This announcement drew from the Opposition a torrent of abuse of Ministers, who, in reality, had only been carrying out the very measure which they had long recommended, and which Fox, in particular, had been seriously endeavouring to accomplish whilst in office. Their censures appeared to arise rather from the fact that the war was ended without their mediation than from anything else. Fox upbraided Lord Shelburne with having once said that, when the independence of America should be admitted, the sun of England would have set. Yet this had been the opinion not of Lord Shelburne merely, but of numbers who now saw reason to doubt that gloomy view of things, and there was the less reason for Fox to throw this in the face of the Prime Minister, as he had been himself, whilst his colleague, earnestly labouring with him for that end. Still he was naturally sore from Shelburne's successful intrigues against his diplomacy. On the 18th of December he moved for copies of such parts of the provisional treaty as related to American independence; but in this he was supported by only forty-six members.