East India Company, which had on hand wanting a
Chap. XLIX.} 1773.
market great quantities imported in the faith that that agreement could not hold.
They were able to pay neither their dividends, nor their debts; their stock depreciated nearly one half; and the Government
must lose their annual payment of four hundred thousand pounds. The bankruptcies, brought on partly by this means, gave such a shock to credit, as had not been experienced since the South Sea
year; and the great manufacturers were sufferers.1
The directors came to Parliament with an ample confession of their humbled state, together with entreaties for assistance and relief; and particularly praying that leave might be given to export teas free of all duties to America
and to foreign ports.
Had such leave been granted in respect of America
, it would have been an excellent commercial regulation, as well as have restored a good understanding to every part of the empire.2
Instead of this, Lord North proposed to give to the Company
itself the right of exporting its teas.
The existing law granted on their exportation to America
a drawback of three fifths only of the duties paid on importation.
Lord North now offered a drawback of the whole.
Trecothick in the Committee
also advised to take off the import duty in America
of three pence the pound, as it produced no income to the revenue; but the Ministry would not listen to the thought of relieving America
‘Then,’ added Trecothick in behalf of the East India Company,