is referring to motions by Charles Lennox, 3d duke of Richmond and Lennox, on 7 April
1778, and David Hartley on 22 June 1779 (Parliamentary Hist.
, 19:1012–1031; 20: 901–915). Richmond's motion provided for an address to the king
calling on him to withdraw all British forces from America. It was in the course of
the debate over that motion that William Pitt, 1st earl of Chatham, gave his “dying”
speech (see Edmund Jenings' letter of 5 March, note 9
, above). Hartley's motion, which was not seconded by Lord North, called for the appointment
of a peace commission that could, among other things, agree to a ten-year truce. For
to refer to these motions is interesting because, while independence might have been
the result, neither provided specifically for the granting of independence and both,
at some level, foresaw an Anglo-American reconciliation. For Vergennes the references
could not have been reassuring, for both motions were intended, at least in part,
to dissolve the Franco-American alliance and end the war in America so that Britain
could concentrate on its war with France.