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Irish National Board Of Education

Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the National Education Board of Ireland do not think it desirable to give to Parliament details as to the attendance at Board meetings of each of its members, and the amount of travelling and personal expenses received by each member from the 1st July, 1906, to the 30th June, 1907, on the ground that no useful purpose would be served by furnishing this information to Parliament, and that they state that payments for such travelling and personal expenses are regularly audited by the Exchequer and Audit Department; and whether he will consider the desirability of securing that Parliament, having to vote this money, should be informed as to the amounts and particulars of its expenditure, and will he take steps to see that it is given in the way asked by the hon. Member for Kilkenny.

Perhaps I may be allowed to answer this Question. In my reply to the hon. Member's former Question on the 14th instant, I stated that the Commissioners had informed me that they did not think it desirable to give details as to the attendance of individual members of their body, as they considered that no useful purpose would be served by furnishing this information. This answer was not meant to refer to the travelling and personal expenses of the Commissioners, but merely to the number and dates of the meetings attended by each Commissioner. Members of the Board receive first class travelling expenses, together with an allowance of a guinea for each night necessarily spent from home when attending meetings, or an allowance of 7s. for an absence from home of not less than eight hours when absence for the night is not necessary. These allowances are, of course, made only to members of the Board who do not reside in Dublin. The Commissioners inform me that, so far, the sum of £656 12s. 5d. has been paid in respect of the travelling and personal expenses of their body during the year ending 30th June last. The accounts of some of the Commissioners have not yet been presented, and therefore a full statement of the amounts paid to each Commissioner is not yet available.