§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Dublin Co., S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether men of the Royal Irish Constabulary retiring on superannuation allowance are curtailed in their pensions for offences in respect of which they have been already punished; whether a Committee appointed in 1882 to inquire into the grievances of the force recommended that no member of the force should be curtailed in his pension whose record had been free for five years previous to his retirement; whether the finding of the said Committee was approved of by Government; and, what action will be taken with regard to any members of the Royal Irish Constabulary to 1823 whom the finding of the said Committee would apply?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
The rule of the force, based upon the Report of the Committee of 1882, is that unfavourable records followed by continued good conduct shall have, as a rule, no effect upon pension. The Pension Board, in considering each case under this rule, make their recommendation upon all the facts represented to them; and I am informed that it is their practice to act upon the rule in a manner characterized by leniency rather than strictness. There are, of course, instances in which, owing to misconduct, not followed by a term of good behaviour, the pension is curtailed; and the Inspector General informs me that cases sometimes occur in which men of bad character become entitled to, and claim to retire on, pensions, although a short time previously they had been warned for dismissal. In such cases it would, of course, be manifestly unjust that the pension should be the same as that given to men of exemplary character; but cases of this nature, I am assured, are quite exceptional.