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The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that Palmerston "could not ride the storm that blew up on the Conspiracy to Murder Bill and turned him out on 19 February 1858. The attempted assassination of Napoleon in January by conspirators based in Britain had produced strongly worded French demands, diplomatic and military, for changes in her law. Palmerston found French anger 'perfectly natural'. If war resulted, France would have 'a plausible … cause which all Europe will admit to be just' (Broadlands MS, CAB/89). The cabinet baulked at his proposal to deport aliens suspected of plotting against foreign governments: the bill making conspiracy to commit murder outside the jurisdiction a felony instead of a misdemeanour was only a gesture, but on its second reading the same combination that had beaten Palmerston in 1857 carried the motion, which convicted him of going beyond conciliation to appeasement. Bystanders jeered as he went home. The political price of the French alliance had risen too high for a nation sensitive to any hint of dictation by another power. His resignation appeared to terminate Palmerston's political life."


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