<*KT. 30] FIRST NOTABLE UTTERANCE 95
by him in his ( assaults ' on the House. But Parnell was polished and skilful, had a happy knack of putting other people in the wrong, and used not only to win Irish support, but would occasionally obtain English sympathy.
ParneH's first really notable utterance in the House was made on June 30, during the debate on Butt's motion for an inquiry into the Home Rule demand. Sir Michael Ilicks-Bcach, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, was speaking; Parncll looked coldly and impassively on. How far the speech of the Chief Secretary interested him, how far he was paying any attention to the subject, it would be difficult to tell. At length Sir Michael Hicks-Beach said: * Of all the extraordinary delusions which are connected with the subject, the most strange to me appears the idea that Homo Rule can have the effect of liberating the "Fenian
prisoners, the Manchester murderers-----/ ' No ! No !'
cried Parnell, with a suddenness and vehemence which startled everyone. The House was shocked at what seemed to bo a justification of murder, and there was an indignant murmur of disapprobation. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach paused, and then, looking straight at Parnell and amid sympathetic cheers, said solemnly: * I regret to hear that there is an hon. member in this House who will apologise for inurder.' The House thought that the young member for Meath was crushed, and the cry of ' 'Withdraw!' ' Withdraw!' rang from all quarters.
But Parnell rose with great dignity and great deliberation, and said in clear and icy accents : 'Tho right hon. gentleman looked at me so directly when ho said that he regretted that any member of the House should apologise for murder that I wish to say