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1 correction by Moorlock - Show corrections

THE CHRONICLE. TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 1840. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESEN- TATION. WHATEVER improvements may be made in our body politic during the present session of council, one determi- nation seems to pervade the minds of those at the helm of affairs -- a determi nation to tax the colonists both in town and country. In addition to the bill for instituting corporations, with the provi- sions of which our readers are already acquainted, the Governor has brought forward another bill, for the purpose of appointing rural corporations, under the name of Police Commissioners, with power to levy rates for the support of police and the improvement of roads, &c. Now, as we have before said in refer- ence to the Corporations Bill, we think this altogether premature, as it is cer- tainly contrary to the principles of the British constitution. In the worst timos of English history we find that the re- presentatives of the people were ex- tremely jealous of anything in the shape of taxation which was levied without their consent; and since that period of history, during which the British govern- ment has been conducted upon something like fixed principles, the representatives of the people have exercised the sole right of disposing of all money bills. We have moreover the best legal authority, as quoted by his Honor Chief Justice Dowling, last session, that an English man, go where he will, carries with him the constitution of his country, with all the privileges which it secures for him. If this be true, then, we ask, by what right does Sir George Gipps require the people of this colony to submit to direct taxation, destitute as they are of any thing like representative government?   It appears that his Excellency, or his advisers, have forgotten the cause of the American revolt, which ended in the overthrow of British sway after years of angry feelings and civil war; and, al- though it may be said that in the present case the tax is small, and would be for our good -- we stop not to discuss this matter -- it is for the principle we con- tend. The tax resisted by Hampden was only of small amount. Had it been a farthing instead of a pound he would have resisted it; for he contended, as we do, not for great or small details, but for right -- the right of free-born subjects to be taxed by their representatives, and by them alone. "Without representation,   no taxation." Once depart from this maxim, and, no matter how small the present demand, we allow the Governor to insert his wedge in the block; how far it may ultimately penetrate will de- pend upon the force which he brings to bear upon it. In other words, consent to taxation without representation, and you open a door through which arbitrary will can stalk in, whatever shape or guise it may please to assume. Sir George has no doubt read the fable of the horse, the stag, and the man. The horse was at enmity with the stag, and entreated the man to assist him to catch and con- quer him. He did so; the horse thanked   the man for his assistance, and requested to be released. "Oh! no, my friend,"     said the man, "you have boon so useful   on this occasion, I must retain you for my service." It is in this way his Ex- cellency calls upon the Legislative Coun- cil to pass his unconstitutional bills, in order, he says, to recommnend the colony to the Home Government, and "prove   that we are worthy of a representative assembly." Let the Council pass these bills, say we, and the Home Government

will "retain it for further service." De-   pend upon it, the British Ministry will not readily part with so obsequious a a body, to give place to one which would not, assuredly, prove so easy of manage- ment. We have another plan which we would recommend to Members of Coun- cil, by which they may prove to the Home Government that the colony is "worthy of being entrusted with a le-   gislative assembly." We would say to the independent Members -- Prove that you know the rights of free British sub- jects; throw out the Ordnance Bill, and the Municipal Bill, and the Police Commissioners Bill, as involving subjects which can only be settled by the repre- sentatives of the people; and you will thereby prove effcctually that you are worthy of freedom, and know its value. On the other hand, should these bills pass in their present state, we would advise the colonists to refuse the payment (unless under the extreme penalty of the law) of a single farthing levied under the two last mentioned Acts. We maintain that this may be safely done, upon the ac- knowledged principle of "no taxation   without representation;" and we are   convinced that this constitutional system of passive resistance would prove beyond measure more convincing to the Home Government that we are worthy of pos- sessing our rights, than the plan proposed by his Excellency, of submitting tamely to be taxed in such manner as he or they may choose to dictate. But more of this anon.