First, the Government, who administered the
country in a fitful manner, now petting, now coercing, while they should
keep the country steadily under coercion, for alternately petting and
coercing sets parties against one another more than ever. Second,
landlords and agents, who rented land too high and raised the rent on
the tenant's own invested improvements. Third, the priests, who could
repress outrage and reveal crime if they chose to do so. Fourth,
Catholic tenants who took the law into their own hands instead of
patiently waiting for redress by law.
According to this gentleman, the only innocent persons in Ireland were
the Protestant tenantry; so to root out the Catholics and replace them
by Protestants was the only possible way to have peace in the country.
Boycotting he referred to especially as a dangerous thing, which
paralyzed all industry and turned the country into a place governed by
the worst kind of mob law.
Another gentleman of position and experience said that a strike against
paying rent led easily into a strike against paying anything at all;
that society had really become disorganized. Many held back their rents,
which they were well able to pay - had the money by them. The Land League
had done a great deal of harm.