said, he rose to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If he would state the grounds on which His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland refused his assent to the wish of the Board of Governors of the Mary borough District Lunatic Asylum to admit the Press to their Meetings; and if the Irish Government will give assent to the admission of the Press to Meetings of the Boards of Lunatic Asylums in Ireland, whenever a majority of such Boards shall think fit to permit it; and if it be not a fact that Reporters are permitted to attend the Meetings in the Lunatic Asylum in Cork; and, if so, why are they excluded in the Queen's County?
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, in reply, that the Governors of the Mary borough Lunatic Asylum had, at a full meeting, considered the question of admitting the representatives of the press at their Meetings. They decided against the admission. At a subsequent meeting, however, some of the Governors approved of the admission of the gentlemen of the press. But, the question having been submitted to the Government, a request was sent down that a full Board should consider the subject, as it was in contravention of the 91st Rule of the Privy Council that reporters should be admitted. At a full Board, over which the 677 hon. Gentleman (Mr. Dunne) presided, it was again deckled that the press should not be admitted. As to Cork, the reporters there had been admitted to the Board Meetings of the Lunatic Asylums for a period of eight or ten years, but the permission was given before the regulations of the Privy Council were issued. There was no desire to prevent publicity; but he thought it was obvious that it would be injudicious to admit reporters to the Board Meetings, where mutters which were necessarily very painful to families were discussed.
said, he wished to know whether the right hon. Baronet was not aware that the unanimous consent of the gentlemen to whom he had referred was given after the receipt of the letter of the Lord Lieutenant, and was given in deference to that letter, and not because it was the opinion of those present that reporters should not be admitted.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, that the Board of Governors held a full meeting, and at that meeting it was decided that reporters should not be admitted. No doubt that decision was partly given out of deference to the Government, but he presumed it was also given on account of the opinions of the Governors.