“The Queen has received Lord Aberdeen’s letter of yesterday. She is sorry to find that after all a considerable change was made in the form of the French proposal. She is not aware at present of what that change consists in and is therefore unable to form an opinion as to the effects of its introduction, but she quite concurs in Lord Aberdeen’s apprehensions with regard to the effect of Lord Stratford’s orders to the Fleet.
“The perusal of Lord Stratford’s Despatches of the 5th inst. has given the Queen the strongest impression that, whilst guarding himself against the possibility of being called to account for acting in opposition to his instructions, he is pushing us deeper and deeper into the War policy which we wish to escape. Wherefore should three poor Turkish steamers go to the Crimea, but to beard the Russian Fleet and tempt it to come out of Sebastopol, which would thus constitute the much desired contingency for our combined Fleets to attack it, and so engage us irretrievably!
“The Queen must seriously call upon Lord Aberdeen and the Cabinet to consider whether they are justified in allowing such a state of things to continue!”