Page images
PDF
EPUB

no

who afterwards found that the that Mr Gladstone did not seek to veteran statesman's idea of inde- interfere with Mr Parnell's leaderpendence did not extend to tolera- ship until he had ascertained the tion of any difference from his own almost unanimous opinion of his decision and decree. These men English and Scotch followers ; found themselves suddenly called secondly, that in spite of all his upon to choose between Mr Glad- declarations in favour of the indestone and Mr Parnell, and it will pendence of the Irish party, he be noted that, in some instances at did directly interfere in a matter least, they were prepared to aban- primarily affecting that party, and don Mr Parnell solely in obedience actually already decided by them; to Mr Gladstone's wishes, and with thirdly, that a number of those no more light thrown upon the sub- who constitute the Irish Parliaject than had been given by his mentary party undoubtedly fell letter. The statement that Mr away from Mr Parnell on account Parnell and not Mr Gladstone of Mr Gladstone's letter, and their caused the schism in the Irish fear of losing the support of the party cannot hold water for a English alliance, totally apart moment, because there was from any consideration of the schism before Mr Gladstone's let- Manifesto and its contents, and ter, and Mr Parnell, having re- after they had deliberately conceived an unanimous re-election at doned the moral delinquencies of the hands of his colleagues, had their leader. no reason to cause or desire the These things should all be borne schism which followed the publi- in mind in our apportionment of cation of the Gladstone “ Rescript.' blame or praise to any of the

Then Mr Parnell put forth a parties concerned. If Mr GladManifesto to the Irish people stone was from the first moment which afforded an excuse to any of Mr Parnell's condemnation in Irish member to reconsider his the Divorce Court struck with a position on one side or on the righteous horror of the offence, other. It is absolutely necessary and determined to sever himself to remember dates as we proceed once for all from the offender, it to consider the events of which we is difficult to understand why he write. From the 17th until the should have waited for a whole 24th, Mr Gladstone remained si- week before making known his lunt. Upon the 24th he addressed views and determination. If, on to Mr J. Morley the letter which the other hand, Mr Gladstone was demanded the deposition of Mr sincere in his opinion that the Parnell. Upon the night of the Irish party should be independent 28th Mr Parnell's Manifesto was of the Liberal party, and should issued, and on Monday, December be permitted to manage their own 1, the adjourned meeting of the affairs, it is equally difficult to see Irish Parliamentary party com- why he should have allowed the menced, and terminated on Decem- opinion of English Liberals to ber 6th by the withdrawal of the force him to the direct attack majority and their adoption of upon Irish independence which resolutions deposing Mr Parnell he undoubtedly made in the blow and appointing Mr M‘Carthy as which he aimed at Mr Parnell. their “sessional chairman.” From In any case this much is certain a careful study of these dates it with regard to the Manifesto and becomes abundantly clear,—first, its revelations-namely, that Mr

VOL, CXLIX.-NO. DCCCCIII.

K

career.

Parnell made no attack upon Mr collection. Does Mr Gladstone Gladstone until Mr Gladstone, deny that there was such a confrom whatever motive, made an versation ? Not at all.

He conattack upon him, and one which firms the fact when he demurs to had for its object the extinction the charge of having made “proof his public life and political posals,” but tells us that “no single

It is only just to Mr suggestion " of his to Mr Parnell Gladstone to recall the fact that was “formal, unanimous, or final.” he has not concealed that his ob- Of course this is an admission ject in delaying his attack was that there were suggestions; and that he “might watch the state no one who has studied Mr Gladof feeling in this country,"

"1 and stone's character and career will that he has not pretended that suppose that it was at all probable his final action was dictated by that any suggestion or proposal any other motive than that of of his would be stated by him to political expediency. It is also be final, under the circumstances due to Mr Parnell that the nature and conditions of the interview at of the attack should be remem- Hawarden. Mr John Morley also bered; because the first impulse gives an unnecessary denial to the of many honourable minds will statement that he offered office to be to condemn him for the con- Mr Parnell, but admits that he tents of his Manifesto without con- inquired whether he would still sidering, in the first place, that he adhere to his refusal of office. Alwas fighting for his life, and in though, therefore, both Mr Gladthe second place, that the with- stone and Mr John Morley declare holding at this moment the par- that Mr Parnell's recollection deticulars of the Hawarden confer- ceives him as to the particulars ence with Mr Gladstone would of their conversations, yet both have deprived him for ever of the admit suflicient to render it imprincipal weapon of his defence possible that the public should be against the attack upon his leader- satisfied without their own ship and political existence, which count of what “the particulars Mr Gladstone had adopted and really were. It is to the last encouraged.

