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Bill Read Second Time


The Order of the Day being read, for the second reading of the Bill to restrain the Trade and Commerce of the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New-Hampshire, and Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantation, in North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Islands in the West Indies; and to prohibit such Provinces and Colonies from carrying on any Fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, or other places therein to be mentioned, under certain conditions, and for a time to be limited;

The House was moved that the Petition of the Merchants, Traders, and others, of the City of London, interested in the American Commerce, which was yesterday presented to the House, and also the Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons, of the City of London, in Common Council assembled, this day presented to the House; and which Petitions were then ordered to lie upon the table until the said Bill be read a second time, might be again read.

And the same being read accordingly;

The said Bill was read a second time.

Sir John Griffin Griffin, after expressing his sincere wishes to see a happy conclusion put to the American disputes without bloodshed, declared, that upon reading the Bill, he felt himself alarmed, and was jealous that, if the greatest caution and delicacy was not to be used in perfecting the Bill, it would rather provoke than effect any good purpose; he would not, therefore, without certain assurances, give his consent to its going to the Committee. He contended, that the first operation of the Bill should be so calculated, that the innocent might in no event be confounded with the guilty, and observed, that the power given to the Government and Council of New-Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, to take off the restrictions laid by this Bill by proclamation, appeared to be so limited, that they could not issue such proclamation so as to secure those who were evidently well intentioned from the penalties of the Act: he insisted, that in common justice, the commencement of its operation should be delayed to such a period, as would give those so inclined, time to return to their duty; and concluded, that if this was not to be the case, he should be adverse to its going one step further. On the contrary, if he heard from authority, that none but the unrelenting and intractable would feel its influence, he should wish the Bill success, considering it as very proper and consistent with every resolution taken on the subject of our unhappy disputes with America.

Lord North replied, that it was intended to fill up the blanks in such manner as would answer the purposes wished for by the honourable gentleman, and that the first operation of the Bill would not have effect sooner than at the expiration of one month at least after its arrival.

Resolved, That the Bill be committed.

Resolved, That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

Resolved, That this House will, upon Tuesday morning next, resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House, upon the said Bill.