§ Mr. LONSDALE
asked whether the statutory redistribution of the free force of constabulary, which was due in May last, has taken place; if so, what is the total number of men of the free force as redistributed; whether the extra force of 750 men previously chargeable to counties proclaimed as disturbed areas has been reduced by reason of the Order in Council effecting the redistribution; to what extent, and in what counties, has such redistribution been carried out; and whether there has been any resulting diminution in the gross strength of the general police establishment comprising free and extra forces?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The free force of constabulary was redistributed as required by law in May last. The total number of sergeants and constables then allotted to the various counties was 9,303. The 750 men previously chargeable to proclaimed counties was reduced to 389. The redistribution affected every county in Ireland, and the gross strength of the free and extra forces was not diminished as a result of the redistribution.