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

&T. 36]          THE TORIES AND COERCION                333
Mr. Chamberlain also had been against coercion from the beginning; he had been Forster's enemy in the Cabinet during the whole period of the Chief Secretary's term of office, and he was now determined to thwart the efforts of the Irish Executive in committing the Government any longer to a policy which had been marked by failure. Mr. Chamberlain was energetically supported in the Press by Mr. John Morley, then editor of the 'Pall Mall Gazette.'
' We knew,' said Lord Cowper,' that Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Morley were working together to thwart Mr. Forster,' and Lord Cowper was right. But this was not all. The Tories were suddenly seized by a vir- tuous fit, and cried out against coercion too. ' The present measures of coercion,' said Mr. Gorst on March 28, 'have entirely failed to restore order in Ireland. The assizes just concluded show that the amount of crime was more than double what it was in all the various districts last year; in almost every case the juries failed to convict, and therefore there must be some new departure on the part of the Government.'
A Conservative member, Sir John Hay, gave notice of motion:
' That the detention of large numbers of her Majesty's subjects in solitary confinement, without cause assigned and without trial, is repugnant to the spirit of the constitution, and that to enable them to be brought to trial jury trials should, for a limited time in Ireland, and in regard to crimes of a well-defined character, be replaced by some form of trial less liable to abuse.'
Mr. W. H. Smith proposed ' to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if the Government will take into their