HC Deb 12 June 1896 vol 41 cc963-4
MR. E. CARSON (Dublin University)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, if he will consent to make a Return showing the names of district inspectors of the Royal Irish Constabulary who have been passed over for promotion to the rank of county inspector during the last two years, and the length of service of such district inspectors respectively?


I could not consent to the proposed Return, and I do not think such a Return would be fair to the officers concerned.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he is aware that of the district inspectors holding the following appointments, viz., adjutant, musketry instructor, secretary to inspector general, detective director in Belfast, and staff officers attached to the Divisional Commissioners, to all of which special allowances are attached, only one is a Roman Catholic; and (2) whether steps will be taken, as vacancies occur, to give a fair proportion of these appointments to the Roman Catholic officers of the force?


The reply to the first paragraph is in the affirmative. I may, however, observe that the two previous private secretaries to the Inspector General were Roman Catholics, and were transferred from his office on promotion, and that the predecessors of the present adjutant and musketry inspector were also of the same religious persuasion. With regard to the second part of the question, I can only repeat what I have already more than once stated, that appointments to these and other positions are not regulated by considerations of religion, and that whilst it would be both impracticable as well as inexpedient to create religious tests in the selection of officers, no officer will be rejected for promotion to a higher position on account of his religious belief.