§ SIR CHARLES RUSSELL (Hackney, S.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether there is any objection, and, if so, what, to the inspection by proper persons of the Irish records now in the Public Record Office of date subsequent to 1769; to what date may such records be inspected; and, whether there are any written or other Rules, and, if so, what, regulating such inspection?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
It has been held by successive Secretaries of State of both Parties that the inspection of certain Irish Papers now in the Record Office would be detrimental to the public interests. It is purely a matter for the discretion of the Secretary of State whether he shall allow access to these records. He is not guided by any written Rules; but solely by what he considers his duty as trustee of confidential documents which have been committed to his charge. The inspection of these records is open to the public up to 1772.