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Answer to the Governour' s Message


Met according to adjournment.

The Committee appointed to prepare an Answer to his Excellency' s Message of this day, reported, that they had prepared one; which was read, and is as follows, viz:

May it please your Excellency:

In answer to your Excellency' s Message of this day, wherein you desire that this House would rescind their vote of the 13th of last month, respecting their dismission of the three members for the County of Grafton, who were called by the King' s writ only, without an act of Government for that purpose; we are sorry to find that your Excellency should intimate that our dismissing said members was depriving the electors of their privileges, as we did not apprehend that any one person in the English Empire could have had such an idea; and trust that the good people of the County of Grafton will not think that we have deprived them of any part of their rights or privileges, by our dismissing the said members; as it is very notorious that this and former Houses of Assembly have long wished that this Province might be more generally represented in a constitutional way, and have long endeavoured that an act of Government might be passed enabling the Governour to issue writs to such Towns to send members as might be provided for in said act, (as is the case in the other Governments on this Continent,) but have not been able to have such an act established, for what reasons your Excellency may know better than we do. As the Council are appointed for this Province by the Crown, we think it not only a cruel, but an arbitrary stretch of prerogative, for your Excellency to issue writs to such Towns as you think proper, to send Representatives without the concurrence of the other branches of the Legislature therein; for by that means the Representatives, as well as the Council, would in effect be chosen by the Crown. We cannot think that such an attempt was ever made in any other Government within the English Dominions. Upon the whole, this House have determined unanimously, as they look upon it as their undoubted right and privilege to regulate themselves, not to rescind their said vote.

We would also inform your Excellency that we have been expecting that you would order the Treasurer' s accounts to be laid before the House, agreeable to your promise, that we might be thereby enabled to proceed in the ordinary business of the Government; but are sorry to find that your Excellency has ordered the Treasurer not to lay them before the House, as he informs us. We hope that you will direct that we may be furnished therewith as soon as possible, as you must be sensible that it is not only very expensive, but very disagreeable to us to be from our respective places of abode at this season of the year.

Which report of the Committee being considered, Voted, That it be presented to his Excellency in answer to his Message to the House of this day.

Monday, July 17, 1775.