without its foreign secretary ; and the queen, who was always averse to inviting the perplexities of a change of ministry, viewed the situation with blank despair. In March 1850 she and the prince drafted a statement of their grievance, but in face of the statesman's triumphant appeal to the House of Commons in June it was laid aside. In the summer Lord John recalled Palmerston's attention to the queen's irritation, and he disavowed any intention of treating her with disrespect. At length, on 12 Aug. 1850, she sent him through Lord John two requests in regard to his future conduct : 'She requires,' her words ran, The queen's demands, 1850. '(1) that the foreign secretary demands, will distinctly state what he proposes in a given case, in order that the queen may know as distinctly to what she has given her royal sanction. (2) Having once given her sanction to a measure, that it be not arbitrarily altered or modified by the minister. Such an act she must consider as failure in sincerity towards the crown, and justly to be visited by the exercise of her constitutional right of dismissing that minister. She expects to be kept informed of what passes between him and the foreign ministers before important decisions are taken, based upon that intercourse ; to receive the foreign despatches in good time, and to have the drafts for her approval sent to her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with their contents before they must be sent off' (Martin, ii. 51). Two days afterwards Prince Albert explained more fully to Palmerston, in a personal interview, the queen's grounds of Prince complaint. 'The queen had often,'
Albert on the prince said, 'latterly almost Palmerston. invariably, differed from the line of policy pursued by Lord Palmerston. She had always openly stated her objections ; but when overruled by the cabinet, or convinced that it would, from political reasons, be more prudent to waive her objections, she knew her constitutional position too well not to give her full support to whatever was done on the part of the government. She knew that they were going to battle together, and that she was going to receive the blows which were aimed at the government ; and she had these last years received several, such as no sovereign of England had before been obliged to put up with, and which had been most painful to her. But what she had a right to require in return was, that before a line of policy was adopted or brought before her for her sanction, she should be in full possession of all the facts and all the motives operating ; she felt that in this respect she was not dealt with as she ought to be. She never found a matter "intact," nor a question, in which we were not already compromised, when it was submitted to her; she had no means of knowing what passed in the cabinet, nor what passed between Lord Palmerston and the foreign ministers in their conferences, but what Lord Palmerston chose to tell her, or what she found in the newspapers.'
Palmerston affected pained surprise and solemnly promised amendment, but he remained in office and his course of action underwent no permanent change. A few months later he committed the queen, without her assent, to new dissensions with Fresh dissensions. the Austrian government and to new encouragement of Denmark in her claims to Schleswig-Holstein. In the first case Palmerston, after threatening Lord John with resignation, endeavoured to modify his action in accordance with the royal wish, but he was still impenitent.In the winter of 1850 a distasteful domestic question distracted the queen's mind from foreign affairs. Lord John had identified the government with the strong protestant feeling which was roused by Cardinal Wiseman's announcement of the pope's revival of Roman catholic bishoprics in England. Hundreds of protests from public bodies were addressed to the queen in person, and she received them patiently. But she detested the controversy and regretted 'the unchristian and intolerant spirit' Papal aggression. exhibited by the protestant agitators. 'I cannot bear to hear the violent abuse of the catholic religion, which is so painful and so cruel towards the many innocent and good Roman catholics.' When she opened parliament on 4 Feb. 1851 she resented the cries of ' no popery,' with which she was greeted ; but the ministry determined actively to resist the 'papal aggression,' and the queen acquiesced. It was consequently without great concern that she saw Lord John's government partly through intestine differences on the religious question outvoted in the House of Commons in, February 1851. The immediate Ministerial crisis and deadlock. question at issue was electoral reform. Lord John at once resigned. The queen sent for the conservative leader, Lord Derby, who declined to assume office without adequate support in the House of Commons. He advised a reconstruction of the existing ministry a course which was congenial to the queen. On 22 Feb. she consulted Lord Aberdeen with a view to a fusion between whigs and