§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. Trevelyan.)
§ MR. BIGGAR
said, he desired to give Notice of opposition to this Bill, for two reasons. His first reason was, that it had previously been brought on after half-past 12, and he should object to that being done, though he should not take that objection now, as it was not yet half-past 12. His second reason was, that the Irish Police were exceedingly liberally dealt with and very well paid for the work they had to do. It was an unsound principle that members of a Public Force should receive special consideration for the performance of their duties, and especially when, as in the case of the Irish Police, they had, in some parts of Ireland, almost thrown districts into a state of mutiny. If the Government had acted rightly they would have allowed the mutineers to leave the Force and filled up their places. But even if they had thought the pay of the Police was not satisfactory they should not have almost immediately endeavoured to meet the claims of the Police. They should have waited till the Executive had had time to cool down. It was always very objectional to legislate in a state of panic, and that was especially the case in regard to the Police now. They had evidently frightened the Government; the Government had fallen down on their knees, and the result would be that for all time to come the Police would have the Government entirely at their command, when any difficulty arose to the Government. The Police were extravagantly overpaid, and this attempt to increase their pay was perfectly unreasonable. It was also preposterous to retire them when they were 1042 in the prime of life. No public servant should be allowed to retire until he had reached an age when he might reasonably expect to retire; but by this Bill it was open to a policeman to retire under 50 years of age, while in other Services the age for retirement was, in many cases, 65. That part of the Bill was quite indefensible, and he did not think the Government could offer any argument in favour of it. He would not ask the House to divide on the Motion to go into Committee. As it had gone through the farce of a second reading the matter deserved consideration, and he should allow the Bill to go into Committee and then discuss the different points.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 (Short title) agreed to.