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V£T. 32] DEVOY AND PAENELL
' Fifth. Advocacy of all struggling nationalities in the British Empire and elsewhere.'l
These were the terms offered by the Clan-na-gael to Parnell in October 1878.
What did Parnell do ? He never answered the cablegram. The Clan had shown its hand. Parnell declined to show his. Devoy, a man of remarkable energy and grit, was not, however, discouraged. In December he addressed a letter to the 'Freeman's Journal'—the Home Eule organ in Dublin—still further expounding his policy, and practically urging the union of Constitutionalists and Eevolutionists for the common purpose, however veiled, of undermining English authority in Ireland. Towards the end of the year he sailed for Europe, resolved to deal with the Irish situation on the spot.
But to return to Parnell. He had now an established position in Parliament. He was a power in the House. The skill and ability which he displayed on the committee appointed to inquire into the subject of obstruction won the admiration of his most inveterate enemies, and even English publicists wrote that if Parnell would only apply himself seriously to public affairs he would soon become a valuable citizen. Of course there was obstruction during the session of 1878, but there were fewer of those ' scenes ' which had characterised the manoeuvres of 1877. Butt had said that the policy of obstruction would prevent useful legislation for Ireland. This prophecy, however, was destined to be falsified, for in 1878 an important Irish measure became law—the Intermediate Education Bill.2
1 The cablegram was signed by Devoy, Dr. Carroll, Breslin, General Millin, and Patrick Mahon.
2 A Board, called the * Intermediate Education Board of Ireland,' was