must submit, voted for the repeal,
pleading his unwillingness to act on such a question against the House of Commons.
Immediately, the protest which Lyttelton
had prepared against committing the bill, was produced, and signed by thirty-three peers, with Bedford
at their head.
Against the total repeal of the Stamp Act, they maintained that such a strange and unheard of submission of King
, and Commons to a successful insurrection of the colonies would make the authority of Great Britain
contemptible; that the reason assigned for their disobeying the Stamp Act, extended to all other laws, and, if admitted, must set them absolutely free from obedience to the power of the British
legislature; that any endeavor to enforce it hereafter, against the will of the colonies, would bring on the contest for their total independence, rendered, perhaps, more dangerous and formidable from the circumstances of the other powers of Europe
; that the power of taxation to be impartially exercised must extend to all the members of the state; that the North American
colonies, ‘our colonies,’ as they were called by the discontented lords, were able to share the expenses of the army, now maintained in them at the vast expense of almost a shilling in the pound land tax, annually remitted from England
for their special protection; that parliament was the only supreme legislature and common council empowered to act for all; that its laying a general tax on the American
colonies was not only right but expedient and necessary; that it was ‘a most indispensable duty to ease the gentry and people of this kingdom, as much as possible, by the due ’