§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary if he will state how many constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary resigned their position in 1909 and 1910, respectively, and whether the num- 161W bers are abnormal; has the Constabulary Act, 1908, proved satisfactory to the Royal Irish Constabulary as regards pay of the rank and file and promotion on merit and not on influence at headquarters; and has his attention been called to the desire that exists in the Royal Irish Constabulary for reduction in the expenses of command and a reorganisation of the force on more businesslike lines, especially in regard to promotion?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The number of resignations from the Royal Irish Constabulary was 116 in 1909 and 142 in 1910. These figures are not abnormal; the number in 1908 was 124 and in 1902 it was as high as 153. The Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1908, did not deal with the question of promotion. There is nothing at present to indicate that any widespread feeling of discontent regarding their pay exists in the force, or that there is any such general desire as is indicated in the last paragraph of the question. There is no foundation whatever for the suggestion that promotion in the force is due not to merit, but to influence at headquarters.