/E-r. 37] HKPLY TO MR. FOHSTER 9
make my position clear to the Irish people at home and abroad.'
Every British member was disgusted with these opening sentences. The Irish 4 prisoner' repudiated the jurisdiction of the court; there would be no apology, no explanation, no dei'enco. 'Defiance' was the watchword of this incorrigible enemy. But the Irish members cheered as only Irish members can cheer. Parnell had struck a keynote which would reverberate throughout Ireland and America.
What was Kngland to him or to them ? Parnell in effect continued. Mr. Korstcr had asked many questions. What right had Mr. Forster to interrogate him? Who was Mr. Forster? A discredited politician, who had been repudiated by his own party, and whoso administration of Ireland had been an ignominious failure. He (I'arnell) had, forsooth, according to Mr. Forster, been deposed from his placet of authority. If that were so, lid had consolation in knowing that Mr. Forster had been deposed too. .Hut the fact was that he (Parnell) still possessed the confidence of his fellow-countrymen, while, Mr. Korster was left out in the cold. Upon what did the accusation against him rest? Upon speeches and newspaper articles, made or written by others, and which he. had not even read. But it was idle for him to try to strike a responsive chord in that House.
'I nay it is impossible to stem the torrent of prejudice that ban arisen out of the events of the past few days. I regret that the officials charged with the administration of this Act are unfit for their posts. I am sun*, the right lum. gentleman, the present Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, must admit that to the fullest extent, and when be looks round on the right hon. member for Bradford, he must say, " Why am I