186 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1879
they were throwing the country into the hands of the Eevolutionists.
Other work now lay ready to Parnell's hands in the House of Commons. I have said that in 1878 a committee was appointed to consider the subject of obstruction. Early in 1879 Sir Stafford Northcote gave notice of six resolutions for dealing with the question; but he had to abandon them all except one, which proved of little use. The object of this resolution was to prevent members from discussing various miscellaneous grievances before the House went into Committee of Supply. The House was kept for three nights discussing this single resolution, and in the end amendments were added which much weakened its force.
So far all attempts to deal with obstruction had failed, as Parnell showed when the Army Discipline Bill came up for consideration. Over this Bill—or rather over one subject included in it, flogging in the army—the fight of the session took place.
We have seen that Parnell had opposed and obstructed the Mutiny Bills in 1877 because the Government would not abolish flogging. In 1878 he returned to the charge, succeeded in getting the Bills referred to a select committee, and wrung from the Government a pledge that before they were brought in again an amended Army Bill would be introduced. In 1879 this pledge was redeemed, and the Army Discipline and Begulation Bill was introduced. The new measure contained a clause retaining the punishment of flogging. Parnell opposed the clause. In 1877 and 1878 he and his band of obstructives stood almost alone in their opposition to the ' cat.' Now they were supported by a crowd of English Eadicals. Parnell wisely allowed