§ Mr. DUFFY
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether any representations have reached him from ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary respecting the disposition of the Constabulary Force Fund; is he aware that the ex-members of the force contributing to the fund consider that they are being unjustly and unfairly dealt with by those having charge of the fund; is he aware that a number of men are to be found all over the country who for over forty years have been obliged to pay 2½ per cent. of their gross pay to this fund without ever having benefited and without any possible chance of ever receiving a penny of benefit from this fund; and will he state what action the Government propose to take in the matter?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have received several communications from ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary on this subject. I am not aware of any reason for contributors considering that they are unjustly or unfairly dealt with. The fund has always been administered strictly in accordance with the rules approved by the Lord Lieutenant and the Treasury, and all claims paid in full. The contribution to the fund is only 1½ per cent. on pay and ½ per cent. on pension, and the benefits from such contributions are intended for widows and orphans of the subscribers, not for the subscribers themselves. The subscriptions of those who from time to time cease contributing to the fund because benefit cannot arise under the rules form part of the capital, and are required to enable the liberal scale of gratuities in operation to be maintained. No circumstance has arisen to call for any action by the Government in relation to the fund, which is perfectly solvent and is promptly meeting all claims upon it.