§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary whether a petition was recently presented to Lord Aberdeen, signed by upwards of a thousand magistrates and other leading citizens, praying for an investigation by business men into the grievances of the rank and file of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and is it proposed to take any action in the direction indicated in the petition; has his attention been drawn to the complaints repeatedly made on the subject of promotion and the over-expenditure on the officering of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and in particular to the allegation that 1881W officers with very unequal duties have the same salaries; that the county inspector of Carlow with sixteen stations to inspect has the same salary as the county inspector of East Cork with ninety-two stations to inspect; and will he consider the advisability of some attempt to put the force on a more businesslike basis, both as regards command and promotion?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a question asked by the hon. Member for the Holborn Division on the 17th May last. I have seen some anonymous letters in the newspapers containing complaints of the nature indicated in the question, but they do not appear to me to show any adequate ground for the revision of the present organisation of the force. It would obviously be impossible to fix the salaries of county inspectors solely with reference to the number of stations they may have to inspect.