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of Rights, made in the first year of the reign of King William and Queen Mary, and perhaps a few other statutes that are fingularly beneficial and favourable to the liberty of the subject, and then by confirming, in general terms, the rest of the laws of England, both criminal and civil, excepting the penal laws against the exercise of the Popish religion, which should be declared to be (what they have always been understood to be,) utterly null and void with respect to that province; and excepting, also, the laws relating to the tenures of land, the manner of conveying it, and the laws of dower and inheritance, at least with respect to the children of marriages already contracted, or which shall be contracted before a given future day, and declaring, that upon these subjects the former French laws of the province should be in force.
But the laws of England, which disqualify Papists from holding places of trust and profit, ought ftill to be continued in the province, though the penal laws should be abolished; the former laws being not laws of perfecution, but of self-defence. Yet the King might, if he pleased, extend his bounty to those people who figned the French petition, and to such other persons of the Roman-Catholick religion, as he thought fit, by granting them penfions.
Also, it would be proper to abolish the feigneurial Jurifdictions in Canada, for the fatisfaction of the great body of the freeholders of the province. If this cannot be done consistently with justice, and the terms of the capitulation granted by Sir Jeffery Amherst, in September, 1760, without giving the feigniors a pecuniary compensation for the lofs of these jurisdictions, (though I incline to think it might) such pecuniary compensations ought to be given them. The expence of a week's extraordinaries 10 the army at Boston would be more than fufficient to make these compensations in a large and ample manner.
THIRDLY.-Having thus ascertained the laws of the province of Quebeck, it would be proper to provide for the convenient administration of justice in it, either by adopt. ing the plan set-forth above, in pages 343, 359, or some other that shall be thought fitter for the purpose.
FOURTILY.—To provide a competent legislature for the province of Quebeck. The best legislature that could be provided for it would, as I believe, be à l'rotestant Assembly chosen by the freeholders of the country, whether Proteftants or Roman-Catholicks. The next best, I should be inclined to think, would be a Legisative Council, consisting of Protestants only, (such as is proposed in the draught of an Act of Parliament, contained in the Account of the Proceedings of the British and other Protestant inhabitants of the province of Quebeck in North-America in order to obtain a bouse of Asembly in that province, lately publisbed and fold by B. Wbite in Fleet-Street,) to be established for only feven years; in which all the members thould be made independent of the Governor, so as to be neither removeable nor suspendible by him upon any occasion what- . soever, though they might be removed by the King, by his order in his Privy Council. They should be thirty-one in number, or perhaps more ; and should all fign the ordinances for which they gave their votes, and hould be paid forty shillings each, every time they attended the meetings of the Council, in order to induce them to attend in considerable numbers; as the Justices of the Peace in England are intitled to a pecuniary allowance for attending the Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, and the Directors of the East-India Company, for attending the meetings upon the affairs of the Company, and the members of the House of Commons are intitled to wages from their constituents attending Parliament, though now they forbear demanding them. But they should receive no general salaries from the Crown, not depending upon their attendances; as such a
practice can tend to nothing but to make them dependent on the Crown, and contemptible in the eyes of the people. Next to such a legislative Council, consisting of Protestants only, a general Assembly of the people, consisting of Protestants and Papists indiscriminately, seems the most proper legislature for the province. And to the establishment of such an Assembly but few objections can now be made; since the English settlers in the provincc, on the one hand, have declared that they are willing to acquiesce in the establishment of such an Assembly; and the King and ParJiament, on the other hand, (hy passing the Quebeck-Act, and permitting Roman-Catholicks to hold all sorts of offices, scats in the legislative council of the province, judicial offices, and even military commissions,) have declared that they congder the old opinion, “that Roman Catholicks were not fit persons to be invested with authority under the British Government,” as ill-grounded with respect to the province of Quebeck. For certainly, if there is any hard thip in excluding Papists from holding places of trust and profit in the province, there is a still greater hardship in excluding them from being chosen members of an Assembly of the province.
FIFTHLY.-To repeal the Bosion-charter dct; and to pass a resolution in both Houses of Parliament, that for the future, no charter of any American colony shall be takenaway, or altered in any point, by the British Parliament, without, either on the one hand, a Petition for that purpose, to the two Houses of Parliament,, or to the King's Majesty, from the Assembly of such colony, whose charter is proposed to be either taken away or altered, or, on the other hand, a suit at law, hy a writ of Scire facias, to repeal the said charter, regularly carried-on in the Court of Chan. cery in England, upon a charge of some abuse of the powers of the said charter, by the people of such colony, or of some other misdemeanour committed by them, which may
be a legal ground of forfeiture of the same, and a judgement of forfeiture pronounced in consequence of such fuit after a full hearing of the same, and also a re-bearing in Parliament of the charges in the said fuit, and of the proofs brought in support of them, and of the arguments which may be alledged both for and against the said colonies by Counsel, and an approbation and confirmation of fuch judgement of forfeiture by both Houses of Parliament in consequence of the said re-hearing of the whole matter.
Such a resolution of the two Houses of Parliament would give the Americans a strong moral assurance that the privileges granted them by their charters would not be lightly and wantonly altered for the future upon the basty suggestions of men little acquainted with their history and condition, and whose notions of Government are very different from their own,
Sixthly.—To repeal the trial-act, for trying Officers or Soldiers, who shall be indi&ted for murder in the Mafsachuset's bay, in others of the American provinces, or in England. This Act, I am persuaded, was intended only for the purposes of justice, and to procure a fair trial to the officers and soldiers who should happen to be indicted for actions done by them in the course of their duty as affiftants to the civil magistrate in the execution of the laws, and not to screen them from punishment when they were really guilty of murder, or had occasioned the death of his Majesty's subjects in that province without such just and lawful cause. And I am further persuaded that, in fact, it would not screen them fro:n punishment, when the charge was supported by proper testimony; but that the Juries that should try these indi&tments, whether in England or in America, would readily convict such officers. and soldiers of murder, if they were really guilty of it, and proved to be so by fulficient evidence. But the diffi
culty of procuring the witnesses to the facts to come across the Atlantick ocean to give evidence concerning them, is so great that it may almost be considered as unsurmountable; and consequently this method of trying those offences may be reckoned to be impracticable, notwithstanding the spirit of justice and impartiality by which the Juries would probably be governed. And for this reason the A& ought to be repealed. However, as this Act is only a temporary one, and will expire of itself in two years, it is a matter of much less consequence than the Quebeck Act and the Ad for altering the charter of the Massachuset's bay. Those are the Acts which have brought-on this civil war, and which, I apprehend, must be totally repealed before peace can be restored.
SEVENTHLY.-To pass a resolution of both Houses of Parliament, that, for the future, no tax or duty of any kind shall be imposed by authority of the Parliament of Great-Britain, upon his Majesty's subjects residing in those provinces of North-America, in which afsemblies of the people are established, until the said provinces shall bave been permitted to send representatives to the British Parliament: excepting only such taxes or duties upon goods exported out of, and imported into, the said provinces as fhall be thought neceffary for the regulation of the trade of the said provinces; and that, when such taxes, or duties, shall be laid by the British Parliament on any of the said provinces, the whole amount of the same shall be disposed-of by the Assemblies of the provinces in which they shall be collected, respectively.
EIGHTHLY.-That all the quit-rents, and other royal dues, collected in the provinces of America, shall be appropriated to the maintenance of the civil governments in the fame, and shall be employed in the payment of the salaries of the Governors, and Judges, and Sheriffs, or