uET. 34] MR. GLADSTONE ON THE SITUATION 261
in a position to propose with authority as a united Government a remedy applicable to the whole of the mischief.
' The paralysis of very important rights affecting the tenure of land is the special characteristic of the present mischief in Ireland, and it may be right to apply a thorough remedy a little later rather than a partial (indeed, as I think, a very doubtful) remedy a little, and only a little, sooner. What I personally think a very doubtful remedy is a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act proposed alone, carried after much delay, in the teeth of two-thirds of the representatives of Ireland (without taking British allies into account), and used in order to cope with a wide-spreading conspiracy embracing in certain districts large fractions of the population, and largely armed with means other than material for action. You may rely upon it that, when the time you indicate arrives, the Cabinet will look at the duty of defending proprietary rights without any mawkish susceptibilities, and the suspension, should you and Forster then still see cause to desire it, will be most impartially entertained, For my own part, what I lean to expecting is, that if requisite it will not be sufficient, and that we may have to legislate directly against the Land League, not against its name only, but against the purpose of all combinations aiming at the nonpayment of debts and non-fulfilment of contracts at the very least, when these illegal aims are so pursued as to endanger the public security.'
• Lord Coivper to Mr. Gladstone
' December 12,
' In my letter of November 23 I said that I had come to the conclusion that if in January I saw no possi-