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Pro. I not only think it, but am in a manner assured of it, from frin as are acquainted with his inftructions in these points; to understand which is the butincts of our frequent conferring with some of the gentlemen f te other house, whose 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 isand is concerned, you will find them to be the same with us, and that we all aiin at the fame end, though fonctimes we mav differ in the means of obtaining it; in the arguing where of I have always observed ihem to be as ready to yield unto us, uhçu reason hath so required, as they can desire we thould be to condeieend unto them, when the strength of argument thall be on their side.
Con.- Now I perceive you are one of the cabal, and pretended to be a manager thereof. I will have nothing more to say to you, only that, in iwithstanding all the arguments you can bring, I am and thall be as much against the seven years billas you can be for it, and so farewel to you.
Pro.- Pray be not so hasty. Hear me first. 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 same opinion I now am of a good while, and am the more confirmed in it the more I confider of it. They that were there of our house last night are such as have all along been of the contrary opinion, who like men of prudence and good confcience, before they would proceed upon the material point which feeins so much to influence the future good or hurt of Jamaica, were willing to hear the reasons of such as differed from themselves in opinion, though not in intereft, that, by comparing them with their own, they might afterwards resolve upon that which should carry with it the faireit probability of advancing the common good.
Lon. And they came away without doubt very good converts?
P10.-I hear nothing like it, only that they were not so positive as they were before; which I take to be the reason that some moved for putting off the debate a day or two longer, for further considerations, though this morning was appointed fuit.
Con.-I know not what their reasons may be, but I believe I shall hard. dy depart from my first opinivu.
P10.-For my part, I am never fo wedded to my own sense but I can hear another man's and embrace it, if he can Thew me better reasons for the maintaining his opinion than I give for mine; and, therefore, since you seem to be so positive against the seven years bill, I defire you would let me know the reatons why you are fa.
Con. Because, when once we have settled the revenue-bill for seven years, the governor will have no more occafion to call us together again; so we shall never get any more laws pafled, or have any grievances remeclied within that time, unless we pay or compound for the fame.
: . Pro. It is to be supposed that, before the passing that bill, the whole body of laws is to be settled, especially all those between the prerogative and the subject; which being done, there will not be the fame occasion for public assemblies as there hath been. But in case it should be thought needful 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 fulpect his governor will refuse to pass it, when it shall ceine before him in a parliamentary way from both houses. 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 leait (de die in diem), to consider of what ihall come before them.
Con.-But, suppose the governor should not call the assembly by the time appointed by the aet, 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 affembly that was last in being thall be revived, and fit and act for so many days, with the same authority as they did where they were first convened.
Con. But what afsurd.ce can we have that any grievance will be remedied in that time, in case they should sit and take cognizance of any fuch, 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; for, thould he
Tefuse to do it, we shall have opportunity whilst we sit to address and. 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 governor.
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 can bave to refuse 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 doubt the passing of that; but for us to part with our money for so long time together, and have our forts neglected and fall to ruin, as by fad experie ence 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 shall-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
by that act secure to the public uses of the island but the quit-rents also,
Con.—But you know the forts have always been made the pretence for kaifing of money, and never any laid out upon them ior divers y cars; and
how do we know that, having passed this bill for seven years, we fnatt not be forced to repair and keep up the forts ourselves?
Pro. --Because we intend to provide against it in the bill itself as stronghere ly as words can bind it; by the applying of a thousand pounds per annun to that use, which if laid out accordingly may sufficiently secure us from that fear.
Con.-But suppose it should not be laid out upon the forts, notwithHanding our applying of it, who shall sue the governor, or what remedy thall 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 our two years assembly, if that bill be passed, and so be represented as an agrieve ance; besides which, we shall be furnished with a very good excuse to 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 seven years bill is in all probability the best provision we can make for the support of the forts, and if we have no feven years bill there is all the probability in the world that they must and will fall to ruin, in regard there will not be money to maintain them; for you know very well it must 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. I cannot imagine any such intention as impofing upon us in it, and they must be prejudiced in it that take it fo; 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 allembly, they propose this method only for their eas•; and concerning which I think will be as much our own, and the several advantages we thall receive thereby are too considerable, I hope, for us to fuffer any such objections to take place against it.
Con.-But why might not a less time than seven years do?
Pro. Because the governor's instructions are such, and he cannot vary from them, and which the governing ministers will not alter, concluding we have all the reason in the world to comply therewith for our own fakes, 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 do give, and to what uses it is given; the money is not the country's, but foreigners, but the uses it is given to is the illand'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 eftates, without any charge to ourfelves; 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, thould 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 accepted, and we have all the same advantages 'with it.
· Pro. Of that I am fully affured to the centrary, by a letter I have seen from him of the latest date of any that came by the last ships, 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 of 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 fuppose, for all this, that we should not consent to it for · feven years, what then?
Pro. It is impoffible 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 feveral of our most beneficial laws cannot be passed here, and the forts must unavoidably 22