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MR PARNELL'S EVIDENCE

From London files of .lay 3, the follow log account of Mr Parnell a evidence] before the " Times "-Parnell Commission ( la extraoted : — Tbe examination of Mr Parnell waa looked f< rward to with great Interest, but proved sadly disappointing, Sir C. Russell, contrary to expectation, delegated tbe examination to Mr Asquith, who allowed Mr Paraell to votunteei autobiographical history. The witness himself displayed a strong tendenoy to become discursive, and Sir J. Hannen was compelled, more than onoe, to protest against the range the examination was taking. The gist of Mr Parnell's examine tlon In ohief was that throughout the whole of his polltio.l career he had cmfined himself to constitutional methods m ltfluenolng his colleagues and associates to take a similar view. He denied ever being a member of auy secret society even, cr d'reotly or Indlreotly having contelled or sanctioned FenlanUrn, or what witness persistently called 'physical force" Ho frankly admitted having advised m certain instances ace sort to boycotting for the purpose of self*prot<>otlon, but never suggested intimidating. It was ; utterly untrue, bo far aa he knew, tbat the League's funds ware ever used for criminal purposes. He was actually ignorant of the Pbcsnlx Park plot till the day after the tragedy aotuallyocourred. The most important part cf the examination m ohief was the referenoe to the celebrated " Lot ltnkspeeoh. It wit) be remembered Mr Parcel m the oonrse of a speeoh delivered at New . York, was reported to have said — "Nona of ns, whether we are m America or m Ireland, or wherever ire may be, will be satisfied until we have destroyed tbe last link which keeps Ireland bound to England." Mr ParneJl was very n_a-.tisf_ot.ry In his answer m regard to the question whether he had ever used this language. He thought It Improbable he had said It, and did not believe he bad, but oould not, at this dlsUnoe of time, undertake to say be had not done so. Tbe Attorney-General, Sir B. Webster, cross examined Mr Parnell with hardly more sattsfacory results. Mr Parnell displayed an inclination to fence with Sir R. Webster, acd persistently resorted to answers which if not intended to be evasive, had that appearanoe. Tbe general result of Sir R. Webttat's orois examltatlon was that Mr Parnell was quite content to make whatever constitutional use be oould of the Irish party ac he joined it. When olosely pressed he admitted baying, as far as be rembembered only onoe publicly denounced the djnsmite party, and admitted that m the light of subsequent events his condemnation of outrages and 'lolerce had been lnsoffiolent. Just before the Oourt adj urn.d on Friday, 3rd May. eoourred tha most remarkable Inoldent In the orosß*exsmanatlon, so far as It has gone. Tbe Attorney-General was quoting from " Hantard " a speech of Parnell's m the debate on Mr Forster'a BUI for tbe suspension of tbe Habeas Corpus Aot, As one of his arguments agaiost the BUI, Mr Parnall said that secret societies had ceised to exitt m Ireland. " Did you believe that ?" asked the Attorney-General. ' No ;" coolly replied Mr Pr.rnell ; •• at any rate it was a grossly exaggerated statement," There was a buzz of surprise at this throughout the Court. " Did you not," continued the Attorney -General. " intend to mis state a fact when you made that statement ] ' "1 have no doubt I did " was tbe reply of Mr Parnell, said with the most cynioal non ohalance, and there was a renewed expression of astonishment, mingled with not a few hisses. " You deliberately made that statement knowing it to b. uutrue?" 1 " Yeß, if not untrue very extravagant and boattfut," " And you have never from that day to this withdrawn it ?" •' No I hhve not," replied the witness, leavfug the audience m a state of very considerable astonisbmeut at this revelation, coming as it did after so many protestations by Mr Parnell of his perfeot straightforwardness.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890615.2.21

Bibliographic details

MR PARNELL'S EVIDENCE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2149, 15 June 1889

Word Count
653

MR PARNELL'S EVIDENCE Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2149, 15 June 1889

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