HC Deb 14 December 1922 vol 159 cc3216-7W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to a circular issued by the Irish Office a few days ago, informing ex-Royal Irish Constabulary men who have received disturbance allowances that, if they do not render accounts or otherwise communicate with reference to such allowances by 1st January, 1923, or within six months of their disbandment, the amount of these allowances may be recovered by instalments from their pensions; whether he is aware that these men have been compelled to leave their homes, and, in most cases, have been unable to obtain employ- ment, and have, in consequence of having to leave their homes, been put to heavy expenses equal to or exceeding the amount of their disturbance allowances; whether the costs to be allowed in connection with their removal from their homes include the expenses they have incurred in rent and otherwise in consequence of having to leave their homes; and whether he will give directions that the rendering of accounts shall be dispensed with, or, at any rate, that the time for rendering them shall be extended pending further consideration?


The circular in question was issued in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Terms of Disbandment presented to Parliament as a Command Paper (Gmd. 1673) when the Constabulary (Ireland) Bill was under consideration. That paragraph provides that if a manhas not moved his home or if the reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such removal are leas than the amount of the allowance which he has received, the tribunal may require him to refund the whole or part of the allowance, as the case may be. As regards the second part of the question, I am aware that a considerable number of these men have been compelled to leave their homes in Ireland. In such cases no man will be required to repay any part of his disturbance allowances if the whole of it has been properly expended in connection with the removal of his borne. In examining the accounts of this expenditure furnished by disbanded men, regard is had to lodging and similar expenses actually incurred during the process of moving. I regret I cannot accept the suggestion contained in the last part of the question in view of the fact that in many cases it is known that men, after drawing disturbance allowance, have not moved their homes, and have thus not spent this allowance on the purpose for which it was granted. If in any particular ease good cause can be shown, the tribunal is prepared to agree to an extension of the period within which the account must be rendered.

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