94. Mr. J. JONES
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has any information as to the payment or nonpayment of debts incurred by the auxiliary division of the Royal Irish Constabulary with tradesmen in Ireland; whether he can state the exact amount appealed for by the commandant to the companies of the division in order that local tradesmen might be paid;; and whether, seeing that the companies were given to understand that future employment under the Government was dependent on these debts being discharged, and as a result companies and individuals who were not in debt have had to find money and suffer for other companies and individuals who were, he will inquire into the matter?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Sir Hamar Greenwood)
I understand that considerable sums were owing by various auxiliary companies in respect of mess supplies, and, as no individuals still serving with the division could be held directly responsible for these debts, the Commandant appealed for subscriptions to clear them off. There was a ready response, and the amount forthcoming represented subscriptions of about 25s. per member. The matter was a domestic one, as cadets paid their own messing expenses and managed their messes themselves, but I am satisfied that contributions were purely voluntary.
Does the right hon. Gentleman consider it fair that men who did not go into debt themselves, or levy a tribute upon the shopkeepers and tradesmen, should be compelled to pay the debts of other people who did?
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I accept neither the preliminary premises nor the conclusions of the hon. Member.