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

226               CHARLES STEWA11T PARNELL              [1880
CHAPTER XI
LEADER
ME. GLADSTONE was now Prime Minister, Lord Cowper Irish Viceroy, Mr. Forster Chief Secretary. The new Parliament met on April 29. The Queen's Speech dealt with every subject of public importance except the Irish land question. The Government, in truth, did not realise the gravity of the Irish situation. Mr. Gladstone has said with perfect frankness that !he thought the Irish question was settled by the Church Act of 1869 and the Land Act of 1870. It troubled him no more. Mr. Bright, however, still felt keenly interested in one branch of the Irish question—the land; but he did not see his way to do anything. On January 9, 1880, he wrote : ' On this question of the land the difficulty would not be great. All might be done which is not of a revolutionary character, and the present time seems favourable for such changes as arc possible without violence and by consent of the Imperial Parliament.51
On January 12 he returned to the subject, expressing his doubt as to the practicability of establishing any satisfactory tribunal for fixing ' fair rents/ He said : * I do not see how what is called a " fair rent " is to be
1 Private letter,