Royal Irish Constabulary.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1922.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

68.

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he has had under consideration the cases of men who have served in the Royal Irish Constabulary and have been disbanded, some of whom are Irishmen with families; and whether, in view of the fact that these men are in some cases starving and unable to obtain employment or assistance, special steps may be taken to bring them to England, and, if possible, to settle them overseas where they so desire?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

The only classes of men serving in the Royal Irish Constabulary who have as yet been disbanded are the Auxiliary Division, all of whom are being paid in full up to the end of this month, and in many cases to a much later date, the British recruits, all of whom have been sent back to this country and are in receipt of a pension of not less than £46 16s. per annum, and the Veterans Division and other temporary classes, all of whom were given free warrants to their homes and a gratuity of not less than £10. I am informed that 75 of the latter class were, at their own request, given travelling warrants to places in Ireland, and I assume that it is to some of these the hon. and gallant Member's question refers.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are several of these men, Irishmen, in Dublin who are unable to get any public assistance, or unable to get employment, and does he consider that this is a generous way to treat these loyal servants of the Crown? Cannot he take some steps to get them over to this country?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

I am not sure that bringing them over to this country would help them. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will submit any particular case to me I will see what can be done, but I have no public money to assist cases, however hard.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

Is it not the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to get public money for this class of case? Is he aware that these men are only debarred from getting employment in Ireland because of their loyal service?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some members of the permanent Royal Irish Constabulary have been discharged; and— referring to the present question—would he give special consideration to those who have given evidence against criminals and secured their conviction, and now go in fear of their lives?

Photo of Mr Hamar Greenwood Mr Hamar Greenwood , Sunderland

As to that, every member of the regular Royal Irish-Constabulary in Ireland will, I hope, be disbanded this month, and special preparations are being made to provide for those men whose lives are in danger and whose families are boycotted.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Can I send the right hon. Gentleman cases?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee Lieut-Colonel Martin Archer-Shee , Finsbury

Will the right hon. Gentleman take immediate and urgent steps to get money from this House with which to remove these men out of danger? Their lives are in danger, and they are also starving.