HC Deb 02 April 1869 vol 195 cc49-51

thought it his duty to call the attention of the House to a Return that had been laid on the table, No. 102 of this Session, and which was ordered to be printed on the 23rd March. That Return for which he had moved had reference to the expenditure connected with the College of Maynooth. The Return gave an expenditure of about £50,000 or £60,000, whereas if the Re- turn had been made in the terms in which it was ordered, and according to which previous reports had been drawn up, it would have shown a sum considerably above £1,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had engaged to furnish the Return, but it appeared that there was some confusion in the Departments, and the Treasury had undertaken to furnish all the information which they possessed. But the information for which he had moved was not in the possession of the Treasury. The Return furnished only contained the sums expended on the building and repairs of the fabric of Maynooth between the years 1845 and 1865 inclusive, whereas what he wanted to know was the whole amount of money that had been spent upon the College. The heading of the Order of the House was for information as to the sums spent in building, repairing, enlarging, or otherwise maintaining the College of Maynooth; and the expression ''or otherwise maintaining" of course included the sums so voted for Maynooth in this House up to the year 1845, and the payments since made under the Act of 1845. He wished, therefore, to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland—1. Why the information furnished to this House in the return No. 102 of the present Session, with respect to the College of Maynooth, was limited to certain particulars as to sums of money, granted, voted, and borrowed for building and repairing the fabric of the above College, between the years 1845 and 1865 inclusive, and to the expenditure thereof? 2. Why no accounts or particulars as to the sums voted or granted for maintaining the above College, otherwise than by building and repairing the fabric thereof, or as to the expenditure of such sums were furnished in the above Return? 3. Whether the Chief Secretary will state the proximate aggregate amount of the sums of public money voted or granted for the purposes of the above College since the foundation thereof? 4. And, whether it was the intention of the Government to comply further with the Order of the House respecting the College of Maynooth?


said, he was afraid his error in this matter had been that against which Talleyrand warned a youthful diplomatist—an excess of zeal. He was so anxious to meet the views of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Newdegate) that when he (the hon. Gentleman) addressed his Question to him, he agreed at once to supply the information; but he very soon found that the knowledge required was not within his official cognizance, but was entirely in the Treasury and the Public Works Office in Ireland, which, as the hon. Gentleman knew, was a department of the Treasury, and. not under the superintendence of the Chief Secretary. The Return furnished to the House was certainly, in the hon. Gentleman's point of view, a scanty one. He was aware of what the hon. Gentleman wanted, but the Treasury seemed to think that the Order of the House referred solely to the fabric; they conceived that the first word "building" governed all the rest, and that all these words referred to the fabric; and that maintaining the College meant maintaining the fabric, and not the professors and students. But now that they understood what his hon. Friend wanted, the Secretary of the Treasury informed him they would have no difficulty in furnishing a supplementary Return, which would fully meet the hon. Gentleman's object. He would promise that such a Return should be furnished with the least possible delay.


Do I understand that the Government will lay the further Return on the table?


If the hon. Member will make a Motion in accordance with his intention, the Papers will be laid upon the table.