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[458] East India Company, which had on hand wanting a
Chap. XLIX.} 1773. April.
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 from taxation. ‘Then,’ added Trecothick in behalf of the East India Company,

1 Compare Franklin to Cushing, to W. Franklin, and to Cooper.

2 Duke of Grafton's Autobiography, III. 108. The Duke was then Lord Privy Seal, but not of the Cabinet.

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