North again submitted his resignation to the King. The American war was lost, he argued; the colonies would have to be given their independence. George III stubbornly refused to accept North's resignation or relinquish his colonies.
From February until mid-March, the North ministry was attacked in Parliament by the Opposition in six major votes. On 7 and 26 of February, Fox led censure motions against Sandwich; both defeated. On the 22nd, Henry Conway, a former minister in the Chatham administration, led an address to the throne to end the American war and cede the colonies their independence. It was defeated by only one vote. On the 27th, his reworded resolution passed with nineteen votes to spare. Absentees and defections from within North's own party strengthened the Opposition. On 8 March, they were narrowly defeated in their motion of no-confidence against North's government. The vote of the 20th was even closer.
North realized that his government's end was near. In front of a packed chamber on the 22nd, he rose to be recognized. The Opposition had hoped to vote on its no-confidence measure before North could resign. An hour long debate followed before North could be heard. He resigned: "those persons who had for some time conducted the public affairs, were no longer his Majesty's ministers."
Reluctantly, the King appointed Rockingham to succeed North.