HC Deb 30 July 1912 vol 41 cc1833-4

asked the Prime Minister (50) if he will state what is the total number of signatures to the three memorials asking him to publish that portion of the evidence on Irish finance in respect of which no pledge to secrecy was given or is now insisted upon; and how many hon. Members who signed those memorials are members of the Liberal, Labour, and Irish parties, respectively; and (56) whether he has received the third memorial signed by Members of the House of Commons asking him to approach those witnesses who gave evidence before the Committee on Irish Finance, with a view to the publication of that portion of it in respect of which no pledge of secrecy was given or is not insisted upon?


In reply to these questions, and the question of which the hon. Member has given private notice to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I have received three memorials. They have, I understand, been signed by fifty-six Members of the Liberal and fourteen of the Labour party. No Members of the Irish party have signed the memorial—

Captain CRAIG

I signed it!


I apologise to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and I congratulate the Irish party on their latest recruit. The total number of signatures, after allowing for duplicates, is, I believe, 295.


Arising out of that answer perhaps, Mr. Speaker, I may be allowed to ask the right hon. Gentleman the question of which I have given private notice, as to whether the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this House that, if there were any desire on the part of any body of Members for the publication of the evidence given before the Committee on Irish Finance he would ask the witnesses for their permission, was a promise or a pledge on behalf of the Government?


There has been some misunderstanding. I said if there was a general desire expressed by the House I would assent to it. My right hon. Friend did not in any way mean to vary what I said. I cannot believe there is a general desire in the matter.

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