The Solicitor-General for Ireland replied in a very vigorous speech,
in which he showed that Mr. Parnell, who now attri- butes so much of the improvement of Ireland to the Land Act of last Session, last Session described that Act as one which would bring little but disappointment to the country, and which would teach Irishmen to distrust altogether the legislation of the British Parliament. He sharply criticised Mr. Gladstone's statement that the Crimes Act was intended to be used, and had been used, not to put down crime, but to put down com- binations which were not criminal. In point of fact, it had been used chiefly to put down the " Plan of Campaign," which is certainly a criminal conspiracy, and to put down boycotting. Now, boycotting had been recently described thus in a speech reported in the Cork Daily Herald of February 9th last :—" We put the most rigid boycott on Cremin in every other walk of life. We deal with no one who supplies Cremin with goods. Whoever works for Cremin must work for him alone. Whoever associates with Cremin must have him for his sole companion, and this not for a spurt of a month or two, but until Cremin throws up the farm he has grabbed, and makes ample compen- sation to the boys against whom he has falsely sworn." It was against people engaged in criminal conspiracies of this kind that the Act was enforced, and it was criminal conspirators of this kind that it deterred and punished.