§ 4. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will this Session seek any legislation that may be necessary to amend the old rules under which the Irish Constabulary Force Fund is administered, which now result in withholding on technical grounds benefits from persons in need and entitled to them, and in every £12,000 subscribed yielding only £2,000 as benefits, the remaining £10,000, with interest, going to persons and purposes having no claim on the fund?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The statutory rules under which the fund is administered ensure that it shall be applied solely to the benefit of widows and orphans of subscribers, and the allegation that portion of the fund is being applied for the benefit of persons having no claim on it is not understood, since no person who does not subscribe can derive any benefit from the fund. No legislation appears to be necessary.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Has the right hon. Gentleman not received numerous representations about the hardships which the rules for the administration of the fund inflict upon those people?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Yes, and I have also received a great number of representations from the widows and children who are now receiving benefit.
§ 11. Mr. PATRICK O'BRIEN
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will give a Return of the number of officers and men of the Royal Irish Constabulary who ceased to subscribe to the Constabulary Force Fund, benefit branch, on and after leaving the service, who drew their pension on the 1345 31st March last; and whether he is aware that this information can be furnished with the least possible trouble by each district inspector in Ireland from the pay bills, which will be in his possession up to the 1st May next?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The particulars asked for are not available, and could not be obtained in full in the manner suggested. For instance, there is nothing in these pay bills to show which of the pensioners were subscribers while in the force, and the pensioners now in Great Britain and the Colonies are not included.