Wednesday, February 24, 2010

27Feb1871, Special Secret Committe

LONDON, February 27th, 1871.
—Unluckily Dr. Clark pounced down upon me with a prohibition against going East to-day, and also against the H. of Commons where I had a place to hear Cavendish's 1st speech as Irish Secretary. Lou went instead. It was rather a thorny occasion. The general state of Ireland is improved and on the whole satisfactory, but there is a regular Riband conspiracy rampant in Westmeath, which has reached such a point that universal terrorism prevails, and murders may be (and many have been) committed with impunity, nobody daring to bear witness. Government decided that this was "intolerable," and (I think I may confide the dead secret to my faithful journal) Cavendish was desirous of an immediate suspension of Habeas Corpus. Uncle Wm., however, greatly hates this extreme measure, and decided, in consequence, on asking instead for a Special Secret Committee, intending afterwards to take the necessary steps. Nobody is pleased, and I should suppose it was a mistake.

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