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