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Letter from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to Arthur Dobbs
Great Britain. Board of Trade
August 01, 1759
Volume 06, Pages 54-56

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 22. p. 331.]
Lords of Trade To Governor Dobbs

(Augst 1st 1759


We have received your letter to Us dated the 18th of May last together with the Copy of the Aid Bill and other Papers referred to in it and We have also received the Acts and Journals of the Council and Assembly transmitted by the same Conveyance. We have carefully read and considered this Bill and though we cannot but approve of your having rejected it, yet it does not appear to Us to affect His Majesty's prerogative to such an extent as you seem to apprehend.

The appropriation by Act of Legislature of the Money granted by Parliament for a compensation to the Province unless otherwise directed by His Majesty is doubtless a very regular and proper method of proceeding and the same method of appointing an Agent for the Province is equally so, being that marked out by his Majesty in the Case of Jamaica when the Mode of appointing an Agent was a Question of dispute in that Island. At the same time We are sensible that in both these Cases it is a Governor's Duty as one

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branch of the Legislature to see that in the Provisions of those Laws and the mode of framing them a proper regard is had to the form of the Constitution and His Majesty's just Rights and although upon this way of Reasoning we see no grounds to disapprove the Aid Bill in its abstract principle, yet we think the particular Provisions of it and the mode of framing it to be in some cases exceptionable.

The appropriating Money without a certainty that Parliament would grant it or at least without knowing the Sum or the manner in which His Majesty might Recommend such appropriation was certainly irregular and premature and we are likewise of Opinion that the Clauses of the general appropriation of it are too loosly worded and give an improper Power to the Treasurer in the management and disposal of it. As to what concerns the appointment of an Agent it does not appear to Us to be otherwise exceptionable than as it ought to have been provided for by a separate Law as being a matter in its nature separate and distinct from the main purpose of the Act and that the Committee of Correspondence ought to have consisted of some Members of the Council and not to have been entirely composed of the Members of the House of Representatives.

As to the Propriety of dissolving the Assembly it is a matter which must be left to your own discretion upon a consideration of a variety of Facts and circumstances which We cannot be fully informed of at this distance, But we do not think that the conduct of the House of Representatives with respect to the Aid Bill however irregular in form has been such as singly, without other circumstances render such a measure necessary We must however again repeat that this is a matter in which you must from the nature of the case use your own judgment and discretion.

The practise which has prevailed for so long a time in all the Colonies of appointing Publick Treasurers by Act of Legislature and making them accountable only to the General Assembly and in some Cases to one branch of it, is certainly irregular and it is to be wished that it had been properly checked in its infancy, but having prevailed and been acquiesced in for so long a series of years, any attempt to set it aside in the present situation of Affairs would in Our judgment be improper and therefore we cannot advise the repeal of the Aid Act passed by You in 1754, especially when We

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consider that a considerable part of the Taxes thereby to be raised would be lost by such repeal.

We are, Sir &c.,

August 1st 1759.