HC Deb 01 August 1908 vol 193 cc2089-90

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state how many constabulary recruits are at present stationed at Richmond Barracks and the Phoenix Park Depot; who is responsible for the purchase of provisions for these men; what steps, if any, are taken to see that their money is spent to the best advantage; if the recruits have any voice in the expenditure of their pay; if contractors are invited to compete, and by what means; if a depot sergeant is paid £3 a month for spending the recruits' money, and is he relieved of all other duties; and by whom is this money paid.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) There are 340 recruits at the depot and 221 at the sub-depot. A sergeant is detailed to purchase the provisions and supervise the recruits' mess at each depot. Mess sergeants are relieved of all other duty and are paid £3 a month each. They act under the supervision of a district inspector, and the mess accounts are carefully examined by the commandant and the adjutant. The recruits have no voice in the purchase of the provisions. The Inspector-General informs me that the recruits' mess is managed in a thoroughly satisfactory manner. In some cases articles are provided by contract; for instance, tenders for the supply of milk are advertised for.