distinction in regard to internal taxation.
colonies, ‘he continued,’ ‘when they emigrated, keep the purse only, and give up their liberties?’
And he cited Shakspeare
to prove that ‘who steals a purse steals trash;’ then advising the Lords
to firmness towards the colonies, he concluded with an admonition from Tacitus
‘The question before your lordships,’ said Camden
, the youngest baron in the house, ‘concerns the common rights of mankind.
The resolution now proposed gives the legislature an absolute power of laying any tax upon America
In my own opinion, my lords, the legislature had no right to make this law. When the people consented to be taxed, they reserved to themselves the power of giving and granting by their representatives.
The colonies, when they emigrated, carried their birthright with them; and the same spirit of liberty still pervades the whole of the New Empire.’1
He proceeded to show, from the principles and precedents of English law, that none could be taxed unless by their representatives; that the clergy, the Counties
Palatine, Wales, Calais, and Berwick, were never taxed till they sent members to parliament; that Guernsey
send no members, and are not taxed; and dwelling particularly on the case of Ireland
, he cited the opinion of Chief Justice Hale
, that Great Britain
had no power to raise subsidies in Ireland
But supposing the Americans
had no exclusive right to tax themselves, he maintained it would be good policy to give it them.
This he argued as a question of justice; for in the clashing interests of the mother country and the colonies, every Englishman would incline against them.