HC Deb 04 April 1884 vol 286 c1645

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he can state why the number of mat makers has been increased in Wandsworth Prison from 53 in 1882 to 373 in 1883, and in Bedford from 14 in 1882 to 46 in 1883; whether these increases have been made at the suggestion of the contractors for the prisoners' labour; and, whether, in view of the recommendations of the Commissioners of Prisons for the year 1882, who say, page 7— The objects we desire to keep primarily in view are, First. To provide the prisoners with such employment as will interest and develops their intelligence; Secondly. To avoid concentrating too large a proportion of the labour of prisoners on one trade, and especially to diminish the amount of mat making throughout the Kingdom; Thirdly. To work for Government Departments as much as possible in preference to working for private employers, he can explain the cause of so great an increase?


, in reply, said, there were, on the whole, the same number of persons employed in prisons in the making of mats as in 1881. There had been some changes; but the total number had not been, increased.