HC Deb 11 May 1893 vol 12 cc625-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland what is now the general rate of allowance per diem to County and District Inspectors Royal Irish Constabulary for forage for each Cavalry and Transport horse, why is this allowance, like that for stable requisites and repairs of saddlery, not paid to the men in charge of the animals, seeing that the men purchase the forage themselves, who are at present often out of pocket for a mouth, and are in some instances obliged to take repayment by instalments from the officers who draw the full allowance monthly, and do any officers make a profit on the business; are County and District Inspectors, who draw a yearly allowance of £50 for a private horse and £46 for a servant, permitted to convert the outhouses of the barracks where they are located into stables and carhouses; has this practice, apart from the sanitary objection, the effect of depriving the men who pay the rent of any place to store their provisions, which to their loss must be bought daily in small quantities; do County and District Inspectors draw a yearly allowance as rent for an office in addition to the rent for a house when they convert a room in the barrack into an office; and what was the result of the agitation of the officers about a year ago for an increase in their stationery allowance, and did they then look for similar treatment for men in charge of stations?


The allowance to the Royal Irish Constabulary for the forage of a troop horse is 1s. 8d. per diem, and of transport horses, and troop horses doing transport work, 2s. per day. The allowance could not, I am informed, be paid to the man in charge, inasmuch as the officer is held responsible for the provision of forage of the best quality. When forage is exceptionally cheap the horses may possibly be fed for less than the above rates; but, on the other hand, the Inspector General has invariably refused frequent applications for increase of the allowance when the cost of forage was exceptionally high. The Inspector General informs me that, in taking houses for barracks, great attention is given to sanitary matters and the conveniences of the men to be stationed therein; he has no reason to think that any encroachment or failure in these respects has occurred, as implied in the question; but if any instance of the kind is brought under his notice, or any case in which an officer has failed to pay for the forage of the horses in his charge—which would be a distinct breach of the Regulations—such cases will be promptly dealt with. County Inspectors receive an office allowance of 1s. per day, which provides for cleaning, fuel, and light, and also for the wear and tear of any office furniture, such furniture not being supplied by the public, but by the officer out of his own pocket. It is considered desirable that, as far as possible, offices should be placed in barracks, and the Regulations require that a barrack at a district headquarters should have a suitable office for the District Officer. In the very few cases, however, where this cannot be done, and the District Inspector is obliged to convert a room in his house into an office for the transaction of public business, he is allowed £10 per annum. The stationery allowance of Comity Inspectors was increased from £8 to £10, and that of District Inspectors from £2 to £3 per annum, in December, 1890. When applying for the increase these officers were not, I am told, in a position to make any application of the nature suggested; indeed, a strong point in their application was that the allowance to sergeants in charge of stations had been doubled, while they (the officers) had received no increase.