In 1960 the Newman Demographic Survey prepared a report, commissioned by the International Catholic Migration Commission for its Ottawa Congress, on Arrangements for the integration of Irish immigrants in England & Wales. The Catholic Social Welfare Bureau, Dublin, was extremely critical of it, requested many amendments and the complete re-writing of large parts. The author, Anthony Spencer, Director of the NDS, was delated twice in two days to Cardinal Godfrey.  Spencer and Mgr Derek Worlock, the Cardinal's Private Secretary, had many meetings trying to formulate acceptable amendments. But this could not be done in time to be delivered at the Congress in August. The unfinished draft had eventually to be sent to the ICMC in Geneva, to be locked in its safe, never to be published or publicised.

When Prof. Mary Daly, of University College, Dublin, was gathering material for her book, published in 2007, The slow failure. Population decline and independent Ireland, 1920-1973, she found large parts of the report in the archives of the Archdiocese of Dublin, and made extensive use of it for the final chapter of her book. In this she reported that the Irish Manuscripts Commission was planning to publish Spencer's report.

The report, edited by Daly, and including details of the objections of the Catholic Social Welfare Bureau, was published as a hardback book by the IMC on 24 October, 2012. It can be ordered on the IMC website, price €35.00.

At the launch of the book,  Dr James McGuire, Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, delighted the gathered audience when he observed that this was the first time IMC had launched a book when the primary source was still living' - and, it should be added,  actually present. In 2008 Spencer wrote a paper assessing the consequences of the suppression of the report, never seen by any of the other English or Irish bishops, The Suppression of a research report. Another long slow failure. Reflections on a very secret disaster. This can be downloaded here.

Earlier this year Spencer started work on an essay grappling with one of the many questions raised by the suppression of this - and many other research reports, and statistics: how is it that the leaders of the institutional Church, forever proclaiming their devotion to the truth, nevertheless suppress so many important research reports, and treat so much of its statistical data as secret.

This, The suppression of the truth by institutions of the Catholic Church. An essay on the theology,social psychology and sociology of structural sin, will be published a month hence.

Anthony Spencer