IRISH RELIEF FUND.
To the Editor.
Sir,—l was somewhat amused while reading Mr. James Brown’s attempt at self-defence—or, as you head it, “A Lively Reply”—to correspondents in connection with the above fund. The reply is self-condemnatory, but, at the same time, I believe every word to be true that Mr. Brown says in reference to his sympathy with deserving objects, and his willingness at all times to show the same in a practical manner. I cannot but think, however, that in his zeal and over-earnestness to defend himself in the present case, he has somewhat overshot the mark, as if the cap did not fit he need not have put it on. My remarks had no reference to such members of the Committee as Mr. Brown, who thinks he has done his duty; but to those who, having “ subscription lists, were either unwilling or too indolent to hand them in,” although he acknowledges having had a list, yet did not hand it in when he had done with it—a duty which he certainly should have performed, although he might not have had any money to hand in with it, as the list would stand against his name on the books until it was returned. He also acknowledges himself to be a member of the Committee, and yet in the same breath confesses he did not know but that his subscription—along with many others, I presume—was helping to clothe and feed some poor family, instead of being stowed away in the Bank. Now, I do not know what were the duties assigned to the various members of the Committee, nor do I know who the various members are—and, indeed, I question very much if anyone else does, seeing that members themselves did not know where the money collected was until the present correspondence commenced. But I ask Mr. Brown whether, as a member of the Committee, it was not a part of his duty to have seen that the money was sent in proper time, and to its proper destination. Mr. Friedlander says in his letter on the subject that the Committee meetings invariably lapsed for want of a quorum, so that nothing could be done. Did Mr. Brown attend any of these meetings 1 or did he even write showing his interest therein and acknowledging his assent or otherwise to their proceedings. He also says he paid his subscription to Messrs. Friedlander Bros., but was very much surprised some time after by receiving a letter from the Borough Clerk asking for the money he had collected. Now, Sir, if there was any matter for surprise in connection with his own payments and arrangements with the above firm, that is a double reason why he, as a member of the Committee, should have applied himself with double interest in the matter ; and, so far as he was concerned, seen to it, thatmatter for surprise was altogether removed. He also refers very sympathically to Mr. Ivess’s love for his countrymen, and his enthusiasm evinced in this cause, which we all admit, and admire greatly, and in comparison with which his own meagre actions, together with the indolence of some of his fellow-committeemen, and a total want of interest of others, I say, may well be designated “disgraceful,” “inhuman,” and totally unworthy of the name of anyone professing to have a desire for the alleviation of human woe. With respect to the “value of dogs,” which was altogether foreign to the subject of his reply, I may say, it is very questionable indeed whether even the very best looking of the black ones, or those of any other color, notwithstanding Mr. Branson to the contrary, are of more value than any human being, but the ugliest and the blackest of them often perform their master’s duties far more faithfully than the best looking and most confident of 1
men. But while there a great many dogs that are valueless, there are also a great many individuals who, to all intents and purposes, are useless, and not only so, but are content to hold positions in a hypocritical manner—to wit, some of the members of the “Irish Relief Committee,” who not only have no sympathy, but who do not even believe that the fund ought to have any existence.—l am, &c., Subscriber.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 112, 12 June 1880
IRISH RELIEF FUND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 112, 12 June 1880
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