asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the large numbers of ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who had their furniture and effects maliciously destroyed prior or subsequent to disbandment, and who obtained degrees for compensation as long as three years ago which have not hitherto been met; whether this Government or the Government of the Irish Free State are responsible for the awards in question; and what steps are being taken to meet them?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
I have been asked to answer this question. Pre-truce decrees for damage to property granted to ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary are subject to the same conditions as pre-truce decrees granted to other persons, namely, they are, if the claims were undefended, liable to review by the Compensation (Ireland) Commision and the awards of the Commission are payable, in the first instance, by the Free State Government. I am satisfied that the Commission are dealing with ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary as quickly as possible, having due regard to the claims of other persons. Meanwhile, however, in the majority of such cases advances amounting to the whole or a considerable proportion of the decree have been made subject to repayment when the compensation is paid by the Free State Government, and in any case in which there is a balance outstanding and hardship is caused by the delay in payment, it is open to the man concerned to make application for an advance to the Irish Grants Committee. As regards post-truce damage, claims in respect of such losses may be made, and in many cases have been made to the Royal Irish Constabulary Tribunal, and, if the loss is not such as can be said to arise out of disbandment, to the Royal Irish Grants Committee.