asked the Lord Advocate, Whether he will give instructions that School Board officials or others authorised by them may have access to the Enumeration Books containing copies of the contents of the schedules in the forthcoming Census, in the hands of the sheriff clerks or town clerks at any time between the period when, by the Registrar General's Instructions, these are to be placed in their hands by the Registrar of the district, viz.: 23rd April, and the time when they fall to be transmitted to the Registrar General, viz.: 4th May, for the purpose of extracting therefrom the names, ages, and other particulars regarding all children of school age, and the names and particulars of the parents or guardians of such children; and, whether, should it be necessary, he will authorise an extension of the time during which the Enumeration Books may remain in the hands of the sheriff clerks or town clerks so as to facilitate the carrying out of the purposes of "The Education (Scotland) Act, 1872?"
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. M'LAREN)
I find, on inquiry at the office of the Registrar General for Scotland, that there are serious objections to communicating the Census Returns to school boards. Those Returns are held to be of a confidential character, and we are afraid that if they were to be given to any person outside the Department it might interfere with their accuracy.