Daniel Patrick Moynihan was so incensed with the British government's attitude towards starvation in Biafra, a breakaway state from Nigeria, that he compared their actions to what happened during the Famine in ireland.
His comments come in newly released papers from his time in the Nixon White House. Moynihan later went on to become a distinguished U.S. senator from New York.
He was particularly appalled by a British official who talked down the famine in Biafra because the rate of “malnutrition” was only 5 or 10 percentage points above the normal rate.
“I really did feel I was talking to Sir Charles Trevelyan 122 years ago,” Moynihan wrote, “assuming all was well in Connaught, that the new potato crop was coming along nicely, and that in any event the Irish always were a bit disorganized.”
He was referring to the official who oversaw Famine relief efforts during the Great Hunger.
His comments are contained in over 90,000 pages of letters released by the Nixon Presidential Library.