HC Deb 28 May 1908 vol 189 cc1247-8

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Inspector-General, Royal Irish Constabulary, the three assistant inspector-generals, and the town inspector of Belfast are Protestants; that six out of thirty-seven county inspectors and fifty-nine out of 180 district inspectors are Catholics; that only 2,000 of the rank and. file of that force are Protestants and over 8,000 Catholics; that the proportion of Protestants occupying high positions, in comparison to the, number of men of that religious persuasion at present serving, shows that impartiality in the selection has not been strictly observed; and whether he will look into the matter closely and order a public inquiry into all the methods adopted in connection with the question of promotion in that body.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The facts are substantially as stated in the earlier parts of the Question, though the figures are not quite correct. I am satisfied that religion is in no way an element in the promotion of officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and I see no reason for holding any inquiry into the matter.