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).
and beyond all comparison most chiefly wanted, not for the purpose of lowering the price of corn and food (which I never expected it could do, which I urged it could not do, which I endeavoured to show it had no tendency to do, any more than the Corn Laws had a tendency to keep up the prices of food); but because I thought it would tend to remodel the whole of our commercial system, and cause it to assume such a shape and position with respect to Foreign Powers, as to prevent them from excluding our manufactures, by opening our ports to their corn, and such as would give us a reasonable prospect that their restrictions would be removed, and our manufactures allowed to penetrate into these foreign markets.”  And further on in the same speech, “I shortly restate,” he said, “the ground on which I rested for the repeal or the modification of the Corn Law system.  I did not, because I could not, hold to the people of this country—­I could not honestly hold out to them, that it would make bread cheap....  I did not argue that the Corn Law was the cause of famine, that it was the cause of disease, that it was the cause of crime, that it was the cause of mortality, in this country.”—­(Hansard).

[90] Smith O’Brien occupied far more of the time and attention of the House of Commons, during the Session, by his refusal to serve on a railway Committee than by his speeches.  This refusal gave rise to some delicate questions of constitutional law, and consigned the hon. gentleman to prison for twenty-five days. See note B, APPENDIX.

[91] Lord George Bentinck:  a political biography, 5th edition, revised, p. 158.

[92] Lord George Bentinck, a Political Biography, by Benjamin D’Israeli.

[93] Sir Robert Peel’s Memoirs, part 3, page 310.  Any one can see how little poor famine-stricken Ireland was before Sir Robert’s mind, when he penned the above lines.

[94] The Irish Crisis, by Sir Charles E. Trevelyan.

[95] This observation was, in all probability, levelled at the Dublin Evening Mail; a newspaper which Sir Lucius would be sure to read, being one of the organs of his party, and which had, sometime before, with a heartless attempt at humour, called the blight “the potato mirage.”

[96] The Freeman’s Journal.

[97] Ibid. This correspondent tells an anecdote of a peasant whose heroic generosity contrasts strongly with the conduct of the above noble proprietors.  He (the correspondent) stood by a pit of potatoes whilst the owner, a small farmer, was turning them for the purpose of picking out and rejecting the bad ones.  The man informed him it was the fourth picking within a fortnight.  At the first picking, he said the pit contained about sixty barrels, but they were now reduced to about ten.  Whilst this conversation was going on, a beggar came up and asked an alms for God’s sake.  The farmer told his wife to give the poor woman some of the potatoes, adding—­“Mary, give her no bad ones, God is good, and I may get work to support us.”

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