asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the hardship suffered by ex-police officers who retired on pension shortly before the 1st April, 1919, when the standard scale came into force; and whether, in view of the fact that only a small number of police had retired between the Armistice and that date, the new rates will be made applicable to these men?
§ Mr. SHORTT
My attention has frequently been called to this matter, but I have no power to increase these pensions. The rate of pension depends by law on the rate of the officers' retiring pay, and the increased rate of police pay, which carried with it increased pensions, took effect from 1st April, 1919, the date recommended by the Desborough Committee. That date cannot now be altered. Parliament has made provision in the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920, for a certain increase of the smaller pensions granted before the recent rise in wages and prices, and I have no power to go beyond its provisions in their application to police pensions.
§ Sir J. REMNANT
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, in view of the difficulty experienced by the Royal Irish Constabulary pensioners in obtaining employment owing to the disturbed state of the country, he will consider the question of increasing their present rates of pension or introduce fresh legislation removing the restrictions laid down in the Pensions (Increase) Act passed this year?
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I have every sympathy with these pensioners, and am now considering the possibility of facilitating the finding of employment for them.