230 CHARLES STEWART PABNELL [1880
it enabled the Irish electors to vote free from the coercion of the Irish landlords/
In the last Parliament Parnell had to fight Butt as well as the British Minister. Now he had to fight Shaw and the ' moderate' Home Eulers. But his task was comparatively easy. In the struggle against Butt he began by having only a handful of Fenians at his back. Now he was supported by a section of the Clan-na-gael, by many of the rank and file of the I. E. B., by the farmers, by the priests, and by the * Nation' itself, partly a clerical organ. Shaw and the ' moderates' were supported by the bishops and the ' Freeman's Journal/ A new, perhaps unexpected, ally came also to his side—her Majesty's Government. Timely concessions from Ministers would have strengthened the hands of Shaw and the 'moderates/ and might have broken up the union between Fenians, farmers, and priests. The refusal of concession in time consolidated this union, discredited the policy of the 'moderates,' and threw the game into Parnell's hands.
The Parnellite members lost no time in calling the attention of Parliament to Ireland. Mr. O'Connor Power brought in a Bill practically to ' stay evictions.' Under the Land Act of 1870, compensation for disturbance could not be awarded if the 'disturbed' tenant owed a year's rent. Mr. O'Connor Power now proposed that compensation should (under existing circumstances) be awarded in any case of disturbance.
The Government—who, at the beginning of the session, had refused to deal with the land question— were now undecided what to do. They would not support the Parnellite Bill; but, said Mr. Forster, ' I