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[62] from 1710 to 1714, had struggled in that province for
chap. III.} 1750.
the prerogative. Under the sanction of that precedent, Clinton1 urged, in March, that ‘it was absolutely necessary to check the insolence of faction by a powerful interposition;’ and he advised imposts on wine and West India produce. ‘These, if granted by parliament, would be sufficient for supporting the civil list. If made general over all the colonies, they could be in no shape prejudicial to trade.’2 He insisted, that the proposition contained its own evidence of being for the service of the king. ‘This province,’ he repeated, in April,3 ‘by its example, greatly affects all the other colonies. Parliament, on a true representation of the state of the plantations, must think it their duty to make the royal officers less dependent on the assemblies, which may be easily done by granting to the king the same duties and imposts, that, in the plantations, are usually granted from year to year.’

But neither the blunt decision of Bedford, nor the arrogant self-reliance of Halifax, nor the restless activity of Charles Townshend, could, of a sudden, sway the system of England in a new direction, or overcome the usages and policy of more than a half century. But new developments were easily given to the commercial and restrictive system. That the colonies might be filled with slaves, who should neither trouble Great Britain with fears of encouraging political independence, nor compete in their industry with British workshops, nor leave their employers the entire security that might prepare a revolt, liberty to

1 Clinton to Bedford, 19 March, 1750.

2 Same to same, 26 March, 1750.

3 Clinton to Lords of Trade, 3 April, 175, and same to Bedford, 9 April.

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