§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
On behalf of the hon. Member for Mayo I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the evidence given at the local government election petitions, as well as the judgments of the Commissioners appointed to try those petitions, was in every case officially reported by a shorthand writer appointed by the judees, whose fees have been paid as part of the official outlay; whether these reports have been supplied and are now filed in the Election Petitions Office of the Four Courts; and whether, having regard to these facts and to the importance of having the judgments collected and issued in one volume, he will reconsider the advisability of issuing them as a Parliamentary Paper; and, if they are not to be so issued, why was the expense gone to of having them reported to be merely filed in the office of the Four Courts.
§ MR. ATKINSON (for Mr. G. W. BALFOUR)
A transcript of the notes of evidence taken at the trial of those petitions only accompanies the certificate if the election court so direct. Of five cases tried the notes of evidence were returned in three eases. There is no report of the judgments delivered by the Commissioners. With regard to the third paragraph, I can only repeat what has already been stated by my right hon. friend the Chief Secretary, that it docs not appear that any useful public purpose would be served by laying on the Table a Paper such as that indicated, and that the Government cannot consent, therefore, to the suggested return.
§ MR. ATKINSON
The object is to preserve an authentic record in the event of any further inquiry being needed.