§ MR. JAMES DALY (Monaghan, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that District Inspector Bain, of Newcastle West, when stationed in Carrickmacross, examined the police there out of books published by himself, the contents of which were chiefly culled from books issued free to the police; that one policeman was required to cross-examine another out of these books referred to; and that, in order to answer these questions, policemen had to buy these books at a cost of 3s., and, if he can state how many county inspectors in Ireland examine the police out of District Inspector Bain's books; how many policemen in Newcastle West had purchased the books before he went to the district, and how many have them now?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It is the duty of an Officer of the Constabulary to examine periodically the men under his command as to their knowledge of the Criminal Law and the numerous Acts of Parliament they are required to enforce, but Mr. Bain informs me he has never at any time required his men to answer questions from any particular books or publications. It is possible that some of the County Inspectors may have expressed approval of Mr. Bain's 540 very useful books, though, in the opinion of the Inspector General, there is no foundation whatever for the suggestion that any of these officers examine the police out of Mr. Bain's or other unofficial publications. It is not known how many of the men at Newcastle West have purchased Mr. Bain's books, nor is it proposed to investigate their private affairs.
§ [No answer was given.]
§ MR. DALY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that the regulation which requires retired policemen, before drawing their quarterly or monthly pay, to make a declaration before a magistrate or clergyman, has occasioned considerable dissatisfaction; and, if so, whether he will take steps to put an end to this practice?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I have no reason to think that the regulation referred to has occasioned considerable dissatisfaction. The taking of these quarterly declarations (they are not taken monthly, as the Question seems to imply) is prescribed by a provision of the Annual Appropriation Act, which requires that every constabulary pensioner shall make a declaration of identity and of his title to receive the pension. The choice of persons before whom the declarations can be made is not limited to magistrates or clergymen, but extends to bank managers and bank officials, police officers and others. It appears to me that the declaration is a very necessary safeguard.