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Letter from Mr. Bollan to the Committee



Covent Garden, March 23, 1774.

GENTLEMEN: I am just returned from the House of Commons, to which I went in order to have my second Petition, whereof you a have a copy enclosed, presented, before the House was resolved into a Committee of the Whole, for their consideration of the Bill for the port of Boston; — although in some doubt whether this was the proper time for presenting my Petition, which opposed the principle of the Bill, being determined to petition as soon as possible, to prevent your adversaries saying I did not come in season. When there I shewed my Petition to Sir George Savile, having not found him at home, in order to his supporting the motion for its admission. Upon his perusal he said he saw nothing at all improper in it, observing at the same time that he was not well acquainted with the forms of proceedings. Soon after I met with Sir Joseph Mawby, who, on reading the Petition, and being informed of what Sir George had said, readily declared he would present it before the House went into a Committee. Afterwards he came out and told me that he had shewed it to the Speaker, spoken to the Clerk of the House, and consulted the friends of the Petition, upon the proper time of its presentation, and that it was agreed on all hands that my Petition, opposing the principle of the Bill, could not be regularly presented now, because the Bill itself might be lost in the Committee; but the proper time of presenting it, wherein the Speaker agreed it would be admissible, was before the third reading of the Bill; and so the matter rests at present. While at the House I understood the objection mentioned to me some days ago by Sir Joseph, gained ground, to wit, that the Bill as it now stands gave no election for paying the value of the tea destroyed, and thereby preventing the shutting up of the port, but proposed to shut it up directly, to be opened on condition of future payment, which would be a precipitate, compulsory proceeding, without any certain necessity; and it seemed to me not improbable that some temperament of this nature might take place to day. However ' tis necessary for me to save the present ship, to despatch what little I have said, without waiting for any thing more.

I am, with the greatest respect for you, gentlemen, and the other members of the Council, your most obedient and most humble servant, W˙ BOLLAN.

The Hon˙ John Erving, Wm˙ Brattle, James Bowdoin, and James Pitts, Esqrs.