degree improbable that they Let us endeavour to be fair to should only have related to minor all parties. It is beyond all con- details of the proposed Home troversy or doubt that a confe Rule Bill. If, then, they indience did take place at Hawarden, cated any considerable or importat the close of the year 1889, be- ant changes from the legislative tween Mr Gladstone and Mr Par- proposal of 1886, how is it that nell, mainly upon the provisions Mr Gladstone has kept the whole of any legislative measure which of his party and the country might hereafter be introduced for in ignorance of such intended the purpose of giving Home Rule changes ? Does not the fact of to Ireland. Mr Parnell has given his having done so to some extent his version of the conference; and corroborate Mr Parnell's assertion his remark that Mr Gladstone of his own disapproval of the sug“ mainly monopolised the conver- gestions? For if they had been sation " gives, from its extreme suggestions approved by him as probability, indirect confir- likely to be palatable to the Irish mation of the accuracy of his re- party, and to render Home Rule

ac

an

1 Speech at Bassetlaw, December 11th.

more acceptable to the British Par- of the conference from his colliament, is it not more than prob- leagues and associates; but he able that they would have been cannot be blamed for this retiallowed to ooze out, and would at cence by those who are now loudly least have been mentioned by Mr accusing him of having violated Parnell to the leading men among confidence, because according to his colleagues ? As regards the their view he should never have latter, his silence towards them revealed these particulars at all. was doubtless a mistake; but that It is a fair and reasonable solution very silence is an argument in of the case to suppose that Mr favour of the accuracy of his pres- Parnell saw no reason to reveal ent account of what occurred at the matter until he should either Hawarden. It was natural—and have finally failed to convince Mr still more especially so in the case Gladstone that his suggestions of a man of Mr Parnell's reserved could not be accepted by the Irish temperament—that he should keep party, or should be obliged to silence with regard to suggestions make the facts known in order to which he had not approved, the vindicate his own position. That publication of which would cer- is precisely what he has now done. tainly have caused disaffection Was it to be expected that he among his followers to the imperil- would keep the whole thing quiet ment of the English alliance, and until the general election was over, which, not being final, he might and thus place himself entirely in still hope to see modified or with the hands of Mr Gladstone, who, drawn. Nor was it his policy to in the event of his obtaining a do otherwise than praise, uphold, majority at the polls, might have and support Mr Gladstone before put his suggestions into legisthe public, because he knew full lative form, and have then dewell that it was only through Mr clared, as he does now, that Gladstone that he could rally the Mr Parnell had not disapproved Liberals of England and Scotland them? This would have been to his Home Rule standard; and he fatal to Mr Parnell's authority equally well knew that his eighty- with his countrymen, supposing five Irish votes, dexterously guidedthat the suggestions were as unwould be a powerful weapon with palatable to them as Mr Parnell which to wring from Mr Gladstone declares them to have been to such alterations and concessions as himself.. But if this be so, it was would render the new Home Rule evidently only a question of time Bill more satisfactory to his Irish on Mr Parnell's part as to when followers.

he should inform his party of the In judging of such cases as the suggestions. An early disclosure present, it is always wise, when might, and probably would, have certainty is not to be obtained, to damaged the alliance between consider the elements of proba- English and Irish Home Rulers bility; and in this case, if proba- without any adequate compensability is carefully studied, it will tion; but if he really disapproved, be found to incline towards the it is perfectly clear that unless statements in Mr Parnell's Mani- Mr Gladstone had changed his festo, so far at least as concerns mind in the interval, the disclosure the Hawarden episode. No doubt, must have come sooner or later. as events have turned out, it was Nor is it altogether fair to cona mistake on the part of Mr Par- demn Mr Parnell for the betrayal nell to have kept the particulars of confidence, when we recollect

we

are

that the conditions were not equal of the accuracy of Mr Parnell, and as between Mr Gladstone and the statement that “suggestions himself. Mr Gladstone was in and not “proposals” is the corno degree likely to offend his party rect term to apply to the matter or lessen his influence if it should discussed at the conference, canbecome known that he had sug- not be held satisfactory or sufgested modifications of the Home ficient under the circumstances. Rule Bill of 1886 in the direction Mr Gladstone has told us that of limiting the powers to be given all his suggestions were “from to an Irish Parliament. He had written memoranda," and there therefore nothing to lose by main- can therefore be no difficulty in taining the confidential character giving the particulars to the world. of the conference. Mr Parnell, The British public have a right to on the contrary, would have given ask that, if Mr Parnell be inacthe greatest offence to his col- curate, the extent and nature of leagues and followers, and would his inaccuracies should be made undoubtedly have weakened his known. Otherwise, if authority, if it had become known called upon to disbelieve a dethat he had even meditated the tailed and positive statement of acceptance of such modifications. a conference without any alternaThe truth of this remark is proved tive statement to compare thereby the blame even now cast upon with, we cannot comply with such Mr Parnell by some of his oppos- an unreasonable request. Some ing colleagues, for having kept consideration, moreover, must be from their knowledge proposals or given to the position and intersuggestions which they declare ests of the parties concerned. It that they will never accept. It is must not be forgotten that Mr evident, therefore, that to keep Gladstone has himself set us an the secret of these suggestions was example of faith in respect to inadvantageous to Mr Gladstone terviews with Mr Parnell. When and dangerous to Mr Parnell, and the celebrated interview between that the latter would have been the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr more than mortal if, when driven Parnell took place, Mr Gladstone to set his back against the wall, openly and defiantly adopted Mr he had still thought it necessary, Parnell's version, in direct oppoby a continued silence, to play sition to that given by Lord Carinto the hands of the man who narvon. So anxious was he, inwas attempting to destroy him. deed, to make capital out of the

