HC Deb 25 July 1907 vol 179 cc119-21
MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland what proportion of the persons receiving constant police protection, and special protection by patrol throughout Ireland, on 1st January, 1906, and 1st July, 1907, belonged to the class of tenants described as new tenants; whether in the case of new tenants who were afforded such protection the constables employed on duty were extra to the county establishment, a moiety of the expenses of whom would have been, as is usual in such circumstances, defrayed equally from local rates and from the Exchequer; if so, what was the amount payable from each such source in respect of the twelve months ended 31st December, 1906; whether police protection was afforded to new tenants on either of the dates mentioned from stations which are held by the constabulary authorities to form centres for ordinary police duty in the districts in which they are situate, inclusive of the duty of giving special protection to new tenants; what was the number of constables exclusively employed in affording protection to new tenants on these dates; and whether his reports from the police authorities show that if the necessity for giving such protection were removed a corresponding reduction could, with safety, be effected in the general police establishment of the country.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) On 1st January, 1906 (1) ten out of the forty-seven persons receiving constant protection, and (2) sixty-one out of the 178 persons receiving patrol protection were new tenants. On 1st July, 1907, the corresponding figures were (1) thirteen and fifty, and (2) forty-seven and 167. The protection of both kinds afforded to new tenants between the dates named was given mainly by police of the county establishments, and twenty-three extra men were employed upon the same duty for periods between those dates. The statutory charge recoverable from local authorities in respect of the employment of such extra men during the year 1906 amounts to about £160, the cost to the State in the first instance being about £460. In seven cases of constant protection on 1st January, 1906, and in eight case on 1st July, 1907, the protection was afforded from permanent police stations, and in all cases of patrol protection the protection was given from such stations. The number of policemen exclusively employed in affording constant protection to new tenants was on 1st January, 1906, twenty-one, and on 1st July, 1907, twenty-seven. It is hoped that the settlement of the question now under the consideration of Parliament will enable a reduction to be made in the general police establishment of the country, not only by releasing the men now employed on protection duty, but also by reason of the generally improved condition of the country which may be expected upon the removal of agrarian troubles. It is not, however, possible at present to estimate, what amount of reduction could be effected.