HC Deb 17 April 1846 vol 85 cc702-3

wished to ask the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, a question on a subject with respect to which a great necessity existed that the public mind should be satisfied. He wished to know whether he had received any official intelligence or authoritative statements sufficient to convince him of the fearful state of many parts of the south of Ireland. The distress had attained such a height that several attacks had been made on mills for the purpose of obtaining provisions, and many cars laden with flour had been plundered, as well as boats similarly laden. He wished to know whether this information had reached Her Majesty's Government, and whether proper steps had been taken to meet the emergency.


replied that every post brought alarming details of the distress to himself and to his right hon. Friend the Secretary for the Home Department; and, speaking generally, he thought that the people of Ireland bore the privations to which they were subjected with great forbearance. There had been one or two instances of a disturbance of the public peace: such proceedings of course must be suppressed; but he could assure the hon. Gentleman that every exertion had been and was still being made by the Government here to relieve this distress. The hon. Member would recollect that all along he had predicted what would ensue, and that he in consequence proposed a remedy. The hon. Member was aware of the important remedy which he had proposed to facilitate the access of food to the people of Ireland.

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