With Edmund Burke1
in the gallery for
one of his hearers, he dazzled country gentlemen by playing before their eyes the image of a revenue to be raised in America
The House of Commons listened with complacency to a plan which, at the expense of the colonies, would give twenty new places of colonels, that might be filled by members of their own body.
On the Report to the House
wished only that more troops had been retained in service; and as if to provoke France
to distrust, he called ‘the peace hollow and insecure, a mere armed truce for ten years.’2
The support of Pitt
prevented any opposition to the plan.
Two days after, on the ninth day of March, 1763, Charles Townshend
came forward with a part of the scheme for taxing America by act of parliament.
The existing duty on the trade of the continental colonies with the French
islands was, from its excessive amount, wholly prohibitory, and had been regularly evaded by a treaty of connivance between the merchants on the one side, and the custom-house officers and their English patrons on the other; for the custom-house officers were ‘quartered upon’ by those through whom they gained their places.
The minister proposed to reduce the