HC Deb 24 May 1880 vol 252 cc315-6

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whe- ther the foundations of the residence for the Lieutenant Governor of Portsmouth have been prepared by convict labour; and, whether he can state to the House the comparative cost of convict labour and free labour?


Sir, convict labour has been employed at Portsmouth in connection with the War Department and the Naval Department for many years. The foundations of the Governor's new house were commenced some months ago, and it was then decided to detail a certain number of convicts for it. The value to the State of convict labour has been for many years a subject of controversy; but these convicts are at the cost of the Home Department, and no charge is made against the War Office for their work.