intention, in the next session, to bring in a bill im-
posing stamp-duties in America
, and the reasons for giving such notice were, because he understood some people entertained doubts of the power of parliament to impose internal taxes in the colonies; and because that, although of all the schemes which had fallen under his consideration, he thought a stamp-act was the best, he was not so wedded to it as to be unwilling to give it up for any one that might appear more eligible; or if the colonies themselves thought any other mode would be more expedient, he should have no objections to come into it, by act of parliament.
At that time the merits of the question were opened at large.
The opposition were publicly called upon to deny, if they thought it fitting, the right of the legislature to impose any tax, internal or external, on the colonies; and not a single person ventured to controvert that right.
Upon a solemn question, asked in a full house,1
there was not one negative.
‘As we are stout,’ said Beckford
, ‘I hope we shall be merciful;’ and no other made a reply.
On the fourteenth of March, Charles Jenkinson
from a committee, on which he had for his associates, Grenville
and Lord North, reported a bill modifying and perpetuating the act of 1733, with some changes to the disadvantage of the colonies; an extension of the navigation acts, making England