114 | To the Board of Trade

    Boston May 17. 1762.

    My Lords

    I have just received your Lordships letter dated Febry 4th: and in regard to your Lordships observations on the act for the better observation of the Lords day, would lose no time in informing your Lordships of what occurred to me in passing that act.480

    I did not consider it [to] be a repealing Act, but rather a consolidating One: tho’, when many acts are reduced into one it is expedient to repeal the others, yet if the substance of them is preserved in the new Act, the old ones are not virtually tho’ formally repealed. If I had thought it to be within the Spirit of the instruction & therefore to have required a suspending clause, I must have negatived the Act; for such is the present prejudice against suspending clauses, that they would give up an useful act, which I take this to be, rather than agree to a suspending clause and perhaps this may have been the reason why my predecessors have not strictly observed that instruction.

    But tho’ I think this an useful Act, as it appears to me to be a quieting one, I am not so well satisfied with the act additional to it which passed the next Session. And yet I could not negative it, because I could not avow the reasons of my disapprobation of it; which were founded on a suspicion that the power thereby granted to the Wardens was too great to be committed to officious & injudicious people into whose hands it must sometimes fall, especially as an extraordinary show of Zeal would often direct the Choice

    I will order the proper officer to make out an Account of the duties of tonnage & impost specifying the duties upon Rum Sugar & Molasses as well as he can. But I much doubt whether he makes any distinction between Foreign Sugars &c and those of our own Islands.481

    I am, with great respect, My Lords, Your Lordship’s most obedient & most humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard

    To The Right Honble The Lords of Trade &c

    ALS, RC CO 5/891, ff 81-82.

    Read and considered by the Board of Trade on 19 Nov. 1762. JBT, 11: 297-298.