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'Pro.—1 not only think It, but am in a manner assured of it, srolnfiK% as' are acquainted with his instructions in these points; to understand whiefe is the business of our frequent conserring with some of the gentlemen ' f ti c other house, w hose interest differs'in no point from ours, whatever they may appear in their public capacity; and when we come to reason things together, wherein the good of the island is concerned, you will find them to be the same with us, and that we all aim al the same end, though sometimes we mav differ in the means of obtaining it; in the arguing when of I have alw a\s observed them so be as ready to yield unto us, when reason hath so required, as they can desire we should br to-condescend unto them, when the stre ngth of argument lhull be on their side.
Coii.— Now I perceive you are one of the cabal, and pretended to be a manager the n os. I will have nothing more to' say to you, only that, ,n twithslandii g all the^ arguments you can bring, I am and shall be a& much against the seven yearsbillas you can be for it,and so sarewel to you.
Pro.—Pray be not so hasty. Hear me sirst. I am none of those vou :mean, nor was I with them you call caballers last night, which by the way is but an ill term upon men of such a good intention towards the public. For my part, I have been inclined to the lame opinion I now am of a good while, and am the more consirmed in it the more I consider of it. 'I bey that were there of our house last night are such as have all along been of thecontrary opinion, who like men of prudence and good conscience, before they would proceed upon the material point which seeing so much to influence the suture good or hurt of Jamaica, were willing Xq hear the reasons of such as differed from themselves in opinion, though not in interett, that, by comparing them with their own, they might afterwards resolve upon that which should carry with it the sairest probability of advancing the common good.
£on—And they came away Without doubt very good converts?
P>o.— I 1 ear nothing like it, only that they were not so positive as they were beiore; which I take to be the reason that some moved for putting oft the debate a day or two longer, for surther considerations* though this morning was appointed s i it.
Con.—I know not w hat their reasons may be, but I believe I shall hardily depart from my frrlt opinion.
Pro.-—For my-part, 1 am never so wedded to my own sense butt cam 1rcar another man's and .embrace it, if he can mew me better reasons for the maintaining his opinion than I give for mine; and, therefore, since yon seem to be so positive against the seven years bill, I desire you would Jet me know the jealons why you are ia«
Con.—Because, when once we have settled the 'revenue-bill for sovea years, the governor will have .no more occasion to call us together again; so we shall never get any more laws pasted, or have any grievances remedied within that time, unless we pay or compound for the same.
Pro.—It is to be supposed that, before the passing that bill, the whole fxxly of laws is to be settled, especially all those between the prerogative and the subject; which being done, there will not be the same occasion for public ailemblies as there hath been. Butin«case it should be thought needsul to make or alter any temporary law which concerns ourselves, the matter of it will always be of such indifference to the king, that we can have no reason to suspect his governor will resuse to pass it, when it ihall come before him in a parliamentary way from both hoeises. I am of opinion to offer a bill, or put in a clause in the revenue-bill, to this effect, to have an assembly called once in two years at least (de die in diemJ, to .consider of what shall come before them.
Con.—But,.suppose the governor should not call the assembly by the time appointed by the act, what remedy have we then?
Pro.—That may be provided for by the act, as thus, that if the governor do not issue out the king's writ by such a time for calling a new assembly, then the assembly that was last in being shall be revived, and sit and act for so many days, with the same authority as they did whelk they were sirst convened.
Coru—But what assurance can we have that any grievance will be remedied in that time, in case they should sit and take cognizance os any such, when we have neither money nor bribe to procure it?
Pro.—For that we must trust to the governor's prudence and justice, which will oblige him to give us a convenient remedy i for, mould lie
xe£ufe refuse lo do it, we shall have opportunity whilst we sit to address an3 remonstrate, which no prudent governor will ever give occasion for.
