JET. 39] Till: CARNARVON CONTROVERSY 81
that, if they came back from the General Election with a majority, they would appoint a select committee empowered to hear evidence on the question, and whoso report might form the, basin of future legislation. Ho thought there would be great difficulty in getting them to consent to a measure which involved such manifest consequences, and I suggested that the proposal might be for a committee to inquire into the federation of the Empire, of which the relations with Ireland would form a necessary part. I To still saw difficulties, as no doubt there were, I told him frankly I bad advised Mr. Parnell not to take*, the serious responsibility of recommending Irish electors to support Tory candidates unless they knew what Ireland was to have in return, and as the election was near at band this was a question which must be settled without delay for the, mutual convenience of the parties concerned.
The Under-Seeretary at this time was Bir Robert Hamilton, a Scotchman of the just and sympathetic nature of Thomas Drummond. He was impatient of the total want of local government in Ireland, and the absence of the popular element from whatever boards or committees administered public affairs. Ho wan of much service to Lord Carnarvon in gathering bin materials and formulating his opinions, and when I met him I found a man whom I could esteem and respect. I speedily published a letter to Lord Carnarvon, entitled "The Price of Peace in Ireland.' It consisted in a great degree of arguments "which I had pressed on him personally from the lime we had first debated the question down to the date of writing. A*:i the letter excited much controversy, and was wdl received by the organs of the Conservative party in Ireland, I must fly through its leading features. I
VOL. IT, a