The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 704 pages of information about The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902).
called attention to this fact, and suggested that whole corn should be issued from the depot, which could be cooked without being ground into meal.  He says he had made a trial of this plan, by steeping the grain at night, and boiling it next morning; in this manner it made what he terms “a very nice podge,” like pease-pudding, and, to his taste, preferable to stirabout.  The Treasury called Sir R. Routh’s attention to this suggestion, deeming it important to be able to turn Indian corn into a palatable food, without being either ground or bruised.  Commissary-General Hewitson prepared a memorandum on the subject, and put it in circulation, especially amongst the Relief Committees.  How far the recommendation was acted on does not appear.[173]


[159] A deputation from the island of Achill had an interview with Sir R. Routh, at his office, on Saturday night, October the 10th.  The deputation stated the peculiar circumstances of Achill—­the total destruction of the potato crop there, and the absence of grain crops in any quantity, owing to the exposed position of the island.  The principal object of the deputation was to procure a supply of food from the Government Stores, for which the inhabitants were ready to pay.  Sir R. Routh replied, that no supply of food of any consequence could be expected before the latter end of November, and that even then it was not his intention to recommend to the Government to sell the food at a price lower than that demanded by the merchants, as it was essential to the success of commerce that the mercantile interests should not be interfered with.  Rev. Mr. Monahan, one of the deputation, remarked that the Government acted differently last year, and sold cheap for the purpose of bringing down the markets.  Sir R. Routh admitted the fact, but regretted it, as it gave bad habits to the people, and led them to expect the adoption of a similar course now, whereas the Government was determined not to interfere with the merchants, but to act more in accordance with the enlightened principles of political economy.  Rev. Mr. Monahan said he could not understand why the Government was to be fettered by notions of political economy at such a crisis as this.  Sir R. Routh remarked that nothing was more essential to the welfare of a country than strict adherence to free trade, and begged to assure the rev. gentleman that, if he had read carefully and studied Burke, his illustrious countryman, he would agree with him, Sir R. Routh.

This interview called forth much sarcastic commentary from the press.  “And so,” writes the Nation, “there is a military gentleman in Dublin, having the control of all public relief operations throughout the country, whose answer to all deputations—­whose sole fixed idea—­whose Bible and Articles-of-War—­appears to be the ‘strict rules’ and ’the enlightened principles of political economy.’  People

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