18 DECEMBER 1880, Page 1

A very important manifesto was issued by the Land League

on December 13th, in the form of a " Memorandum of Instruc- tions" to officers in branches of the League. Strange to say, it has never been published in the Times, possibly because it shows that the leading Leaguers are seriously afraid of the effect of the coming Land Bill. They declare that " it will be the effort of the Government to propose such a measure as will be calculated to satisfy the weak-kneed reformers outside and inside our ranks, who are willing to accept half-measures as godsends." They also admit that many are weak- kneed. They condemn such willingness by anticipation, and promise to call a National Convention of Leaguers, to teach the people whether to accept or refuse. They hint that their own refusal is a certainty, as no doubt it is, and plainly condemn "the three F's," as "a compromise with landlord- ism," a reprieve for that " evil system which is now gasping out its criminal life in the face of the whole world." They at the same time dissuade the people from outrage, which they attribute to " intoxication of purpose," and specially condemn threatening letters, as "unnecessary as well as stupidly criminal and unjustifiable," and also " inviting the stigma of cowardice." Note that the leading Leaguers have recently received threaten- ing letters. Moreover, " No injustice in the power of Irish landlordism to perpetrate upon our people, could justify in the least degree the unfeeling brutality which inflicts injuries or suffering upon harmless or defenceless animals, in revenge for the wrongs committed by their owners." If the Land League had issued these orders at first, and " Boycotted" any criminal guilty of such practices, they would have occupied a very different position before the world. Now, it is too late. The movement has slipped far beyond their tardy effort at control.