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).
lord rose, and assured the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he would not object to the vote going forward.  “There was,” he said, “more joy over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety-nine just persons.”  He greatly rejoiced to find that ministers had at length discovered that it was cheaper for England to lend her money (receiving interest for it) upon reproductive works, than upon those useless relief works, which were to return no interest and produce no fruits.  He greatly rejoiced, also, to hear from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that, in the course of the last two months, he had become better instructed upon the subject of the number of men to whom the construction of railways would give employment.  He (Lord George Bentinck) had proposed to employ one hundred and ten thousand men with L6,000,000, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer then told the House that L6,000,000 laid out in railways would only furnish employment for forty-five thousand labourers.  Now, the Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House that L600,000 would employ fifteen thousand labourers; so that, upon his calculations, L6,000,000 would afford employment not merely for one hundred and ten thousand, as he (Lord George Bentinck) had formerly stated, but for one hundred and fifty thousand able-bodied labourers.  It must, said Lord George, be a great disappointment to the people of Ireland, to find upon what false grounds they were deprived of their darling measure for the construction of railways.  He was glad the right hon. gentleman had at last come to his senses, and proposed to grant a portion, at least, of the L16,000,000.  He (Lord George) now found, that his calculation, that L16,000,000 would give employment to one hundred and ten thousand men in Ireland, for a certain number of years, was understated.  When it suited the purpose of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a million of money would give employment to half as many more able-bodied labourers, as it could when it suited his purpose to resist a motion proposed by his opponents.  “Let it be remembered, the Chancellor of the Exchequer argues in favour of this measure, that the money he asks for will certainly be paid back, while only one-half, he tells you, of the money advanced or relief works is sought to be reclaimed.  Why, Sir, that was just my argument three months ago.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Bill was carried by a large majority.

It is a pity that noble-hearted Englishman, Lord George Bentinck, did not live long enough to see how enduring the gratitude of the Irish people has been for the friendly and bounteous hand he endeavoured to stretch out to them, in their hour of sorest need.  Seven-and-twenty years have passed away since then; yet that gratitude still survives, nor is it likely soon to die out amongst a people noted for warm hearts and long memories.


[205] Lord George Bentinck, a political Biography, 5th edit., p. 339.

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The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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