It is, of course, open to any one event, that he exposed himself to to believe or disbelieve the charges

one of the severest of the many against the “wire-pullers of the rebutl's which have been brought Liberal party,” of having “sapped upon him by his recklessness of and destroyed the integrity and assertion. independence of a section of the The incident is worth recalling to Irish Parliamentary party.” But it memory. In a letter to Mr Tait, is necessary to point out that, even candidate for the Bordesley Diviif these and other charges of a sion of Birmingham, Mr Gladstone similar character are untrue, this wrote, on the 29th June 1886 :does not in any way affect the story of the Ilawarden confer: memberers of the empire because we

“The Tories denounce us as disOf the proceedings at that adopt the language of their own viceconference Mr Parnell has given roy, Lord Carnarvon, and seek to us his account. A simple denial meet the local wants of Ireland, and

ence.

to satisfy to some extent her natural policy is ours ? Not, therefore, having aspirations. But Lord Salisbury, said what you impute to me, I need down to the general election, aware, hardly show that I have not said it as is now clear, of the Viceroy's views, for electioneering purposes. I have kept this dismemberer in the viceroyalty endeavoured to avoid in this letter and in the Cabinet, together, as we are the tone which seems to me objectionnow told, with other dismembering able.—And I remain, &c., Ministers. 'I do not blame him for

“W. E. GLADSTONE.” thus encouraging the Nationalists of Ireland in their most reasonable Lord Carnarvon was prompt with claims, but for abandoning that good his reply :method, changing to a bad one, and denouncing as Dismemberment the same "DEAR MR GLADSTONE,—I have policy of union, honour, and peace, just read in to - day's papers your which in the person of Lord Carnar- letter to me. In it you complain that von he had taken to his bosom."

I have said that you construed my

recent speech in the House of Lords Upon the 3d of July appeared into an acceptance of your Irish the following letter to the editor legislation. I have re - read your of the Times':

letter to Mr Tait, and I am at a loss

to understand what other meaning I “Sir,—My attention has been could possibly attach to your words, called to Mr Gladstone's letter of the unless they are to be used in a 'non29th of June to Mr Tait, in which natural' sense; or what could be the my speech in the House of Lords on object of your introducing my name the 10th of June is construed into an if it was not intended to indicate an acceptance of his Irish legislation. agreement by me with you. You Any one who refers to that speech adopt my language, you make that will see how utterly unwarranted language signify an assent to your such an inference is. My words were policy, and you then affirm that supdeliberate, they are on record, and it posed assent as a fact." You further is unnecessary to repeat them; but draw a distinction which, I confess, I must protest against their misuse seems rather subtle, between your for electioneering purposes.—I re

legislation and your policy. I, on the main, &c.,

CARNARVON." other hand, can only judge of policy

by legislation, when it is expressed in Upon this Mr Gladstone waxed all the precision of a very elaborate wroth, and addressed a character- bill. You complain of discourtesy on istic letter to Lord Carnarvon :- my part because I attribute your

reference to me to electioneering exiDEAR LORD Carnarvon,—I have gencies. I should be deeply concerned just read in the 'Daily News'a por- if I could feel myself guilty of any tion of a letter which I would fain discourtesy, but I can only judge of suppose not to be authentic. If it is intentions by acts. I cannot suppose not yours, please to consider this un- that your allusion to me was of a written.

The letter states that in purely academic character, nor can I writing to Mộ Tait I have construed divorce a letter written for the avowed your speech in the House of Lords purpose of recommending a candidate ' into an acceptance of my Irish legis- to a constituency from the objects and lation. It discourteously goes on to issues of the present elections. I allege that I have done this for remain, &c.,

CARNARVON.” electioneering purposes. My letter to Mr Tait says nothing of what you This correspondence, which exadopt or accept. It states that we hibits Mr Gladstone in the unenviadopt the language of their own able light of one who wilfully misViceroy, Lord Carnarvon. Having understands and perversely misadopted your language as a true scription of our policy, whilst I make represents an honourable opponent, no reference to our legislation, how did not prevent the Gladstoniancan I do otherwise than consider that, Parnellite party from harping conas your words describe our policy, your tinually upon the same string, and

« PreviousContinue »