258 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [i860
Lord Cowjper to Mr. Gladstone
* November 13, 1880.
11 am more convinced every day and every hour of the necessity of suspending the Habeas Corpus Act and having an Anns Bill. The fear of being unduly influenced by the strong current of public feeling in favour of coercion, and a vivid conception of what a glorious triumph it would have been to get through the winter with nothing but the ordinary law, have prevented me from giving an opinion until the other day, and perhaps even then made me give it in too undecided a manner. You have all the statistics before you, and everything that can explain them ; and, with Mr. Forster at hand to answer every question and give information of all kinds, you will very likely think a letter from me unnecessary. But I write more to relieve my own mind than anything else. What impresses me most is the conviction that there is absolutely nothing to prevent sudden outbursts of the worst kind. I do not know that it is an exaggeration to say that something like a general massacre of all landlords and agents not under police protection is a conceivable and possible event.
: * Of course I do not mean that this is probable, but how can we say it might not happen ? The longer a suspension is put off, the more doubtful will it be Whether the mischief has not got beyond the stage in which it can be cured by the arrest of a few important people ; certainly, in order to have the desired effect onore people would have to be arrested now than a short time ago—and more still in. another month/