In a speech delivered at Maryborongh last Monday, Mr. Parnell
described more explicitly than he has hitherto done the policy of the Land League towards the Land Act. The Court will be anxious, he said at the outset, to create a favourable im- pression among the tenant-farmers, in order to obtain their con- fidence and draw them away from the League. If the cases first submitted to it were rack-rented cases, in which a consider- able reduction could be made "without any colour of reducing rents to a fair standard," the consequences would be disastrous, "because you would have a high standard of rent established as a result of the test cases, instead of a low standard." In order to avert this catastrophe, he warned his hearers to keep out of the Court until "test cases of an average character, where rents are neither very high nor very low, had been selected and brought before it by the local branches of the League." The hand of the Court will thus be forced, and it will be obliged to choose between reducing the rent in such cases "to what would be a fair rent," and forfeiting the con- fidence of the farmers. The test cases will include some in which the tenant's improvements have not been recently effected, in order to ascertain upon which party the Court will lay the burden of proof. It has since been stated that two tenants have been appointed in each locality by the League to assess the "fair rents" of the farms in the district, "having regard to the necessity of a more improved mode of living, better food, better clothing, and better houses." Their assessment will be officially adopted by the League, and the decision of the Commissioners in the test cases compared with it.