asked the Chief Secretary if his attention has been drawn to the fact that debts incurred by members of A Company, Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary, while stationed at Woodstock, County Kilkenny, with Messrs. James Bourke and Sons, amounting to £128 1s. 9d., have not yet been paid, in spite of the accounts having been rendered in due time in accordance with a circular issued by the officer in command; if he is aware that this circular clearly implied that accounts would be paid if rendered before a certain date and that the officer commanding would accept responsibility up to that date; and what action it is proposed to take now that the company has been disbanded, in view of the fact that the chief of police, Dublin Castle, to whom the matter has been referred, disclaims all responsibility, and will do no more than furnish the addresses of the individual debtors, not all of which are known?
If, as appears to be the case, these are private debts contracted by members of this company it is impossible for the Government to accept any responsibility in regard to them any more than they would in regard to private debts contracted by members of any other branch of His Majesty's Service. If, however, these are public debts, the question would be different. I am making inquiries in regard to the latter point.