811 | To Thomas Hutchinson


    No. 9

    Pall Mall Novr 17 1769

    Dear Sir

    The Caution you have had given you about your Correspondence in England, if it is not founded in Party, must refer to the Use that has been made of Official Letters heretofore, and particularly from mine, & the Inconvenience that has arisen to the Writers from their Publication[.]1 In this you who are a much prudenter Man than I ever pretended to be, will take Care of yourself. The Publication of State Letters in this Way will certainly destroy the Correspondence between the Seat of Government & its distant Offices. This has been frequently protested against by Persons of the first Understanding: Lord Mansfield, in a Conference I had with him, gave his Testimony against it in strong Terms. And it is my Opinion that Lord ^Mansfield^ is as much to be esteemed as a Wise Man as he is as an able Lawyer.2

    But if a free Correspondence between the distant Officers and ^the^ several Ministers of State is to receive that Interruption which, I think the late Publications will make unavoidable[,] Something must be substituted in its Stead: and I know of Nothing that can be adequate, but the Officers making Use of his Confidential Correspondence with a Friend who will communicate his Ideas to the Minister & at the same time preserve the Officer from being ^exposed^ by a Publication of the Person of the original Communicator. I own that this is not the Right Intercourse between Government and the distant Offices: but it is all they have left, since they have vested the House of Commons with the Functions of the privy Council.

    In this Light I see a Necessity for a Governor to have a Correspondent who has the Confidence of the Minister, if such a one can be obtained which is not allways the Case. Seeing myself in that Light, I should rather desire to derive my Authority from your Confidence in me than from my nominal Office in the Government: Since I can conceive a Time when a Lieut Governor would not have chose his principal for a confident. All therefore, that I can inform you of the Use I think proper to make of your Letters is to communicate such Parts thereof to such Persons as I think will make good Use of them, at the same time taking good Care ^that^ they shall never be converted to such a public Use as mine have been.

    I have allready wrote to you about the Succession to my Government: I again repeat that whenever it becomes likely to be vacated I will be watchful over the Intrest which you have & I think ought to have in it. Mr Pownall thinks with me on your Behalf; and Mr Jackson who is lately arrived from Italy, will give all the Assistance in his Power: and it will be of no little Aid to assure Lord H3 of the Intentions of the former Ministry to ^in^ your favour, which were by his Consent, as I understand, signified to you. Whenever your Commission is determined it is my Intention to urge Mr Olivers Merit in general & Services & Sufferings in particular to succeed you upon the best Terms that can be had.4 But this Business at present does not require Hurry.

    I am &c.

    Lt Gov Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP. 8: 24–25.