JEi. 39] THE CARNARVON CONTROVERSY 95
and of what had passed between us at the interview, at the earliest possible moment. Accordingly, both by writing and by words, I gave the noble Marquis as careful and as accurate a statement as possible of what had occurred within twenty-four hours after the meeting, and my noble friend was good enough to say that I had conducted that meeting with perfect discretion.'
The ease will now, I think, be plain to any experienced reader.
It is my personal belief that Mr. Parnell ought not, for any party gain, to have made public these strictly private negotiations; but when the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, confessing himself a Home Euler, though speaking strictly for himself alone, entered into such negotiations and made such inquiries in July, it was not strange that Mr. Parnell thought that if his party obtained a majority at the polls in August by the help of Irish votes they would be prepared to make the concession that Irish voters desired. His fault was not to believe this, but to make a positive assertion of what was a mere hypothesis, and to refer at all in public to transactions covered by an honourable confidence. But the disclosure could not injure Lord Carnarvon ; he sincerely desired to concede Home Eule to Ireland and to induce his colleagues to co-operate with him in the concession. It was an honourable and public-spirited design, and its failure was in no respect discreditable to him.In* patiently and gradually evolved/ And with respt*et to bin colleagues, in a latt;r spei»cli l^ord Carnarvon naid: *l Hhoultl havu been wanting in my duty if I had failed to inform tny noblo friend at the head of the Government of my intention of holding that meeting with Mr. Pitnutll, 1 Hansard, vol. ecevi. pp. 111W 1200.t altered at all; simply, heecent Hpeeehr^ tbut Mr. CtiiuiHtono wn« untdtiitlly iippri.nieiiiii^ litujit* Ituh*. ami if he coutd bit indiired to initke it »utti*fiu*tt<ryhem. His answer was that there were no such persons :