pernicious scheme, than we at first opposed? Besides, what can be more insolent, unjust, and cruel, than to tax a people, who are deprived of the means and benefit which Providence intended them, equivalent with their oppressors, who are in the full enjoyment of all their natural rights as a Nation? What think ye, Gentlemen, Farmers, and Landholders, of this honourable scheme? What would the bold and noble assertors of your rights, Lord Camden, Granville Sharpe, and others say, to an acquiescence in such deep laid designs to ruin us?

The above Bill was brought into the House of Lords, the first day of February, and occasioned a long debate, which lasted till ten at night, when, being thought too favourable to the Americans, it was treated with some contempt on that account, and rejected by sixty-eight against thirty-two.

This we have reason to think a happy circumstance for America; for the friendly appearance, and perhaps design of great part of the Bill, would have had a powerful tendency to divide and weaken us, so that if it had passed into a law, we might have been unable to prevent


its operation. And yet, I apprehend it would have proved almost as fatal in its consequences, as the Acts against which we have been so long contending.

The very title conveys a servile idea, offensive to freemen, and in itself, both unjust and impolitick, as it makes an odious distinction between them, tending to produce haughtiness and oppression on one side, servility or resentment on the other, and on both a mutual disgust, which will necessarily lessen the power, security, and happiness of each.

It is true the expression in the Declaratory Act of the Parliamentary power "to bind the Colonies in all cases whatsoever," is changed "to all matters touching the general weal," &c. But since the Parliament are to be the supreme judges of what matters are to come under this description, I see very little security in the distinction, especially as they claim the right of quartering Troops in the Colonies without their consent. Nor would they be secured by the saving clauses in the Bill. But this, in my future remarks upon it, I propose to show, as also, that in many other particulars, it has such an insidious appearance, that I should have thought Lord Bute, Mansfield, North, or Marriot, more likely to be the framers of the Bill, than Lord Chatham. — N˙ Y˙ Jour.