§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether two motor-cars, driven by district inspectors of the Royal Irish Constabulary, are now running experimentally, a record being kept of the mileage, the failures, and the accidents; and, if so, what has been the cost of these motor-cars, in what Estimate will that cost be included, and from what firms have these motorcars been bought by the Constabulary authorities, and by whose direction and by whose suggestion were they purchased; whether the Royal Irish Constabulary authorities are contemplating the equipment of district and county inspectors with motor-cars; and, if so, what will be the initial and annual expenditure likely to be incurred by such equipment; and whether, having regard to the loss of life, damage to property, and injury to roads occasioned by motor-car driving, before any steps are taken for this change involving expenditure of public money, the House of Commons will be given an opportunity of expressing its views on the proposed change, and will be furnished with an estimate of the probable cost such change will entail.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
The Answer to the first inquiry is in the negative. In January last it was arranged, with Treasury sanction, that the use of motorcars by officers should be tested in two counties as an experiment, the intention 101 being that, if the plan proved unobjectionable, officers should be allowed the option of keeping either horses or motor-cars. Officers who should choose to use motorcars were to be allowed to obtain them at their own expense, on the express understanding, however, that the existing allowances, namely, a forage allowance of £50, and a servant's allowance of £45, were not to be increased. These allowances are borne on the Constabulary Vote. Difficulties have arisen in making the proposed experiment, and nothing has been done.