§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, he could not allow the Resolution to pass without observation. An increased allowance of £26,000 was proposed last year. He had then the honour to propose that it should be reduced to £1,000, but the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Hunt), spoke on the subject, and suggested that he should make the sum £14,000, which he did. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Local Government Board (Mr. Sclater-Booth) also supported his proposal, and that was why he now spoke on the subject, for the former Government had undertaken that, during the present Session, they would bring forward a measure to provide that the people of Ireland should contribute their fair proportion of taxation for the police of the country. The Bill now before the House contained a clause which provided that the Commissioners of Police in Dublin were to be paid increased salaries. ["No, no!"] It provided that the Lord Lieutenant should fix the salaries at not less than they now were, and might fix them at as much more as he thought fit, getting the sanction of the Treasury before the increase came into operation. He could not think any individual was strong enough to resist the pressure of a locality, and he should therefore oppose that part of the Bill, giving such powers to the Lord Lieutenant His chief objection was, that the City of Dublin received for more already from the Imperial Treasury than any town in Scotland or England; for it received £91,731 for its police—he was not speaking of the general constabulary of Ireland, but of the metropolitan police of the City of Dublin. Why should Dublin be placed in a different position from Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow? The whole of Scotland received from the Imperial Treasury less than the amount the City of Dublin received, for it received only £53,000. He thought that, under those circumstances, they ought not to increase the salaries of the Commissioners of Police of Dublin at the expense of the Treasury, There were clauses in 726 the Bill, also, for increasing the salaries of the magistrates throughout Ireland, and to that he did not object; but what he objected to was Dublin being unduly favoured as compared with the other cities in the United Kingdom. From a Return which was laid on the Table a few days ago, it appeared that the annual value of the rateable property in Dublin—on which the income tax was levied—was only £481,000, or less than one-half of that of the city he had the honour to represent; the rental on which Edinburgh paid taxes being £1,250,000. Why should they be called upon in England and Scotland to pay what might be called an income tax for Irish purposes, while Dublin, like a spoiled child, had hardly to pay anything? Though the present Government was not technically called upon to carry out the pledges of the late Government with respect to this particular matter, he thought they should do so as an act of justice to the other parts of the United Kingdom.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, he thought the hon. Member for Edinburgh would have acted with greater regard for the convenience of the House if he had raised his objection on the clause itself, when it came under consideration in Committee on the Bill. The Bill did not propose to fix what the salaries of the Dublin Commissioners of Police were to be, but only to abolish the statutable limits, and to allow the salaries to be fixed by the Lord Lieutenant. Only this year arrangements had been made by the Government for giving an increased grant for police to the cities and counties of England. Without going into figures on the subject, he would observe that the proportion of the charge now paid by the people of Dublin was nearly the same as that which the people of England would have to pay under this new arrangement, so that the reasons no longer existed which might formerly have been urged for a further payment being demanded from Dublin.
§ Moved, That it is expedient to make provision for the payment, out of moneys to "be provided by Parliament, of the Superannuation and other Allowances that may become payable under any Act of the present Session for regulating the Salaries of Resident Magistrates in Ireland and of certain Officers of the Dublin Police.—(Sir Michael Hicks-Beach.)727
§ MR. DILLWYN
objected to giving the Lord Lieutenant irresponsible powers in fixing the salaries of the Commissioners, as it would take the control of the payment away from the House.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
said, that as the salaries would always appear on the Votes, the House would always have an opportunity of objecting to the salaries given when they were proposed in the Estimates.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported upon Monday 1st June.