laying duties to regulate commerce; and considered
that body as the great bulwark and security of their liberties and privileges; but that now their temper was much altered, and their respect for it lessened: and if the act is not repealed, the consequence would be a total loss of the respect and affection they bore to this country, and of all the commerce that depended on that respect and affection.
Such was the form under which Franklin
presented the subject to the consideration of the house.
The questions of greatest interest asked of him related to the possibility of carrying the Stamp Act into effect, and to the difference laid down by so many of the Americans
, and adopted by Pitt
, in the House of Commons, and by Camden
in the House of Lords,—between internal taxes and taxes laid as regulations of commerce.
and his friends, and Charles Townshend
, who had carefully considered the decisive resolutions that marked the entrance of Samuel Adams
into public life, were his most earnest questioners.
‘Do you think it right,’ asked Grenville
, ‘that America
should be protected by this country, and pay no part of the expense?’
‘That is not the case,’ answered Franklin
; ‘the colonies raised, clothed, and paid during the last war twenty-five thousand men, and spent many millions.’
‘Were you not reimbursed by parliament?’
‘Only what, in your opinion,’ answered Franklin
, ‘we had advanced beyond our proportion; and it was a very small part of what we spent.
, in particular, disbursed about five hundred thousand pounds, and the reimbursements, in the whole, did not exceed sixty thousand pounds.’