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134 CHAELES STEWART PARNELL [1877
of my action ? Wliy, it was that more of the clauses of the present Bill have been proposed and carried by me than by all the Conservative members put together. Those clauses were admittedly useful and good ones ; and I was told afterwards that if I confined myself to moving such amendments or to discussing measures in that way, instead of obstructing them, I would be filling a good and useful part in the House. Then came the discussions on the Mutiny Bill. I ventured to propose some amendments in those time-honoured institutions, which I suppose have not been, interfered with for a quarter of a century, and again I was told I was obstructing. I moved some amendments in committee, but, owing to the paucity of attendance, I did not get many members to support them—not more than 40 or 50. There was also the disadvantage that they had been prepared hastily, and that I liad not had time to get them on paper. I determined therefore to move them again on report. This also was obstruction. What right had an Irish member to move amendments on report which had already been rejected? Again I was justified by the results ; for I was supported by 140 or 150 members, including the whole of the front Opposition bench, and including gentlemen who had since been loud in charging me with obstruction.'
Four days after the adoption of the new rules obstruction was carried to an extent hitherto unparalleled in the history of the House of Commons. On Tuesday, July 31, the House was again in committee on the South African Bill. The Government wished to push the measure through the committee stage that night. The Irishmen were determined to prevent them. About 5 P.M. Mr. O'Donnell began operations by moving c to report progress/ Parnell supported the motion, saying