256 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1880
Lord Coioper to Cabinet [abridged^]
1 The state of the country is undoubtedly most serious. Nor do the number of outrages by any means represent the [gravity of the situation], and for this reason: that in many places . . . those who would profit [by outrages] are complete masters of the situation, and their temptation, therefore, is removed. Nobody dares to evict. Tenants of evicted farms, even those who have been in possession for more than a year, are daily giving them up. Eighty persons are under police protection. We cannot yet say for certain how far the autumn rents will be paid, but it appears already that in many places tenants have refused to pay more than Government valuation. Landlords will not agree to this, they will evict, and then a great increase of outrages may be expected. It will then be too late to give us extra powers. If they are to be conferred, the decision must be come to at once.
1 Her Majesty's Government may well be reluctant to repeat once more the dreary old story of special restrictive legislation for Ireland, the evil of which has so often been exposed. I cannot regard it as an error to have trusted, even for a short period, to the common law for the maintenance of order in this country. And if we could be sure of going through the coming winter with no greater amount of outrage than we have now, large as that amount is, so great is my detestation of coercive measures that I should hesitate to recommend them. But I feel strongly that there is nothing to prevent outrages from largely increasing at any moment both in number and atrocity, and if this should be the case