§ MAJOR O'BEIRNE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether sub-constable Joyce, and several other constables of the County Sligo Constabulary, have verbally complained to the county inspector, as regards fines, removals, or other punishments, as being of a harsh and unjust character; and, whether such constables and sub-constables have, notwithstanding such verbal complaints, signed a statement through fear of consequences, that they had no complaints to make; and why the county inspector did not himself, or his clerks, put such complaints in writing, and forward them to the Inspector General of Constabulary?
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
Sir, as I explained upon a recent occasion, there is a prescribed form in which complaints should be made by members of the Constabulary Force, and I find that sub-constable Joyce made no official complaint. It appears that the County Inspector very properly took an opportunity of urging upon him verbally the desirability of abstaining from the course of conduct which had led to the imposition of a recent fine, but that no complaint was made in the official form against that fine; and it was not the duty of the County Inspector to forward reports of conversations. I see that the hon. and gallant Gentleman attributes to members of the Force that they have signed incorrect statements through fear of consequences. I believe that there is no foundation whatever for that allegation; and as the conduct of the County Inspector is called in question, I have made inquiries, from which I find that in three years, during which time he has had upwards of 200 men under his command, the total fines imposed by him have only averaged £2 6s. 8d. per annum.