§ MR. D. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for North Louth (Mr. T. M. HEALY), I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether the questions set at a competitive examination for head constable, held at the Royal Irish Constabulary Depôt, Dublin, on 29th June, were typewritten beforehand by a member of the Constabulary, if so, what is his name and rank, and where is he at present stationed; (2) can he say how long the candidate who got first place had been in charge of a station in his entire service prior to said examination to qualify him for the appointment; (3) will he also state if the examination papers of the Dublin Metropolitan police examination recently held were printed or typewritten; (4) has it come to his knowledge that in both forces an uneasiness exists as to possibility of examination papers reaching some of the candidates beforehand; and (5) will he direct strict provision to be made to guard against such a contingency in future competitions?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
The questions referred to in the first paragraph, which were 231 prepared by the Inspector General, were not typewritten by a member of the Constabulary, but by a confidential member of the Civil Staff attached to the office of Inspector General. The candidate who got first place at the recent examination had not previously been in charge of a station, nor was it necessary he should have been in order to qualify for promotion, provided he had other qualifications which, I am informed, this candidate possessed. With regard to the third paragraph, the papers in literary subjects used in examinations for promotion in the Metropolitan Police are prepared by the Civil Service Commissioners, and are under the control of their officers. Papers in police duties and drill are prepared by a Board of Police Officers, and typewritten or otherwise copied by mechanical process, by a confidential clerk attached to the office of the Chief Commissioner. No intimation has reached me, otherwise than through the representations made to me by the hon. and learned Member, of any uneasiness as to the possibility of examination papers being seen by some of the candidates beforehand, and I am assured both by the Inspector General and the Chief Commissioner that there is no such uneasiness in either force, as far as they are aware. Every precaution is used to secure secrecy, and every provision will continue to be made to guard against the contingency contemplated in the Question.