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[155] Every body1 who reasoned on the subject, decided for
chap. VIII.} 1763. Sept.
a stamp tax, as certain of collection; and in America, where lawsuits were frequent, as likely to be very productive. A stamp act had been proposed to Sir St. Robert Walpole; it had been thought of by Pelham; it had been almost resolved upon in 1755; it had been pressed upon Pitt; it seems beyond a doubt to have been a part of the system adopted in the ministry of Bute, and was sure of the support of Charles Townshend.

Knox, the agent of Georgia, stood ready to defend the stamp act, as least liable to objection. The agent of Massachusetts, through his brother, Israel Mauduit, who had Jenkinson for his fast friend and often saw Grenville, favored raising the wanted money in that way, because it would occasion less expense of officers, and would include the West India Islands;2 and speaking for his constituents, he made a merit of cheerful ‘submission’ to the ministerial policy. One man in Grenville's office, and one man only, did indeed give him sound advice; Richard Jackson,3 his Secretary as Chancellor of the Exchequer, advised him to lay the project aside, and refused to take any part in preparing or supporting it. But Jenkinson, his Secretary of the Treasury, was ready to render

1 Cornwall in Cavendish.

2 Grenville, in the House of Commons, in the debate of 5 March, 1770: ‘Far from thinking the tax impracticable, some of the assemblies applied to me, by their agents, to collect this very tax.’ Compare Whately's Considerations, 71. ‘Mr. Mauduit, the Massachusetts agent, favored the raising of the wanted money by a stamp duty, as it would occasion less expense of officers, and would include the West India islands.’ Gordon's History of the American Revolution, i. 158.

3 Richard Jackson to Jared Ingersoll, 22 March, 1766, in Letters of Ingersoll, 43: ‘I was never myself privy to any measures taken with respect to the stamp act, after having formally declined giving any other advice on the subject, excepting that I had always given, to lay the project aside.’

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