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[180] Thomas Robinson's answer to the American agents,
chap. VII.} 1755.
as they were bandied to himself from Newcastle and from both to Halifax. Halifax alone had decision and a plan. In July, 1755, he insisted with the ministry on a ‘general system to ease the mother country of the great and heavy expenses with which it of late years was burdened.’1 The letters from America found the English Administration resolved ‘to raise funds for American affairs by a stamp-duty, and a duty’ on products of the Foreign West Indies, imported into the continental colonies.2 The English press advocated an impost in the northern colonies on West India products, ‘and likewise that, by act of parliament, there be a further fund established’ from ‘stamped paper.’3 This tax, it was conceived, would yield ‘a very large sum.’ Huske, an American, writing under the patronage of Charles Townshend, urged a reform in the colonial administration, and moderate taxation by parliament, as free from ‘the risks and disadvantages of the Albany plan of union.’4 Delancey, in August, had hinted to the New York Assembly, that a ‘stamp-duty would be so diffused as to be in a manner insensible.’5 That province objected to a stamp-tax as oppressive, though not to a moderate impost on West India products; and the voice of Massachusetts was unheeded, when, in November, it began to be thoroughly alarmed, and instructed its agent ‘to oppose every thing that should have the remotest tendency to ’

1 Board to Secretary of State, July, 1755.

2 Charles to Committee of New York, 15 Aug., 1755.

3 A miscellaneous Essay, concerning the courses pursued by Great Britain in the Affairs of her Colonies, &c., &c. London, 1755, at pages 89 and 92.

4 Huske's Present State of the Colonies.

5 Delancey to the New York Assembly, 6 Aug., 1755.

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