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[154] body, it would claim and exercise the right of free
chap. VIII.} 1763. Sept.
discussion. To demand a revenue by instructions Sept. from the king, and to enforce them by stringent coercive measures, was beyond the power of the prerogatisve, under the system established at the revolution. When New-York had failed to make appropriations for the civil service, a bill was prepared to be laid before parliament, giving the usual revenue; and this bill having received the approbation of the great whig lawyers, Northey and Raymond, was the precedent which overcame Grenville's scruples about taxing the colonies without first allowing them representatives.1 It was settled then that there must be a military establishment in America of twenty regiments; that after the first year its expenses must be defrayed by America; that the American colonies themselves, with their various charters, never would agree to vote such a revenue, and that parliament must do it.

It remained to consider what tax parliament should impose. And here all agreed that the first object of taxation was foreign and intercolonial commerce. But that, under the navigation acts, would not produce enough. A poll tax was common in America; but, applied by parliament, would fall unequally upon the colonies holding slaves. The difficulty in collecting quit-rents, proved that a land tax would meet with formidable obstacles. An excise was thought of, but kept in reserve. An issue of exchequer bills to be kept in circulation as the currency of the continent, was urged on the ministry, but conflicted with the policy of acts of parliament against the use of paper money in the colonies.

1 Knox, in a pamphlet, of which George Grenville was part author.

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