§ Mr. BYRNE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if memorials for a permanent increase in pay and pensions have been received from the Royal Irish Constabulary; if it is intended to give effect by legislation to the claims put forward in these memorials; if it is intended to give effect to the demand for a statutory increase in pay and pensions by making the present war bonus pension able for all ranks; if he is aware that the abolition of the rank of acting-sergeant is not being carried out in the manner recommended by the 1914 Commission; if it is intended to continue the abolition in the same manner as heretofore; if and when the rank is finally abolished it is intended to leave men who have been acting-sergeants for three and a half years or more in the same position as regards pay, seniority, and eligibility for promotion as men who will then be promoted from constables to sergeants; what are the maximum weekly rates of pay, war bonus, and merit pay, if any, for an unmarried constable in Norwich and in the Royal Irish Constabulary; what is the service for and the amount of maximum pension (yearly) in both cases, also the weekly pay of a special constable in Ireland and a time-expired constable in Norwich: and if he is aware that sufficient recruits cannot be had to fill the restricted wastage in the Royal Irish Constabulary, and that the small scale of pay and the conditions of 955W the pensioners and their families through-out Ireland have changed the views of suitable candidates with regard to accepting service in the Royal Irish Constabulary as a means of livelihood?
§ Mr. DUKE
Memorials have recently been received from the Royal Irish Constabulary for increased pay and pensions, and, as I have stated in reply to previous questions, an additional 2s. 6d. per week to the existing war bonus has been: sanctioned for the period of the War. Certain allowances have also been temporarily increased. It is not intended to introduce legislation dealing with the pay and pensions of the police. The abolition of the rank of acting-sergeant is being carried out in the manner recommended by the 1914 Commission by the gradual absorption of the present acting-sergeants by promotion to sergeant's rank. It is not proposed to give any special privileges as regards pay, seniority, or subsequent promotion to the men who have served as acting-sergeants for more than three years. The maximum pay of a constable is now 34s. per week, and, if unmarried, his war bonus is 8s. per week, making a total of 42s. A constable may obtain the maximum pension of £58 18s. 8d. when he956W has completed thirty years' service and is fifty years of age. The weekly pay of a special constable is 20s., plus war bonus, 8s. for himself, Is. 6d. for wife, Is. for each child, plus his pension, from which no deduction is made. I have no information as to the rates payable in Norwich. The number of candidates for admission to the Royal Irish Constabulary is more than sufficient to meet the actual wastage due to retirements, etc. Although the number of candidates is reduced by the present great demand for labour, I have no reason to believe that the suggestion at the end of the question is well founded.