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[183] to it should be given by the Assemblies, to prevent a
chap. IX.} 1764. Mar.
tax of that nature from being laid without the consent of the colonies.1 Huske, too, repenting of his eager zeal in promising a revenue from America, joined in entreating delay, that opportunity might be given for America to be heard.

Grenville's colleagues did not share his scruples; but his mind was accustomed to balance opinions; and he desired to please all parties. He persisted, therefore, in the purpose of proposing a stamp-tax, but also resolved to show what he called ‘tenderness’ to the colonies, and at the risk of being scoffed at by the whole Bedford party for his feebleness and hesitancy, he consented to postpone the tax for a year. He also attempted to reconcile America to his new regulations. In doing this he still continued within the narrow limits of protection. The British consumption of foreign hemp amounted in value to three hundred thousand pounds a year. Grenville was willing to shake off the precarious dependence upon other countries. The bounties on hemp and flax, first given in the time of Queen Anne,2 had been suffered to drop; for, having never been

1 ‘With regard to money bills, I believe the parliament will render those not necessary, as several duties are to be laid on goods imported into the plantations, and it is proposed also to lay a stamp-duty on the colonies and islands as is done here, in order to defray all expenses of troops, necessary for their defence. We have endeavored to get this last postponed, as it is an internal tax, and wait till some sort of consent to it shall be given by the several Assemblies, to prevent a tax of that nature from being laid without the consent of the colonies; but whether we shall succeed is not certain. However, a few days will determine.’ Thomas Penn, one of the proprietaries of Pennsylvania, to James Hamilton, the Lieutenant-Governor. London, 9 March, 1764. The original is in the possession of our American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia.

2 3 & 4 Ann. c. x., and 8 Ann. c. XIII. § 30. 12 Ann. c. IX. § 2. 8 Geo. i. c. XII. §1. 2 Geo. II. c. XXXV.

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