THE DISTRESS IN IRELAND.
(From the Ashburton Herald.) We ax*e glad to observe that the Mayor has convened a special meeting of the Town Council to consider what steps can bo taken in the Borough and County to aid the movement for relieving the distress in Ireland, which latest advices sh»w has now assumed alarming magnitude. Our cablegrams every day tell us of the steady increase of the disti’ess, and how imperative is the necessity for aid. As a graceful set-off wc hear also, from every part of Her Majesty’s dominions, of efforts being made by our fellow-subjects to collect funds for behoof of the suffering ones, so that ixx some measure at least the terrible consequences of absolute want may be averted. Now Zealand has not been directly appealed to, so far as we have heard, but the stroxxg feelings of her warm heart require not to be jogged by the conventionality of an appeal ixx so many words. The bare fact that there are hundreds of human beings in Ireland who want bread is sufficient for her, and as a result we expect to find that before ixext week has well commenced meetings will have been held, lists opened, axxd every conceivable agency set to work throughout the colony to collect money in aid of our afflicted countrymen. The Briton in his benevolence never stops to consider who are those whose want he is relieving—sufficiexxt for his Christian heart is it that women and children hunger. He poured out his money lavishly in aid of the Indian famine two years ago ; he aided China : he sent his help to the victims of the “Christian” war between Russia and the Turk ; and now he will be equally open-handed, wc arc sure, when the suffering ones ax*e fellow Christians, ruled by tlxe same Queen, who claim the same country, and serve the same God. Ireland has now axxd again been injudicious in hex* agitations, and not very measured sometimes in the texans she has applied to the empire of which she is a part; but thanks to the strong leaven of loyalty that is within her border's she has been saved from tlxe tunxxoil of what must at best have been, at any time, but a short lived civil wax*. With hunger stinging her manhood, and the wail of starving little ones ringing in her people’s ears, the most loyal Englishman can fox*give his Irish brother if, stung to madness, he should plunge into dangerous tumults again. Now is the time for England to show her sister that she has : her welfai’c at heart, by manfully helping her in her gx*eat trouble, and now is the time when the loyalty, the humanity, and the Christianity of New Zealand ax*e required to show themselves. The starving ones are our own kindred, our own countrymen, and we are called on now by the symbol of that faith which is theirs and ours to aid to the utmost of our power*. It is not simply a graceful sentiment of kindness that ought to actuate us, but a solemn duty is laid upon us as subjects of Victoria, and countrymen of England, and already signs are not wanting that nobly will that duty be performed. So far as ibis district is concerned, we feel the cry of Ireland’s distress will raise axx enthusiasm in giving that will xxot be excelled in intensity by that of any other English speaking community.
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