Skip to main content
74 CHAELES STEWAKT PAENELL [1885
Sir Cliaiies Gravan Duffy's article in the ' National Review,' recommending the Conservative party to come to an understanding, with the Home Bulers for a settlement of the Irish question upon fair and equitable terms, has excited much interest among various classes of politicians here, and is very freely discussed. The writer's early connection with the Young Ireland movement as one of its most prominent and influential leaders, his long experience afterwards as a member of a colonial legislature which enjoys self-government, and as a statesman invested with the responsibilities of office as Prime Minister, and the moderate and conciliatory tone in which he writes, are elements of consideration which give a weight and significance to his proposal such as no essay of a mere theorist or speculative politician could possess. Loyalists are ready to enter into any combination which offers a chance of expressing, by their action, the bitter disappointment and resentment which they feel. Others, taking a calm and practical view of the altered circumstances, seem to think that it is a matter of imperative necessity to make the best terms they can with their opponents, and no longer maintain a hopeless struggle against a power which has been so strengthened by Ministerial encouragement and Imperial legislation as to become in a short time overwhelming. Sir Charles Duffy is too keen a politician and too sagacious axi observer of public events not to see the favourable moment which is now presented for interposing as a mediator between parties who have hitherto been contending and are now resting upon their arms, and endeavouring to bring about an entente cordiale which may help to realise the object which he has always had at heart.
It may well be that the tone of the Press on this occasion encouraged Lord Carnarvon to believe the opportunity for settling the Irish question was at length at hand. As a general election was approaching, I urged upon him to induce his colleagues, the leaders of the Opposition, to indicate the intention of considering the Irish problem with a view to a settlement. The objections he made to immediate action were just and reasonable. He was determined to act, but not to act prematurely or without the co-operation of his ordinary allies. This was his reply :