§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Dublin County, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he can explain why, although the subscribers to the Constabulary Force Fund have repeatedly pressed for an account of the income and expenditure of that fund, no such account has ever been rendered; what was the amount of the Force Fund in 1863, and what it amounts to now; and whether the authorities have any objection to a public audit of this public fund as requested by the Petition of the pensioners presented to this House in 1888?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension in supposing that any general desire has been expressed by the 255 subscribers to the Constabulary Force Fund for the rendering to them an account of the fund. Some memorials from pensioners were received by the Constabulary Authorities on the subject, but on investigation it was found that fully one-half of the memorialists were not subscribers to the fund, and had no pecuniary interest in it. There were no accumulations in this fund in 1863. The present accumulated fund dates from the Constabulary Act of 1866, and now amounts to £146,000; but, as explained in reply to former questions, this falls far short of the sum required to meet the benefits promised by the Government to contributors, and to secure those benefits the Government are about to ask Parliament to give a sum of £150,000 to be added to the present capital of the fund. The fund is regularly audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.