Lord Palmerston soon saw that further resistance was useless; his Peelite colleagues stuck to their text, and, within three weeks after resuming office, Gladstone, Sir James Graham and Mr Sidney Herbert resigned.
Gladstone once said of himself and his Peelite colleagues, during the period of political isolation, that they were like roving icebergs on which men could not land with safety, but with which ships might come into perilous collision.
In 1847, and again in 1853, Palmer was returned as member of Parliament for Plymouth, as a Peelite, and in the House of Commons he took an active and independent part.
In 1854 he carried, almost without opposition, a most important and complicated act consolidating all existing shipping laws, but in 1855 resigned, with his Peelite colleagues, upon the appointment of Mr Roebuck's Sevastopol inquiry committee, declining the offer of the chancellorship. of the Exchequer pressed upon him by Lord Palmerston.