&U CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1882
consideration the urgent necessity for the introduction of a measure to extend the purchase clauses of the Land Act, and to make effectual provision for facilitating the transfer of the ownership of land to tenants •who are occupiers on terms which would be just and reasonable to the existing landlords/
Here were the Tories apparently condemning coercion and proposing an alternative policy.
A peasant proprietary had always been Pamell's solution of the Land question. A peasant proprietary wan now the solution of Mr. "W. H. Smith. Were the Tories going to outflank Mr. Gladstone ? Was the old parliamentary hand going to be checkmated? There never existed a parliamentary tactician on whom it was more difficult to execxite a flank manoeuvre than Mr, Gladstone, and he had no notion now of allowing the Opposition to pose as the enemies of coercion and the friends of the Irish tenants at his expense. Indeed, the Tory manoeuvres served only to strengthen the hands of the anti-coercionists in the Cabinet, and to stimulate the Prime Minister in his eagerness to end the Forster regime.
While Whigs and Tories were thus playing the usual party game, regarding Ireland merely as a pawn on the chess-board, Paruell sat in his spacious room in Kilmainham revolving the whole situation in his mind. * And what a room ! * said a friend who visited him at this time. ' The table strewn with everything, newspapers, books, magazines, light literature, Blue Books, illustrated periodicals, fruit, addresses from public bodies, presents of every description, all lying in one indiscriminate heap before him, and he supremely indifferent to their existence/
* You have everything here, Mr. Parnell, except a