JET. 35] 'A HIGH-HANDED ACT7 295
do not vote for the second reading." There were some expressions of dissent, but the motion was carried. The whole thing was done in less than an hour. Parnell, neither then nor at any other time, discussed the question with us.'
Mr. A. M. Sullivan was one of those who had spoken publicly during the recess in favour of the Bill. Parnell's decision that the party should abstain from voting on the second reading came as a surprise to him, as well as to everyone else. He was not at the party meeting, but news of what had occurred soon reached him. Coming into the chambers which we both occupied in the Temple and flinging himself into a chair, he said, with some warmth, ' Do you know what has happened?' I said 'No.' He went on: * Parnell has carried a resolution pledging the party not to vote for the second reading of the Land Bill. He forced the party into this position by threatening to resign. This is a high-handed act. He did not give us the slightest inkling of what was passing in his mind. Some of us have made speeches in support of the Bill. I have myself stated publicly that I would vote for the second reading. Then Parnell comes without giving us a moment's preparation, and says that we must not vote for the second reading, or, if we do, he will resign. The only course open to me is to leave the party. I will write to Parnell, telling him exactly what I think, and placing my resignation in his hands.'
Mr. Sullivan did as he said. Afterwards he had an interview with Parnell, of which he gave me the following account: ' Parnell is certainly the coolest hand I ever met. He is never put out at anything, and he never thinks that you ought to be put out. He is a regular