HC Deb 23 July 1896 vol 43 cc469-70
MR. M. J. MINCH (Kildare, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a written application, dated 23rd June, was sent to the Under Secretary by Mr. W. Grove White, solicitor, on behalf of the Grand Jury of the county Kildare, asking for a copy of a resolution of the inhabitants of Newbridge, adopting the provisions of the Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854; will he explain on what grounds the Under Secretary refused to supply a copy, but stated that it could be produced in any court on subpoena, and afterwards, on the 9th July, wrote to Mr. White refusing an inspection of the documents; and whether, considering that the learned Queen's Counsel who acts for the Grand Jury requires to peruse this resolution for the purpose of advising them as to their powers, in the interests of the inhabitants of Newbridge, he will make inquiry, and direct a copy of the resolution to be supplied or an inspection to be granted?


It is the invariable practice of the Irish Executive not to furnish copies of official documents to private individuals, or to the officials of public bodies, or permit inspection of such documents by them, but to produce them in any court of justice under summons or subpoena, where this course can be followed without injury to the public service. Mr. White was informed that this practice would be followed in this particular case, and I see no reason to depart from it. It may, however, serve the purpose of the hon. Member to inform him that the resolution adopted all the sections of the Act, save those relating to the supply of water and to the borrowing of money.