§ Sir JOHN LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the authorised and effective strength of the Royal Irish Constabulary on 31st January, 1907 and 1912, respectively?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The actual strength of sergeants and constables on 31st January, 1907 was 9,468, and on 31st January, 1912, 10,182.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary whether he will state the circumstances necessitating the employment of extra police in the town of Wexford; what is the population of the town and what is the total number of police at present employed there, distinguishing between men on the ordinary and extra establishments; how long has the extra force been now employed; is it proposed to recover the cost of this force from the town or from a larger area; and what is the annual charge to local rates represented by the extra force at present employed?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The extra force of police was employed in Wexford during the recent trade disputes there. The population of the town is 11,168 and the total number of police at present employed there is four district inspectors, three head1138W constables, and 157 sergeants and constables. Of these two district inspectors, two head constables, and ninety-nine sergeants and constables belong to the reserve. The force in the town of Wexford was reduced to its present strength on 22nd instant, previous to which it consisted of five district inspectors, five head constables, and 257 sergeants and constables. Of these the county will be charged with the expenses of three district inspectors, four head constables, and 199 sergeants and constables. Portion of the extra force has been in the town since 26th August last, but detachments from the reserve or from other counties other than Wexford were not sent until 7th September. The charge for the extra force will be on the county at large, and will be calculated at the following rates:—District inspectors £92 3s. 6d., head constables £43 6s., and sergeants and constables £34 9s. 3d. per man per annum.
§ Mr. LYNCH
asked the Chief Secretary whether, in the event of police being transferred from one county in Ireland to-another, the rates of the county from which the transference takes place are decreased to an extent equivalent to the extra tax imposed on the county to which the police are transferred; and, if not, whether he will take steps to put an end to a process by which any county may be mulcted in damages at the discretion of the police authorities?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Each county is allocated a quota of police, the entire cost of which is borne by the Parliamentary Vote. When a detachment of the free quota of a county is sent to another county the latter is charged with a moiety of the pay and allowances of the men, but the county from which they are taken is not affected. The ratepayers suffer no loss, and are not consequently entitled to any recoupment. The moiety received for a detachment does not as a rule cover the cost of transit and the subsistence allowances to which men on detachment duty are entitled.
§ Sir T. ESMONDE
asked the Chief Secretary if the Government is aware that the ratepayers of county Wexford object to the cost of the extra police employed in Wexford in connection with the recent strikes there being made a county-at-large charge; if the Wexford County Council has expressed a desire to confer with the representatives of the Government in Ireland before the matter is finally decided; 1139W and if he will suspend the decision of the matter until the county council have been given the opportunity of submitting their views on the question to the representatives of the Government in Dublin?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am aware that the Wexford County Council and the Ennis-corthy Rural District Council objected to the cost of the extra police employed in Wexford during the recent strike being made a charge on the county at large The Wexford County Council expressed a desire to confer with the representatives of the Government in Ireland, but it had been already decided, after full and careful consideration, that the area of charge for half the cost of the extra police employed must be the county at large, and the county council have been informed to that effect.