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Constabulary (Ireland) Compensation

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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Resolution reported,

"That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make provision for the disbandment of the Royal Irish Constabulary and with respect to magistrates appointed under the Acts relating to that force and for the validation of things done or omitted in the execution or purported execution of those Acts and for other purposes incidental thereto, it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys provided by Parliament,—
  • (1) of compensation to officers and constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary who, since the twenty-fifth day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-two, have been, or who may hereafter be, required to retire or be discharged from that force, including compensation by way of disturbance allowances;
  • (2) of pensions and gratuities to the widows and children of such officers and constables; and
  • (3) of terminable annuities to the National Debt Commissioners in respect of the commutation of compensation allowances awarded to such officers and constables;
  • Provided that—

    The amount of compensation, other than compensation by way of disturbance allowance, to such officers and constables and the pensions and gratuities to such widows and children shall be determined in accordance with the Rules contained in the Ninth Schedule to the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, subject to the following amendments and modifications:—
  • (a) In these Rules any reference to the Lord Lieutenant shall be construed as a reference to the Treasury, and the expression 'existing enactments' shall be construed as meaning enactments in force at the time of the passing of the said Act of the present Session, and any Orders made under those enactments and in force at that time;
  • (b) The following proviso shall be added at the end of Rule 2:—
    • Provided that in the case of the surgeon of the Royal Irish Constabulary his compensation allowance may, should he so desire, be calculated in like manner as the pension which he would have been entitled to receive on retirement under the existing enactments applicable to him if the years to be added as aforesaid were added to his years of age instead of to his completed years of actual service;
  • (c)Rule 3 shall not apply;
  • (d) The following Rule shall be substituted for Rule 4:—
  • (4) The allowance awarded to an officer or constable shall in no case exceed two-thirds of the salary on which the allowance is calculated;

    (e) The following words shall be added at the end of Rule 5. namely, 'and as if his years of service had been the years of service on which the allowance was calculated.'"

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

    I have no desire to impede the progress of this Motion, but I should like to know whether the sum mentioned in this Money Resolution is provided for in the main Estimates, or if it will be necessary to introduce a Supplementary Estimate?

    As the Money Resolution stands the bulk of this sum will, of course, be provided in the main Estimates already on the Paper for the compensation allowances granted to the disbanded Royal Irish Constabu- lary. As the Resolution has been read out, however, an Amendment is possible which may add a small sum in addition to a certain £300,000 now on the Paper as a special Estimate for what are known as disturbance allowances and exceptional cases.

    I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for answering my question in passing. If that is so, it is our duty to point out to the Government that the sum provided in the Budget for the Supplementary Estimates is being very rapidly encroached upon. On the 2nd of May we were told that £25,000,000 —and the Government said it with emphasis—was a sufficient sum for the Supplementary Estimates for the year. By the 3rd of May we had Supplementary Estimates in prospect for £6,250,000. For the misconduct of the House in defeating the Government one night recently the Government have provided for another £600,000. To-night we have another Supplementary Estimate which will possibly amount to £300,000.

    But there will be a Supplementary Estimate. I desire to draw the attention of the House to the fact that something like £7,000,000 or more out of the £25,000,000 provided has gone in the first fortnight. All the criticisms which we ventured to offer, as to the insufficiency of the provision in the Budget, and as to the weak foundation of the hope which the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressed as to the reliability of his figures, are being justified day by day.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

    It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope) adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

    Adjourned at Five Minutes before Twelve o'Clock.