§ MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he will lay upon the Table of the House a Return of the prices paid by contractors for prison labour for mat making?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I am afraid I must decline to comply with this request. The Prison Authorities entertain strong objection to publishing such details. Moreover, the figures, if published, would be useless for purposes of comparison, as the payments are made on a different footing to those in the open market, special arrangements being made with respect to the cost of carriage, the labour being of an inferior kind, and the cost of wasted material having to be taken into account.