cans would treat with the present ministry and offered to involve himself in the negotiations. The House agreed to the bill but the North ministry was not destined to see it through. 61
On March 8, it defeated a vote of censure by ten votes. During the debate, Fox implied what measures a Whig government would follow: (1) peace with America, (2) exclusion of placemen contractors and pensioners from the House of Commons, and (3) annual or triennial (rather than septennial) Parliaments. A week later, the North government again survived by nine votes. With the threat of another, almost certainly negative, vote facing him, Lord North announced that "his Majesty's ministers were no more" [italics in original]. Fox still demanded a motion of censure because "the House could not place any confidence in the word of the minister." North reiterated that "his Majesty had come to a full determination to change his ministers" (italics in original) and requested an adjournment so that the king could "make the necessary arrangements for a new administration." Fox thereupon relented because it was now clear that the nation had repudiated North's administration, its goals, and its methods. The House agreed with him and agreed to a brief adjournment. 62 The negotiations for forming a new government were complex. Suffice it to say that the new government was divided between the followers of Lords Rockingham and Shelbume. The fall of the North ministry is the appropriate breaking point at which to end this chapter though we shall be meeting Fox again when peace negotiations with the United States begin.