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^ET. 36] THE ARREAJRS BILL 363
thirteen clauses could have any chance ? It would be horribly unlucky." This was a staggerer for the draftsman. Not even the treaty with Mr. Chamberlain and the promise of favourable consideration of the Bill by the Cabinet could induce the wary prisoner to risk a defiance of his boyhood's teaching. His amazed adviser then asked what was to be doneŚcould any clause be omitted ? It was late in the afternoon, post hour approached, and another day's delay might prevent the draft reaching the Queen's printers in London in time for distribution to members before the second reading. The humour of the situation did not at all strike the legal mind at this crisis. A hasty dissection of the Bill was made, but only to disclose that it could not well be shorn of a clause. What could be hit upon ? There in bewilderment and anxiety stood the statesman and draftsman in her Majesty's prison at Kilmainham, eyeing each other in despair in the darkening cell as the minutes to post hour slipped away. At last a gleam flashed from Mr. Parnell's eyes, half ironical, half triumphant. " I have it," said he.
"Add that d------d clause of yours, and that will get
us out of the difficulty." It was an inspiration, and so it was done.'1
This Arrears Bill (which became law in July and applied only to tenancies under 301.) provided that the tenants' arrears should be cancelled on the following conditions:
1. That the tenant should pay the rent due in 1881.
2. That of the antecedent arrears he should pay one year's rent, the State another.
1 Westminster Gazette, November 2, 1892. ' This clause,' says Mr. Healy, * though not adopted then, was ultimately embodied in the Tory Land Act of 1887.'