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

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266                CHARLES  STEWART PARNELL             [1881
BEFORE the State trials had commenced the Cabinet resolved to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. The decision was arrived at reluctantly. Mr. Gladstone was opposed to coercion. Mr. Chamberlain was opposed to it. Mr. Bright detested it. But the demands of the Irish Executive were imperative. The question was practically coercion or resignation; and Bright, Chamberlain, and Gladstone ultimately yielded to the importunities of Dublin Castle. The determination of the Ministers wras foreshadowed in the Speech from the Throne:
'I grieve to state that the social condition of [Ireland] has assumed an alarming character. Agrarian crimes in general have multiplied far beyond the experience of recent years. Attempts upon life have not grown in the same proportion as other offences, but I must add that efforts have been made for personal protection far beyond all former precedent by the police under the direction of the Executive. I have to notice other evils yet more widely spread; the administration of justice has been frustrated with respect to these offences through the impossibility of procuring evidence, and an extended system of terror has thus been established in various parts of the country which