HC Deb 28 April 1882 vol 268 cc1678-9

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that, under the Prisons Act, 1877, English counties are relieved from the charge for the conveyance of certain prisoners, whereas, under the General Prisons (Ireland) Act, Irish counties are still liable for a similar charge; and, if so, whether the Government will introduce a Bill to establish equality in the Law, in respect of this charge, between England and Ireland?


Sir, I thought that I had stated, in the Financial Statement of the year, that the heavy charge which has now come upon the Treasury for the conveyance of prisoners had come upon the Treasury in consequence of a sheer error, and contrary to the intention, not only of the late Government, but contrary to the intention of Parliament. I cannot, therefore, look upon that charge, with which we are now dealing for the most part retrospectively, as establishing a principle from which arguments can be drawn for the extension of the area to other parts of the United Kingdom. The Government have not yet had an opportunity of considering the course which it will be their duty to take in relation to the state of things which exists under the English Prisons Act in that particular.

In reply to a further Question by the hon. Member,


said: I am quite prepared to say that I have done nothing, and said nothing, and arrived at no conclusion in my own mind, favourable to the creation of any new inequality between England and Ireland in regard to Public Expenditure.