§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the refusal of the Intermediate Education Board for Ireland to furnish to Parliament the minutes of their meetings, whether the meetings of the Board are and must be conducted in secret; if so, has the Board any explanation to give of the fact that, while the minutes of its meetings have been denied to Parliament, full information of the nature of its recent proceedings appears to have been communicated to one of the Dublin Unionist newspapers; and, if the proceedings of the Board are not necessarily secret, whether there is anything to prevent the Board from publishing its minutes and admitting representatives of the Press to its meetings.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The meetings of the Intermediate Board are not open to the public, and as it is an administrative Board it is undesirable that they should be. The Intermediate Education Board inform me that they are not aware that a report of their proceedings has at any time been communicated to any newspaper. It would, therefore, appear that any information as to the Board's proceedings which may have been (as alleged) communicated to the public Press can only have been so communicated through a breach of confidence. If this has occurred there must have been a grave dereliction of duty on the part of the person who has been guilty of such conduct as is alleged in the Question. With regard to the publication of the minutes of the Board, I beg to refer the honourable Member to my reply to the Question of the honourable Member for West Kerry on the 31st ultimo, in which I stated that the Board declined to send their minutes, which had, as they said, been always regarded as private and confidential.