THE IRISH RELIEF FUND.
To the Editor. Sir —Although I have never “professed to be of Irish blood,” being a Conuaughttuaii, my profession of nationality is put in fewer words and in a more emphatic form ; still lam no doubt one of those members of the Irish Relief Committee referred to by the correspondent “ Subscriber ”in last night’s Herald. That gentleman deserves the thanks of my countrymen for his letters, and the manner in which he expresses his indignation shows his heart is in the right place. The prompt action of Mr. Ivess enabled many in Ashburton to answer the cry of the starving Irish, and they have the satisfaction of knowing their contributions have reached their destination. When I went to the Town Clerk (who is Secretary of the Fund), at the beginning of last month, I found that the subscription list was stowed away amongst the borough archives, where it would undoubtedly have remained until now, or rather until “ Subscriber’s ” first letter appeared, had I not taken action in the matter. I got in the unpaid town subscriptions and handed them to the Treasurer, and the whole amount would have gone early last month had it not been for what I can only designate, the inhuman conduct of those gentlemen in the county who were entrusted with lists and would not send them in after repeated demands from the Secretary. Perhaps they have been perusing London Punch, where the starving Irish are deemed fit subjects for a joke. To “ Subscriber’s ” charges I plead not guilty, but I would be very sorry to join with the Committee in their defence. I have taken considerable trouble in the matter, perhaps not so much as I should have done or as I would wish, but it is discouraging to act alone. Thanking “Subscriber” for his humane action, I beg to assure him that the patriotism and honor he enquires for are, in my case, in the keeping of an Irishman.—l am, Ac., F. P. O’Ribllt. The following is the letter referred to : Sib, — I am much obliged to Mr. Hugo Friedlander, the “ Treasurer,” for his information respecting the above fund, which is, so far, satisfactory. But, Sir, I think the fact that the bulk of the money is left to lie in the Bank to the good of no one, while hundreds of men, women, and children are starving for the want of it, tells a tale of want of sympathy, and is a crying shame against the inactivity of those who have the control of it ; and the fact that there are certain individuals who are in possession of subscription lists, and are either unwilling or too indolent to hand them in, is a disgrace to their humanity, and the sooner the lists are advertised for, together with the names of the holders thereof, the better. But why retain the bulk of the money for the sake of a few more pounds which are difficult to get in. Why not send it on to its proper destination, and remit the balance afterwards, which could be easily done ?} What would have been the result if all the Committees throughout the world had adopted the same course ! Why, thousands of people would have starved, and died a lingering death ere the help would have reached them ; and, according to the latest telegrams, hundreds are at this moment suffering the pangs of hunger, and the want of other necessaries of life, which the money now r lying in an Ashburton Bank would, had it been sent, have helped to alleviate. There are three on the Ashburton Committee who profess to he of Irish blood. Where is their honor ? Where is their patriotism I Where is their love for their countrymen 1 Subscriber.
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