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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell - Ii"

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262                CHARLES  STEWART PARNELL              [1810
11 need not say that the questions—the vital and important   questions—of  the retention  of the  Irish members, on the one hand, and the indefinite delay of full powers to the Irish Legislature on the other, gave me great concern.    The absence of any provision for the settlement of the agrarian question, of any policy on the part of the Liberal leaders, filled me with concern and apprehension.    On the introduction of the Land Purchase Bill by the Government at the commencement of last session, "Mr. Morley communicated with me as to  the  course  to  be  adopted.     Having regard to the avowed absence of any policy on the part of the Liberal leaders  and party with regard to the matter  of  the land, I  strongly advised Mr. Morley against any direct challenge of the principle of State-aided land purchase, and, finding that the fears and alarms of the English taxpayer to State aid by the hypothecation of grants for local purposes in Ireland as a counter-guarantee had been assuaged, that a hopeless struggle should not be maintained, and that we should direct our sole efforts on the second reading of the Bill to the assertion of the principle of local control.    In this I am bound to say Mr. Morley entirely agreed with me, but he was at the same time much hampered— and   expressed   his   sense   of   his   position—in   that direction by the attitude of the extreme section of his party, led by Mr. Laibouchere.    And in a subsequent interview he impressed me with the necessity of meeting the second reading of the Bill with a direct negative, and asked me to undertake the motion.    I agreed to this, but only on the condition that I was not to attack ifche principle of the measure, but to confine myself to fi criticism of its details.  I think this was false strategy, but it was strategy adopted out of regard to Englishllnion* tho iiuiiilier i«td