174 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1886-87
(2) to revise the judicial rents prior to 1885. ' I am not at all sure/ Lord Salisbury had said in August 1886, ' that the judicial rents were not fixed with a perfect cognisance of the fall in prices;l the fall has been going on for many years, and it is highly improbable that the courts, in assigning judicial rents, have not taken that into consideration. . . . We do not contemplate any revision of judicial rents. We do not think it would be honest, and we think it would be exceedingly inexpedient/ Nevertheless Lord Salisbury did in 1887 the precise thing which he had declared in 1886 it would not be ' honest' or ' expedient' to do. He carried a Land Bill admitting leaseholders to the benefits of the Land Act of 1881, and authorising the revision of the judicial rents fixed during the years 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, and 1885. Parnell sat quietly in the House of Commons and looked cynically on while this measure, supported by the full strength of the Tory party, passed, practically without opposition, into law.
-A close alliance was now formed between Irish Nationalists and English Liberals, and the Home Rule cause entered on a new phase. Irish members who twelve months before had been regarded as pariahs were now welcomed on Liberal platforms and feted in Liberal drawing-rooms.
The whilom rebels of the Land League (once described as ready to ' inarch through rapine to the dismemberment of the Empire') had suddenly become political lions and social pets. A Liberal candidate would scarcely think of beginning an election contest without having a brace of Irishmen by his side. ' Send
1 * In 1886 the price of produce had fallen from 30 to 40 per cent., and the judicial rents fixed during the four preceding years, when prices had been higher, became in consequence rack rents.'—Annual Register. 1888. . -powor to proclaim diftturbed dUtricta ant! dangerous aaRooia-tion». Tltii right of ww given where the wai 0Ątw a