JET. 35] LAND LEAGUE CONVENTION 305
absence, yet I think the irapendency of Monaghan election is a fact of commanding importance in the case before us.'
To this letter Mr. Forster replied on September 11, saying that the Tyrone election was certainly a stroke of luck, but reminding Mr. Gladstone that Tyrone was in Ulster, and that ' Ulster is not Connaught or Minister.' Upon the whole he was not disposed to take Mr. Gladstone's advice until there was some more cogent proof of the waning influence of Parnell than the Tyrone election afforded.
On September 14 a great Land League Convention which lasted for three days met in Dublin to consider the situation. There were divided counsels. Some thought that the Land Act should be freely used, others that it should be wholly repudiated. But, under the direction of Parnell, the convention unanimously resolved on a middle course. The Act was to be ' tested'; certain cases were to be carefully selected for trial. But there were to be no indiscriminate applications to the courts. This resolution simply meant that the Act was to be administered under the control of Parnell. ' Nothing,' said Parnell,' could be more disastrous to our movement and our organisation, and to your hopes of getting your rents reduced, than any indiscriminate rush of the tenantry into court, and it is with a view to prevent this that we desire to take the tenantry in hand and to guide them in this matter, because, depend upon it, if we don't guide them there will be others that will. If we don't take hold of the Irish tenantry and guide them for their advantage, there will be others who will guide them for their destruction/
Parnell's policy, however, did not satisfy his American allies, and he was forced to send the follow-" VOL. i. • x