asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that of the fifty-five men of the Royal Irish Constabulary who were allowed to compete at the last P examination in November, twenty-two were members of the Belfast city force, and that of the ten successful candidates seven were stationed in Belfast; whether he is aware that owing to the educational facilities afforded in Belfast for such candidates members of the force in the rural districts are severely handicapped in competing at these examinations; whether, in view of these facts, he will recommend the constabulary authorities to hold a special examination for those men attached to the Belfast force as distinct from that held for the rest of Ireland; and whether, in view of the fact that promotion in the force has been considerably interfered with owing to men being compelled to serve beyond their time, he will recommend as a war measure that the vacancies at the coming P examination in November next should be extended from ten to twenty?
§ Mr. DUKE
Fifty-three constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary were nominated to compete at the P examination in November last. Twenty-two were members of the Belfast City force. The number was the proper proportion allowed for the city force under the Regulations. The Inspector-General does not think it would be advisable to hold a special examination for members of the Royal Irish Constabulary serving in Belfast. The 1687W number of places to be given at the next examination will depend upon the estimate of the number of vacancies in the rank of sergeant likely to occur during the year, and will be fixed in due course.