CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - RESIGNED R.I.C. MEN.

LIAM O DAIMHIN

To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if the Government is prepared to give favourable consideration to applications for service in the Civic Guard from men who resigned from the R.I.C. during the Anglo-Irish War, and who are now over the age of 27 years; and, if so, whether the period of service in the R.I.C. will count for purposes of pay and promotion when joining the Civic Guard; also, whether the Government will consider the advisability of compiling a register of all those who resigned from the R.I.C. during the period referred to, so as to assist in securing suitable employment for those who are not eligible or qualified for service in the Civic Guard.

Mr. K. O'HIGGINS

The Government do not find it possible to make provision in the Civic Guard for men who resigned from the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Anglo-Irish war, and who are now over the age of 27 years. As indicated in my reply to a question addressed to me on the 10th instant by Deputy Risteard Mac Fheorais, a Committee is being set up to investigate what particular ex-R.I.C. men are entitled to compensation in accordance with the Government's policy as outlined by me in that reply. A register will be compiled for the purposes of such Committee, but it is not the Government's intention to make any special arrangements for securing employment for these ex-R.I.C. men. When the compensation contemplated has been granted, the Government's duty as regards these men will be discharged. The Government is anxious that they, in common with all other unemployed men, should receive suitable employment, but it is unable to see why there should be any special discrimination in their favour once they have been compensated.

LIAM O DAIMHIN

Owing to the fact that certain members of the R.I.C. who remained on in the Force up to the time of disbandment have been taken on in the Civic Guard, does not the Minister think it reasonable that the men who resigned should be given the same consideration?

Mr. KEVIN O'HIGGINS

The late Chairman of the Provisional Government was Director of Intelligence during our conflict with the British. We accepted his information implicitly. We acted on it to the advantage to the country. We did not ask where it came from, or whether we were quite sure it was right? We acted on it implicitly, and it is to be regretted that when certain members of the R.I.C. were admitted into the Civic Guard with his endorsement that there was not the same implicit acceptance on his endorsement. It is to be regretted that there was trouble in the Civic Guard over this question, as the Deputy is well aware, and I do not regard it as part of my responsibility to risk any further trouble over that particular question.