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The 'Times' Parnell commission, speech in defence of the Land league

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Pages: 346

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Michael Davitt

Excerpt from book: next proposals (commencing in 1835) were for giving compensation to tenants for their own improvements, which measures the high-Tory members, such as Mr. Chaplin, are now offering to English tenants. The remaining Bills were mainly for extending to Ireland generally the Ulster custom, which permitted the tenant to sell his interest on leaving. No matter what they proposed, the Irish members could not obtain a hearing in the English Parliament. Yet the Land Question involved the life and death of 6,000,000 Irish human beings absolutely dependent on the land, for it involved their sole means of existence, and their liability to be driven out to perish of hunger and cold at the pleasure of a few landlords, backed by English bayonets. Of these 6,000,000, about one-half have perished or been driven into exile by evictions since 1845. Think of it. ' Even in 1871, when Mr. Gladstone at length took up the question, Parliament was deaf to the advice and warning of the Irish Liberal members : the consequence was that the Act of 1871, well intended as it was, made the condition of Irish. tenants on many estates worse and more hopeless than it was before.' These are facts written over the name of Mr. Boyd Kinnear in the year of 1882 in the midst of the Land League movement, and I maintain that the existence of these facts fulfils the conditions laid down by the ' Times' in the leading article which I have read, and that, according to that leading article, I was, when I was in the Fenian movement, justified in endeavouring to win reforms in that way for my country. III. THE MANCHESTER MARTYRS Now there are two minor charges included in the mass of allegations contained in the case attempted to be made by the ' Times' to which I will briefly refer, before leaving these, my comments,...  

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