§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
The object of this Bill, as I explained when introducing it, is to place constables in the Royal Irish Constabulary or the Dublin Metropolitan Police, who are Reservists, and who join the Colours or the Navy, in the same position as English constables in like circumstances. Under the existing law officers in either of these forces who, being Reservists, join the Colours, are entitled, when they come back, to resume their position as before in regard to pay and pension, but they are not able to count the time which they were serving with the Colours as time in which they were performing their duty as constables. It is to remedy that omission that this Bill is necessary. Also, the law does not apply to Naval Reservists. There are not, as a rule, many Naval Reservists in Ireland; but, at any rate, one constable belonging to the Naval Reserve and 197 belonging to the Army Reserve have left the force. It is, therefore, thought desirable that a Bill should be introduced for the purpose of securing that the time they are occupied with the Colours in defending their country should count as time in the service of their ordinary force. 833 Another Clause gives the Irish Reservists in these two forces the benefit of two Emergency Bills which have been passed in the present Session. That might have been done by Executive act, but, as this Bill was necessary, it was thought desirable to provide, by one of its Clauses, that these constables should have the benefit of those two Acts, so that if they die in the Service there may be secured for their widows certain gratuities or pensions which otherwise they would not have.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time.
§ Resolved, "That this House doth immediately resolve itself into the Committee on the Bill."—[Mr. Birrell.]
§ Bill accordingly considered in Committee, and reported without Amendment; read the third time, and passed.