HC Deb 09 March 1886 vol 303 cc301-2
MR. HOWARD SPENSLEY (Finsbury, Central)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reference to his letter to the Vestry Clerk of Clerkenwell, on the subject of the demolition of the two prisons of Clerkenwell and Coldbath Fields, Whether, as the matter in the present state of the labour market is pressing, he will endeavour to make a statement of his decision at an early date to the House, or will fix a day to receive a deputation from that Vestry?


(who replied) said: My hon. Friend appears to think that these prisons are at the disposal of the Secretary of State, and that be has only to order them to be pulled down. This is not the case. His first duty was to re-convey them to the county authorities. A few days ago he received their final refusal. It is now his business to sell them on the best terms he can; and the statute prescribes what shall be done with the proceeds. Negotiations for their sale are now proceeding. Considering the many interests involved, he cannot precipitate his action; but he will toll my hon. Friend when the sale is effected.