(Per Ringarooma at Russell). London, Dec. 21. Immediately that the Judges took their seats for the trial of the Land Leaguers, Chief Justice May announced that he would take no part in the proceedings, on account of the misconception of his remarks three weeks ago, when, on application being made for a postponement, the Chief Justice refused tire request in language which gave riso to much hostile comment prejudicial to the case again the defendants. The Chief Justice denied that he had any such intention, but nevertheless thought the ends of justice would be best served if he withdrew. His place therefore was taken by Justice Fitzgerald. The Attorney-General for the prosecution sought to show the responsibility of the accused for the murders, outrages, and lawlessness prevalent since the rise of the Land League. He urged the jury to do their duty fearlessly, and give a verdict that would satisfy the country. The withdrawal of Chief Justice May created an unfortunate impression that the chances of conviction were materially diminished. The trial has hitherto excited little interest, the public being absorbed in the more pressing anxieties caused by the triumphant lawlessness prevailing under the instigation of the Land League. Mr. Parnell and his companions were loudly cheered every day on entering and leaving the Court. Mr. Gladstone has received a memorial, signed by nearly 700 landlords, lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, chairmen of quarter sessions, clerks, and peace magistrates, declaring that that they are unable to cope with the lawlessness and intimidation at present existing, and urgently demanding the attention of the Government to the subject. At a meeting of the Irish Parliamentary party, between thirty and forty were present, and elected Mr. Parnell as leader. They resolved that the Irish members should always sit on the Opposition side of the House, and that the party should resist individually and collectively by all means any attempt at coercion ; also that an amendment to the address should be moved, praying the Queen to refrain from enforcing the ejectments in Ireland wherever the rents exceeded Griffith’s valuation, pending consideration by Parliament and Land League.
The conduct of the Government towards Ireland is much condemned in London, but in the provinces more stress is laid upon the necessity of removing grievances than in putting down anarchy. The radical party is still in the majority in the provinces, and await the Land Bill with great interest as the herald of unavoidable legislation on the same subject in England. An important Conference will be held in February next, when the representatives of Chambers of Commerce from all parts of the British Empire will discuss the subject of Free Trade, and the best means of creating uniformity in the Customs duties throughout the Queen’s dominions. The Chambers of Commerce in England will send 48 delegates, Canada xo, India 9, and the colonies from 2 to 4 each. The leading object of the Conference will be established by special regulations of Free Trade between the mother country and the colonies, and between the colonies themselves, on the basis of a proposal which originated with the Dominion of Canada. London, Jan. 31. The report that the Boers have been guilty of atrociously butchering the wounded prisoners taken from the colonial forces has been officially contradicted. It has been ascertained that they treat the prisoners humanely. The crews of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities have commenced practising for the annual aquatic contest. The latest advices from Natal state that the Basuto rebellion is practically crushed, and the hostile tribes are now suing for peace. Her Majesty Queen Victoria has sent a cable message of condolence to Governor Colley upon the recent reverses sustained by his troops in the Boers’ rebellion.
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EUROPEAN ITEMS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 264, 9 February 1881
EUROPEAN ITEMS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 264, 9 February 1881
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