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[70] Shelburne held that the right of nomination should
Chap. XXIX.} 1767. April.
rest essentially with the Representatives, so that this dispute could not become serious while he remained in the Ministry.

The Lieutenant Governor, in spite of his want of an election, had taken a seat in the Council, pleading the Charter as his warrant for doing so; but the Attorney General in England, to whom the case was referred, gave his opinion that ‘the right could not be claimed by virtue of any thing contained in the Charter or the Constitution of the Province.’1

Bernard wished to control the election of Councillors; and gave out that by the use of his veto, he would always keep places open for Hutchinson and Oliver.2 The menace was a violation of the spirit of the Constitution; its only effect was to preserve two perpetual vacancies in the Council.

The Council itself Bernard advised to alter from an elective body to one of royal nomination. The change would have been an act of aggression, and an unwarranted breach of faith, for no Council in any one Colony had more uniformly shown loyalty than that of Massachusetts. Hutchinson perceived this so clearly, that he at heart disapproved of the measure which from personal motives he advocated. The perfidious advice would be harmless, if England would only respect the Charter it had granted, and which nearly a century's possession had confirmed.

There remained no grounds of imminent variance except the Navigation Acts, the Billeting Act, the Acts restraining industry, and the Slave Trade.

1 Opinion of the Attorney General, quoted in the ‘Minute relative to Massachusetts Bay,’ 1767.

2 Bernard's Letters on the Rejection of Hutchinson and Oliver; but particularly, Bernard to Shelburne, 6 June, 1767.

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