§ 4. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland which Executive will have control of the Trish Constabulary Force Fund, reward branch and benefit branch, respectively, on the Government of Ireland Bill becoming law?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Until the date of the transfer of the Royal Irish Constabulary to the Irish Government, both branches of the fund will remain under the control of the United Kingdom Executive; after that date the control of the reward branch will be transferred to the Irish Executive. As I have already stated, if the benefit branch of the fund is not wound up before the date of the transfer it will remain 1406 under the control of the National Debt Commissioners, subject to the trusts for which it was created.
§ 5. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will, as he has undertaken, obtain the opinion of the Law Officers on the contentions of the contributors to the Irish Constabulary Force Fund that the payment out of either branch of that fund to non-contributors who joined the force since 18th June, 1883, of rewards for favourable records, rewards for absence of unfavourable records, all special grants under whatever name, and the division of the fund into two branches on 1st April, 1891 were not authorised by any of the Statutes to which he has referred, but were illegal, and that the money so paid out of the funds should be restored to it?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am advised by the Law Officers that, under the Constabulary Acts, rewards, but no other form of grant, may be paid from the Constabulary Force Fund to non-contributors who joined the force after the 18th June, 1883, and that there was power when making regulations for the management of the fund to divide it into two branches as it exists at present. These rewards are paid exclusively out of the income of a fund which has beers created since 1891, and which is derived from fines imposed since 1891 on members of the force, portions of fines and penalties authorised by Statute awarded by justices, or arising under the Licensing Acts, and sums transferred annually from the account for fees for verification of weights and measures.
§ 6. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, whether he is aware that, in the Irish Constabulary Force, there are three classes of minutes called records, a first class with grant and promotion for services counteracting popular movements, and the other classes without grant or promotion having reference to ordinary crimes; and, seeing that it was by such grants the Irish Constabulary Force Fund was depleted, and that the services were political and not within the trusts of that fund, whether restitution of the entire amount so paid will be made to the fund.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The records for good police service are not divided into classes in the scanner suggested in the question.
§ 7. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the substance of the favourable record entered for Sergeant Sheridan in the case of Daniel M'Goohan, Patrick Murphy, Bray, and Mrs. Smythe, in all of which Sheridan himself was afterwards found to have committed or procured the crime; how many persons did Sheridan have prosecuted and punished; how many favourable records stood to his credit; and how much had he received in special grants out of the Irish Constabulary Force Fund before his own guilt was discovered; and, such services not being within the trusts of that fund, whether all money paid out of it to him and others for those services will be refunded?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Sheridan received third-class records in the case of Murphy and Bray, and a first-class record in the case of M'Goohan. These three persons were wrongfully punished as explained by Mr. Wyndham in the House. Sheridan had no connection whatever with the prosecution of the murderers of Mrs. Smythe. The only other favourable record he received during his service was one for courageous conduct in stopping a runaway horse. As I have already stated, he received £6 10s. in all from the Constabulary Force Fund. The answer to the last paragraph of the question is in the negative.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Were not all the cases for which Sheridan received favourable records found ultimately to have been committed by himself?
§ 13. Sir JOHN LONSDALE
asked what are the conditions under which sanction has been given to the Royal Irish Constabulary to petition for increased pay; and whether permission will be given to the rank and file to meet in their respective districts and elect delegates to a central conference for the purpose of drafting a memorial for the entire force?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Memorials from members of the constabulary asking for increase of pay must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the regulations. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.