5. Major NEWMAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has received from the pensioners of the Royal Irish Constabulary a statement of their
§ pensions for the years 1914 to 1917, under the following headings, i.e., age, means, poor relief, and other causes?
§ The hon. Member had given notice of a question in similar terms to the Secretary for Scotland.
§ Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
I will answer these two questions together. I am afraid I can give the hon. Member no further information beyond the figures which I gave him on the 27th June, which were for the United Kingdom as a whole. As the hon. Member was informed on that occasion, no separate figures are available for claims rejected; and separate figures are not available for the different parts of the United Kingdom.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Arthur Samuels)
With the hon. Gentleman's permission. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement in answer to this question.
§ The following is the statement referred to:—
§ claims for increase of pension or war bonus, and the State purchase of the Constabulary Force Fund (Benefit Branch) on terms equitable both to the Government and the subscribers; if he is aware 1821 that some thousands of those pensioners are unemployed, and, together with their families, are living on pensions of less than 20s. per week; whether public boards in Ireland have made representations to the President of the Local Government Board and inspectors of lunatic asylums in regard to war bonus for their pensioned servants; if the constabulary authorities acted in a similar manner towards their ex-members; and if, under these circumstances, he will now look into the grievances of these men, who are deserving of the consideration of the Government for their loyalty on service and in retirement?
§ Mr. SAMUELS
The answer to the first paragraph of the question is in the affirmative. There is no record of the number of constabulary pensioners at present unemployed, but there is every reason to believe that there are fewer unemployed now than before the commencement of the War, every effort being made to facilitate pensioners obtaining suitable employment. With regard to the last paragraph of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the replies given to questions asked on the subject by the hon. Member for the College Green Division of Dublin and the hon. member for the Leix Division of Queen's County on the 29th October and 23rd November last.
Will the right hon. Gentleman and the Irish Office consider the claims of these men afresh now we have a change of government in Dublin?
§ Mr. SAMUELS
I cannot give any undertaking about it. The matter was gone into very fully, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman will find by reference to these answers.