Jvr. i>8] THE GKXKIJAL ELECTION, 7-1 09
Irish Parliament and conducted by the Ministers constitutionally responsible to that Parliament.'
In February 1874 the General Election came like a bolt from the blue. The Home Jiulers were taken by surprise, but they rallied vigorously, and, to the astonishment of everyone, carried fifty-nine seats all told.
Four Fenians were subsequently returned.
The return of these Fenians was not pleasing to the leaders of the. L It. B., who believed that an oath of allegiance to the Queen (which every member of .Parliament was bound to take) was inconsistent with the oath of allegiance to the. Irish republic (which all thoHti man had taken) ; but some of the rank and file were not troubled by scruples about the double oath. The Fenian members were, however, all ultimately expelled from the organisation by the chief executive authority*
The General Election of 1874 wan, them, a great Home Iltile victory. While it was pending Porndl to enter public life.