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).
to such an amendment, be enabled to obtain relief without selling their land.”  “Giving up to the landlord,” not “selling,” is the phrase in the clause.  In spite of Sir George Grey’s opinion to the contrary, it would seem to ordinary readers that the worthy Alderman knew quite well the force of his amendment; it was meant to feed the starving people, even though they happened to have a little land.  Mr Gregory, replying in defence of his clause, used these words:  “Many honourable members insisted that the operation of a clause of this kind would destroy all the small farmers.  If it could have such an effect, he did not see of what use such small farmers could possibly be;” because, I suppose, they could not survive a famine that threatened the lords of the soil with bankruptcy or extinction, as they were constantly proclaiming.  Mr. Gregory’s words—­the words of a liberal, and a pretended friend of the people—­and Mr. Gregory’s clause are things that should be for ever remembered by the descendants of the slaughtered and expatriated small farmers of Ireland.  On a division, there were 119 for the clause and 9 against it.  Here are the nine who opposed the never-to-be-forgotten quarter-acre-Gregory clause:  William Sharman Crawford, B. Escott, Sir De Lacy Evans, Alderman Humphrey, A. M’Carthy, G.P.  Scrope, W. Williams.  Tellers:  William Smith O’Brien and J. Curteis.[204]


[192] So given, in the daily journals, but in Hansard the passage is much modified, and the hit at the Irish landlords disappears.

“Allow me an opportunity of correcting the error which is widely diffused among the public, and even in Parliament itself, that in Hansard’s Debates we have the means of obtaining an authentic report of parliamentary proceedings.  This is an entire delusion. Hansard is a private publication, dependent on the ordinary newspaper reports, supplemented by such corrections as members make themselves.”—­Letter of Mr. Mitchell Henry, M.P., to the Times of July 14th, 1873.

[193] The Morning Chronicle.

[194] In some reports of the speech the words are “beggars enough for all Europe.”

[195] Mr. D’Israeli, in his Political Biography of Lord George Bentinck, quotes this passage, and, as it seems to me, manipulates it unfairly, by ending it at the word “decimated,” as if there were a full stop there, whereas the sense in the original only requires a comma, and so it is in Hansard.  To make the sense terminate at “decimated,” he moulds a sentence and a half into one, thus:  “The Chief Secretary says, that the ministers did wisely in this decision, but I differ from him when I hear, every day, of persons being starved to death, and when he, himself, admits that in many parts of the country the population had been decimated;” the censure on the Government contained in the words

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