283 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1881
said to Parnell: " Don't commit the party on my account. Let it be my affair alone." Parnell answered, " Go on, go on," and very soon made the matter a party affair. He did it deliberately. He always believed that the one thing necessary was to cause explosions in the House, and to show how hopelessly strained were the relations between English and Irish.'
The active Irish members having been got rid of, Mr. Gladstone then moved his resolution, which was carried with one alteration—viz., that there should be at least a House of 300 as well as a majority of three to one before ' urgency ' could be voted.
The resolution having been adopted, ' urgency' was at once declared, and next day, February 4, Mr. Forstcr moved the second reading of the Coercion Bill.
Despite the revolution in procedure, the Irish still fought vigorously against the measure, and it wras not until February 25 that the last stage was passed in the Commons. On March 2 the Bill became law. Briefly, it enabled the Lord Lieutenant to arrest any person whom he reasonably suspected of treasonable practices or agrarian offences, and to keep such persons in prison for any period up to September 30, 1882.
The Irish Executive were now possessed of the powers for which they had asked, and during the spring, summer, and autumn of 1881. hundreds of Land Leaguers were swept into Kilmainham. But the agitation did not abate. Men were readily found to jump into the breach; the places of the suspects were quickly filled; land meetings went on much as usual; the speeches of agitators increased in violence and lawlessness; crime and outrage were rampant—in a