HC Deb 15 November 1917 vol 99 cc589-90W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the rates of pay for Scottish warders and Royal Irish Constabulary are considerably higher than that which existing Irish warders are in receipt of; that the Royal Irish Constabulary are in receipt of a war bonus for their wives and children as well as for themselves; that neither the Scottish warders nor the Royal Irish Constabulary have suffered any deprivation or loss in their boot allowance; that the Irish warders have been deprived of two free issues of boots, plus free repairs, each year; that the deprivation did not take place until the authorities failed to secure a contract to supply the warders' boots at the rate of 26s. for two pairs; that the Irish warders obtained no war bonus other than that given to the entire Civil Service of Great Britain and Ireland; that the war bonus was intended to help to provide the necessaries of life for the warders' families, and not to purchase articles of uniform, which, according to the terms of their appointment, they should have entirely free of charge; and if he will now take steps to have their grievance redressed and removed from amongst the warders?


I understand that the new scale of salary for Irish prison warders is the same as that of the Scottish warders. The duties of the Royal Irish Constabulary and prison warders are different, and there is no basis for comparison of their rates of pay. Up to 1915, Irish prison warders were allowed boots made by prison labour, and repairs of same, but on the recommendation of the General Prisons Board an allowance of 26s. per annum was substituted. This is the rate of the boot allowance for warders in Scotland. No attempt was made to obtain a contract on the terms stated in the question. The reasons for the change were the impossibility of continuing the manufac- ture of boots in prisons owing to the shortage of labour, and the desire to meet the complaints of prison officers as to the quality of prison-made boots and allow them to select their own. The war bonuses for warders are those given to the Civil Service generally, and have been granted to Government employés in respect of increased cost of living resulting from the War. They are given to married and unmarried warders alike.