The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 19

to such call, and sent
due and timely notice to the whole._

It was thought, in establishing and governing new colonies or
settlements, regulating Indian trade, Indian treaties, &c. there
would be every year sufficient business arise to require at least one
meeting, and at such meeting many things might be suggested for the
benefit of all the colonies. This annual meeting may either be at a
time or place certain, to be fixed by the president general and grand
council at their first meeting; or left at liberty, to be at such
time and place as they shall adjourn to, or be called to meet at by
the president general.

In time of war it seems convenient, that the meeting should be in
that colony, which is nearest the seat of action.

The power of calling them on any emergency seemed necessary to be
vested in the president general; but that such power might not be
wantonly used to harass the members, and oblige them to make frequent
long journies to little purpose, the consent of seven at least to
such call was supposed a convenient guard.


CONTINUANCE.

_That the grand council have power to choose their speaker; and
shall neither be dissolved, prorogued, nor continued sitting longer
than six weeks at one time, without their own consent or the special
command of the crown._

The speaker should be presented for approbation; it being convenient,
to prevent misunderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth of the
council should be a person agreeable, if possible, both to the
council and president general.

Governors have sometimes wantonly exercised the power of proroguing
or continuing the sessions of assemblies, merely to harass the
members and compel a compliance; and sometimes dissolve them on
slight disgusts. This it was feared might be done by the president
general, if not provided against: and the inconvenience and hardship
would be greater in the general government than in particular
colonies, in proportion to the distance the members must be from
home, during sittings, and the long journies some of them must
necessarily take.


MEMBERS' ALLOWANCE.

_That the members of the grand council shall be allowed for their
service ten shillings sterling per diem, during their session and
journey to and from the place of meeting; twenty miles to be reckoned
a day's journey._

It was thought proper to allow _some_ wages, lest the expence might
deter some suitable persons from the service;--and not to allow _too
great_ wages, lest unsuitable persons should be tempted to cabal for
the employment, for the sake of gain. Twenty miles was set down as
a day's journey, to allow for accidental hinderances on the road,
and the

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

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Reader, if thou wilt do the same, thy profit will be as great as mine.