611 | To the Earl of Hillsborough

    Boston May 12 1768

    No 1

    My Lord

    Yesterday in the afternoon I received the first dispatches I have been honoured with from your Lordship containing your Letters No 1 2 & 31 with the inclosures. I beg leave to congratulate your Lordship upon your appointment to the American Department;2 which will afford a large field for the exercise of those abilities by which your Lordship is distinguished: as the reducing this Country into good order is now become the most arduous task, that perhaps Administration was ever engaged in.

    I shall be Very punctual in the regular transmission of the Acts & proceedings of this Government.3 I hope that I have been allways so, & may flatter myself that I may afford some exception to the general Observation of the Neglect of that Duty. I myself have been more apprehensive of my being too voluminous in my letters & transmissions than deficient.

    Upon a view of this subject, It cannot escape your Lordship’s penetration that the publick Use which has been made of the Letters of Governors &c must tend to destroy that confidentiality in informing the Minister which is so necessary to the Service. The Communicating them to Parliament was unavoidable, tho’ that might have been done with more regard to the safety of the writers than was then shown.4 But the suffering Copies to be taken & published in News papers & pamphlets,5 has done much hurt to the King’s Service, as well by furnishing factious Men with Matter to abuse Government, as by discouraging Governors writing freely for the future. However I have not, as yet, restrained myself upon that account, in confidence that this proceeding has been better considered since than it was at the time.

    As there is a Ship now ready to sail, I have only time to send this acknowledgement of the receipt of your Lordship’s Letters. I shall take the earliest Opportunity to answer them in full.

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

    Fra Bernard

    The right honble The Earl of Hillsborough

    ALS, RC     CO 5/757, ff 88-89.

    Endorsed: Boston. May 12th: 1768 Governor Bernard. (No. 1) R. 24 June. A.14. Variants: CO 5/766, ff 170-171 (L, RLbC); BP, 6: 295-297 (L, LbC) Hillsborough replied with No. 653.