'Con.—But, do you think that if such a bill or clause for the meeting of assemblies were -offered by us, would it be consented unto by the governori
Pro.—Who can tell that? But I never heard he had any instructions against it, and, from the nature of the bill, can judge of no reason he c:iu have to resuse it; however, if we think it a good bill, it is our duty to offer it, and, provided we pass the other for seven years, we need not count the pasting of that; but tor us to part with our money for so long time together, and have our forts neglected and sall to ruin, as by lad experience we have found almost in all governors' times, will accuse us of too much easiness and too little circumspection into the country's concerns. It is to provide against such evils that makes me be for the seven years bill, because under that condition we .stjall-have liberty of applying a thousand pounds per annum certain to the forts, besides the body of laws that depends upon it; and we shall not only have all the money we raise by that act secure to the public uses of the illand but the quit-rents also, which is as much more, and the king might give it away to whom he pleased; whereas, in any.of our two years bills, no such conditions could be ever granted; and you know how that from two years to two years we have gone on giving without any scruple, or care how to have it applied, and so mould proceed ad bifinitum, not considering how much better it .would be for us to give a seven years bill under so many cautions and conditions as now we may. Besides, a two years bill hath naturally this evil in it, that being short lived and very uncertain in its raising again, so that cnce in two or three years it frequently happens we have none al all for six -or nine months together, the governor, though he should have one year's money to spare, and of himself be well enough inclined towards the forts, yet he durit not lay it out lor sear of wanting it himself the next; whereas when the revenue is settled fora longer time, and money applied to that use, he will have no reason upon like apprehension to go about to divert it, because that, if money sall short one year, he may expect it will come in the next
Con.—But you know the forts have always been made the pretence for ..failing of money, and never any hiid out upon them ior divers^cari.,; . ui4
Z '' ifcovr •how do we "know that, having passed this bill for seven years, 'we shall' mot be forced to repair and keep up the forts ourselves?
Pro.—Because we intend to provide against it in the bill itself as strong** ly as words can bind it; by tbe applying of a thousand pounds per annum: to that use, which if laid out accordingly may sufficiently secure us frouj ithat sear.
Con.—But suppose it should not be laid out upon the forts, notwithstanding our applying of it, who shall sue' the governor, or what remedy ihall we have?
'Pro.—That we must provide for as well as we can; but at least we 'have this remedy, that it will come under the cognizance of otjr tw» years assembly, if that bill be passed, and so be represented as an agrievance; besides which, we shall be surnished with a very good excuse t» deny the giving of any more money in case it should be asked of us; but, however that happens, thus much we may conclude from it, that the seven years bill is in all probability the best provision we can make for •the support of the forts, and if we have no seven years bill there is all the probability in the world that they must and will sall to ruin, in regard there will not be money to maintain them; for you know very well it ^/-jnust be a seven years bill or none at all.
Con.—But, whilst a seven years bill is so much insisted upon, that none -under that time will be accepted, is it not an imposing upon the freewill of the subject, who uses not to be directed what or how to give?
Pro.—T cannot imagine any such intention as imposing upon us in it, and they must be prejudiced in it that take it so; for most certainly it is for nothing else but that the king and the ministers, having found as well as ourselves so much trouble in the frequent occasions of new instructions and orders concerning this government, upon every meeting of assembly, they propose this method only for their ease; and concerning which I think will be as much our own, and the several advantages we shall receive thereby are too considerable, 1 hope, for us to killer any such objections to take place against it.
-Con.—But why might not a Ids time than seven years doi
Pro.—because tlie governor's instructions are suc*h, and he cannot vary tfromthem, and which the governing ministers will not alter, concluding we have all the reason in the world to comply therewith tor our own sakes, as well as in duty and gratitude to the king, after his majesty hath, upon our humble address, been graciously pleased .to restore us to our beloved form .of making laws, wherein we enjoy beyond all dispute all the deliberative powers that the house of commons in England does; and hath further condescended to our applying the very quit-rents, which is as much money given out of his purse, to the public uses of the island; especially when it shall be considered whose the money is that we da give, and to what uses it is given; the money is not the country's, but foreigners, Jbut the uses it is given to is the island's, and the advantages thereof our own; so that certainly we shall be a very happy people, if 'thus, by the help of other men's purses, we -can support the government, maintain our forts, and secure our estates, without any charge to ourselves; a condition that hardly any other nation in the world can boast of; and all indifferent men in the world would think us either mad or bewitched, should we lose so good an occasion as this is of establishing our happiness, when it is to be done upon such easy terms.
Con.—But it is believed the new governor that is coming may bring other orders with him, so that a bill for a shorter time may be «aecepted, and we have all the same advantages with it.
Pro.—Of that I am sully assured to the centrary, by a letter I have seen from him of the latest date of any that came by the last fhips, wherein he writes, that, having laboured and done all that was possible for him to do or say, for the obtaining of some alteration in that point, he could not find that any one os' the lords of the council could be persuaded to advise the king unto it, but were all of them very positive that the bill ought to be for seven years at least.
Con.—But suppose, for all thie, that we should not consent to it for fcven years, what then?
Pro.—It is impossible for me to reckon up all the inconveniencies that may attend us by it, for who knows what measures will afterwards be taken with us; but of this we are but too well assured, that several of our most beneficial laws cannot be passed here, and the forts must unavoidably
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