§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
On behalf of the hon. Member for St. Patrick's Division of Dublin I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland can he state what was the system of promotion in the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force while Mr. Jones was Chief Commissioner; has it since been departed from, and, if so, 289 for what reason; whether members of the force qualified for promotion have been passed over, and others having less claims to advancement have been promoted in their places; and whether he will take steps to insure that, in future, promotions in the force shall be based on more equitable principles.
The Chief Commissioner informs me that in the time of his predecessor three-fourths of the promotions were made according to seniority from the list of qualified men, and one-fourth of the promotions were made by competitive examination among qualified men, independent of seniority. The latter method of promotion was somewhat of an innovation, and was deemed to have been not entirely satisfactory in practice, seeing that it opened the way for the promotion, in respect of a competitive examination largely in literary subjects, of men whose capacity for police work was not shown to be superior to that of their comrades. The system in question has been departed from by the present Chief Commissioner, who has adopted the general rule of promoting the senior man who is found eligible, reserving a power to give promotion for special merits outside seniority on the result of a competitive examination. The Chief Commissioner informs me that no members of the force who are qualified for promotion have been passed over, and none having less claims to advancement have been promoted in their places. The Chief Commissioner claims that the present system is entirely equitable.