Sunday, July 27, 2014

doing god's work reducing surplus population

wikipedia |  Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB (2 April 1807 – 19 June 1886) was a British civil servant and colonial administrator. As a young man, he worked with the colonial government in Calcutta, India; in the late 1850s and 1860s he served there in senior-level appointments.
A century and a half later, Trevelyan continues to divide opinion. It has been said that
Trevelyan's most enduring mark on history may be the quasi-genocidal anti-Irish racial sentiment [sic] he expressed during his term in the critical position of administrating relief for the millions of Irish peasants suffering under the Irish famine as Assistant Secretary to HM Treasury (1840-1859) under the Whig administration of Lord Russell.[1]
On the other side, the BBC's Historic Figures webpage says that
His most lasting contribution, however, began in the 1850s with the publication of his and Sir Stafford Northcote's report on 'The Organisation of the Permanent Civil Service'. The report led to the transformation of the civil service. Educational standards and competitive admission examinations ensured that a more qualified body of civil servants would become administrators.[2]
During the height of the famine it is suggested that Trevelyan deliberately dragged his feet in disbursing direct government food and monetary aid to the Irish. In a letter to Thomas Spring-Rice, Lord Mounteagle, he described the famine as an "effective mechanism for reducing surplus population" as well as "the judgement of God".[3][4][5]

His detractors complain that Trevelyan never expressed remorse for his comments, even after the full dreadful scope (approximately 1 million lives) of the Irish famine became known, while his defenders claim that other factors than Trevelyan's personal performance and beliefs were more central to the problem.