HC Deb 28 June 1888 vol 327 cc1571-2
MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department a Question of which he had given private Notice, Whether his attention has been called to the publication in that day's Times of the Majority Report of the Royal Commission on Education; whether last week a confidential document, together with some conclusions of the Commissioners, did not appear in the same journal; whether the Report of the Commission, or any part of it, had yet been received at the Home Office to be submitted to Her Majesty; and, if not, whether he could in any way account for this scandalous irregularity? He (Mr. Mundella) found that a Manchester paper had also published what purported to be a complete version of the 143 paragraphs of the Majority Report, as well as an indication of the Report of the minority.


I was aware that the Majority Report was published in this morning's paper. It has not yet reached the Home Office; and I am at a loss to understand how any gentleman who has access to a document which is confidential and has not been laid before Her Majesty can possibly have communicated it to the Press.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

Has it escaped the observation of the right hon. Gentleman that the Report only appeared in The Times?


Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to follow up this scandalous ease of breach of confidence?

MR. J. G. TALBOT (Oxford University)

I wish to ask, whether the Government are prepared to take any measures to prevent and punish such scandalous breaches of public confidence?

MR. ILLINGWORTH (Bradford, W.)

asked, whether the observation of the right hon. Gentleman covered the confidential Memorandum referred to in the Question of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield?


I had not noticed the publication of the Memorandum. With regard to the other matter, I will certainly inquire how it is that this document has been published. There is a Bill on the Table that may possibly reach such a case; but, except in that manner, I know of no other way of punishing it.


asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman had noticed that the document had not appeared in any other London paper except The Times?


I have not seen all the London papers; but I will take it from the hon. Member that it is so.