MR. P. O'BRIEN
On behalf of the honourable Member for the St. Patrick Division of Dublin I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland how long has the rule been in force to fill half the vacant district inspectorships in the Royal Irish Constabulary by the promotion of head constables, and how many men have been promoted to that position during this period; whether inspectors in any other British police force are appointed without police experience; and whether, in view of a reduced force in Ireland and a consequent reduction in promotion and prospect, the Government will now consider the advisability of throwing open all the district inspectorships to the rank and file?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The rule referred to in the first paragraph has been in force since January 1895, but it did not begin to operate, for want of vacancies, until August 1896. From that date to the present time, 19 men have been promoted to the rank of district inspector. As regards the second paragraph, I am unable to speak for any police force other than the Irish police force. The answer to the third paragraph is in the negative.