HC Deb 06 March 1913 vol 49 cc13-4

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether a Government official from London has been recently, or is now, carrying on a secret investigation in Dublin Castle and in the Four Courts; whether a Report, or the result, will be communicated to Parliament; whether he will ascertain and state the matter upon which two officials of the Probate Court and the Chief Registrar of that Court obtained counsel's opinion in December, 1911, and with reference to which Mr. Norris Goddard, sessional Crown Solicitor, subsequently came to London and consulted Lord Atkinson; and will he say why that matter has not been taken up by the Director of Public Prosecutions in Ireland?


My right hon. Friend is informed that one of the Treasury officers of accounts has been in Dublin recently making a purely financial inquiry into the mode of accounting for fees received from the public for copying at the Four Courts and into the working of the Finance Branch of the Royal Irish Constabulary Office. The inquiry, like all Departmental inquiries, was confidential but not secret; and as it was for Departmental purposes only, it will be unnecessary to communicate the results to Parliament. The Chief Registrar of the Probate Court did not obtain counsel's opinion on any matter in December, 1911, nor has he any idea what the hon. Member is referring to. Mr. Norris Goddard states that he knows nothing of the opinion of counsel referred to, and that he never went to London to consult Lord Atkinson on any matter connected with the Probate Court; nor has he ever held any communication with his Lordship on such a subject. No question of a prosecution by anyone arises.


Has the Chief Secretary got the documents in this matter examined by anybody but those officials?