A handwritten copy of a wire sent to all Inspectors by Police Commissioner William Parry-Okeden on 21 January 1889 requested to “Say whether you strictly adhere to clause 37, page 203 of [Queensland Police] Manual or whether you give full pay in all cases of sickness”.
The early Manual of Police Instructions and Duties, the copy referred published in 1876 by James C. Beal, Government Printer, William Street, Brisbane, was a series of regulations to guide Queensland’s constabulary.
Clause 37 reads ‘In ordinary cases of sickness, a constable will be considered as on leave of absence, and paid in accordance with clause 4 of “Leave of Absence” ’. Clause 4 stipulated that “All men incapacitated for duty by accident or illness are to be under the care of the police surgeon, and must be seen by him and reported as being really so incapacitated, within twenty-four hours of their declaring themselves sick. Without this report no man’s name is to be entered on the sick list”.
In accordance with the wired request, stations commenced submitting their reports. Several are recorded below:
From Inspector 2/c Alexander D. Douglas, Normanton, all cases of sickness this district have come under clause 10, page 200. There has been no case under clause 37. Men suffering from fever constantly perform duty during intervals.
From Inspector 1/c Frederick J. Murray, Cooktown, re your wire today no pay has ever been deducted from sick constables beyond hospital charges when long enough sick to go there.
From Inspector 2/c John Stuart, Port Douglas, your telegraph today I do adhere strictly to clause 37, except when sickness is the result of misconduct, the rule in this district appears to be to five [days] full pay in all cases of sickness.
From Sub-Inspector 1/c Ernest Carr, Winton, re your wire twenty first instant one constable received full pay while suffering from effects of accident to his kneecap received in scuffle with prisoner on New Year’s Day 1887. All other cases regulations strictly adhered to.
From Inspector 2/c William Britton, Blackall, re your wire today, Senior Constable Livingstone got three months sick leave without pay and this is the only case of sickness since I took charge.
From Inspector 1/c Aulaire L. Morisset, Rockhampton, your telegram today I cannot say I have always strictly enforced provision clause 37, page 203. I frequently experience difficulty in obtaining necessary repots etc. but make it a rule as far as practicable to report all cases coming under this clause to Commissioner.
Inspector 1/c Aulaire L. Morisset. Image PM1825 part of the Queensland Police Museum collection.
From Inspector 1/c Samuel J.C. Lloyd, Maryborough, re telegram of yesterday have given full pay in all cases of sick leave.
From Senior Sergeant John Kincaide, Charleville, re your wire today not aware of men being sick for a long period since Inspector Ahern came to this District only Senior Sergeant Kincaide who was suffering from diarrhoea and inflammation of the lungs.
From Inspector 1/c William Harris, Toowoomba, re your wire today don’t remember any man sick over fourteen days except one at Goondiwindi from fever contracted through sleeping in prison cell, there being no other quarters and he was allowed full pay. Men meeting with accidents in the discharge of duty are said to be sick whilst absent from duty and would I think be entitled to full pay accident not being the ordinary cases of sickness contemplated by regulations.
This information has been supplied by the Queensland Police Museum from the best resources available at the time of writing. The Police Museum is open 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month (Feb-Nov) and is located on the Ground Floor of Police Headquarters at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane. Contact: E: [email protected]
“FROM the VAULT- The 1889 Sick Leave Audit” by the Queensland Police Service is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) 2.5 Australia Licence. Permissions may be available beyond the scope of this licence. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/au/legalcode