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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell Vol - I"

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&T. 33]                          THE  ' CAT'                                  187
these Eadicals to  take the lead.    On May 20 Mr. Hopwood opened operations by moving an amendment abolishing flogging altogether.    He was supported by Parnell and the Irish, opposed by Sir William Harcourt (who asked what punishment could be substituted for flogging), and beaten by fifty-six votes.    On June 10 Parnell stepped to the front, moving an amendment which was technically in order, but which practically raised the question which had, in fact, been settled by vote on May 20.    'I was asked the other night,' he said, 'by the hon. member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) what punishment could be substituted for flogging.    I could not answer the question at the time. I  have  since  consulted  military  authorities,  and  I can answer it now.'    He then suggested alternative punishments; but his amendment was defeated by forty-three votes.    Mr. Hopwood next came forward once more, moving that the number of lashes should be reduced from twenty to six.    Parnell and the obstructives  supported.     The  amendment  was   still   under consideration when the House met on June 17—in some respects the most eventful night of the debate. Mr. Chamberlain now interposed, condemning flogging as 'unnecessary and immoral,' and calling upon the Government to put in a schedule specifying the offences for which it was to be inflicted.   Sir William Harcourt supported this demand.    Then John Bright, in a short but   powerful  speech,   urged the  Minister of   War, Colonel Stanley, to show a spirit of conciliation, and to reduce the number of lashes from fifty to twenty-five  at the   least.    This  suggestion1  was  accepted, Hopwood withdrawing his amendment in  favour of
1 Bright's suggestion later on  moved as an amendment by Mr. Brown.