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P E B A TE S.
“ Upon the whole, I will beg Leave to tell the House
" what is really my opinion. It is, that the Stamp-
The Great Commoner.
Chez J. W. Imprimeur, Rue du Colombier
[Prix 30 Sous.]
T is necessary to inform the reader, that some time before the meeting of parliament, a re
port had been artfully propagated, that the ministry had changed their minds with regard to the Stamp-Act, and, instead of repealing, were resolved to enforce it. If it could be proved, that this report did not come originally from the favourites of a certain northern nobleman, yet was certainly much indebted to them for its pros gress, which was so great as to affect the stocks.
The king's speech to the parliament on the 14th of January, 1766, gave fome colour to the suggestion ; but when the gentlemen had spoke who moved for the address, and who seconded it, nothing could be clearer, than that the ministry perGfted in their intention to promote the repeal. The friends of the late ministry applauded the king's speech, and approved of the proposed addreis, which, as usual, only recapitulated the speech.
The opposition took great offence at the tenderness of expression, that the two firit gentlemen had made use of concerning America. Mr. Nugene particularly infifted, " That the HONOR and dignity of the kingdom obliged us to compel the execu
tion of the Stamp-Act, except the right was aca knowledged, and the repeal Tolicited as a favour. He computed the expence of the troops now employed in America for their defence, as he called it, to amount to nine-pence in the pound of our land-tax; while the produce of the Stamp-Act would not raise a shilling a head on the inhabitants of America ; but that a pepper-corrt, in acknowledgment of the right, was of more value, than millions without. He expatiated on the extreme ingratitude of the colonies; and concluded, with charging the ministry with encouraging petitions to parliament, and instructions to members from the trading and manufactaring towns, against the Act."
Mr. Pitt was the next speaker. Every friend of his country rejoiced to see him again in that house, and more fo, in such perfect health. As he always begins very low, and as every body was in agitation at his first rising, his introduction was not heard, 'till he said, " I came to town but today; I was a stranger to the tenor of his majesty's fpeech, and the proposed address, 'till I heard them read in this house. Unconnected and unconsulted, I have not the means of information; I am fearful of offending through mistake, and therefore beg to be indulged with a second reading of the proposed addrefs.” The address being read, Mr. Pitt went on :-“ He commended the king's fpeech, approved of the address in answer, as it decided nothing, every gentleman being left at perfect liberty to take such a part concerning America, as he might afterwards fee fit. One word only he could not approve of, an EARLY, is a word that does not belong to the notice the ministry have given to parliament of the troubles in America.
In a matter of such importance, the communication ought to have been immediate : I speak not with respect to parties ; I stand up in this place single and unconnected. As to the late ministry, (turning himself to Mr. G-..-lle, who sat within one of him) every capital measure they have taken, has been entirely wrong!
“ As to the present gentlemen, to those at least whom I have in my eye, (looking at the bench where Mr. Conway fat, with the lords of the Treafury) I have no objection; I have never been made a facrifice by any of them. Their characters are fair ; and I am always glad when men of fair character engage in his majesty's service. Some of them have done me the honor to ask my poor opinion, before they would engage. These will do me the justice to own, I advised them to engage ; but notwithstanding--I love to be explicitI cannot give them my confidence ; pardon me, gentlemen, (bowing to the ministry) confidence is a plant of now growth in an aged bosom: youth is the season of credulity; by comparing events with each other, reasoning from effects to causes, methinks, I plainly discover the traces of an overruling influence.
" There is a clause in the act of settlement, to oblige every minister to sign his name to the advice which he gives his sovereign. Would it were observed !--I have had the honour to serve the crown, and if I could bave submitted to influence, I might have still continued to serve ; but I would not be responsible for others.--I have no local attachments: it is indifferent to me, whether a man was rock'd in his cradle on this side or that side of the Tweed.--I sought for merit wherever it was to be