HC Deb 14 August 1890 vol 348 cc980-1
MR. J. ROWLANDS (on behalf of Mr. CAUSTON)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact contained in the Prisons Report for 1888-9, that Messrs. Goodacre and Sons, of Plaistow and Glemsford, paid the Government for prison labour for making mats at Stafford Prison the sum of £216 7s. 4d., being less than £2 per annum each for the labour of 117 prisoners; and whether, in view of the clause in the Prisons Act, which states that there is to be no undue prison competition with any particular trade or industry, he will give the House an assurance that the grievance complained of will be remedied?


The comparatively small sum quoted as paid by Messrs. Goodacre is explained by the fact that this firm worked its looms for only a part of the year. In the following year the amount earned by 119 prisoners was £477 7s. 6d. The prison mat-making has been repeatedly reduced, and is being still further reduced. The daily average number of prisoners engaged in mat-making was last year 1,218, and for the first threee months of the current year 1,064. It would be still further reduced if any other suitable labour could be suggested.