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Specific instructions of the Association to Mr H.J. Higgins

famine instructions

March 31, 1847

Sir
The Committee of this Association direct me to convey to you the expression of their sincere acknowledgement for the tender which you have been so good as to make of your gratuitous services in carrying out their operations at Belmullet.
As you have been already put in possession of the instructions which have been issued to gentlemen acting in a similar capacity on behalf of the Association it is unnecessary to trouble you with a repetition of these.
While you will be called upon to act, however, in general conformity with the spirit of these instructions the particular circumstances of the District, and the operations which will be carried out there simultaneously may call for departure from them in many instances. The Committee have therefore thought it proper to repose in you a full confidence and discretion in such cases.
The "Terrible" War Steamer sails this evening for Balmullet direct, without touching at


famine instructions

any intermediate port, having on board a Paymaster and Purser of H.M. Navy in charge of a supply of seed corn, respecting the destination of which he has already received full instructions from H.M. Treasury on behalf of this Association.
Although this Gentleman will act independently in regulating the distribution and disposal of seed, yet this Committee are disposed to attach much importance to your cooperation.
With this view they have placed at your disposal for gratuitous distribution a supply of clothing which you will be pleased to allocate to the several relief Committees, and others permitted to purchase said, for distribution amongst the Labourers and their families, who by industry and activity have shown themselves worthy of encouragement.
You will be also empowered to draw freely upon the several Government Provision Stores in relief of the existing distress, and of this Commissary General Sir Randolph Routh has been fully advised.
It is conceived that by making your


famine instructions

Grants of provisions for gratuitous distribution to the several Relief Committees simultaneous with the issue of Seed Corn, all temptation to make use of the latter as food (an evil unhappily to be anticipated in the present destitute condition of the District) may be averted.
You will therefore be pleased to consider this as a very important branch of your duty, with the assurance that at so important a crisis, it is the earnest desire of the Committee to render this important operation as effective as possible.
The experience of the Count Strzelecki will be most useful to you, and he has therefore been requested to furnish you with all the information in his power, as to the Districts adjacent to Belmullet, and, if possible, to communicate with you personally.
(Signed) E. Cane
Hony. Secy.

____________________________

M.J. Higgins Esq
etc etc etc

The signatory is E. Cane, one of the Honorary Secretaries of the Association.


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