§ MR. QUILTER (Suffolk, Sudbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any prison labour is let out by tender for any sort of manufacture except mat making; and can he state in what prisons labour is let out by tender for mat making; the number of hands employed under tender in those prisons; the names of the contractors for labour in such prisons; and for how long each contractor has hired labour in the prison or prisons?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
The answer to the hon. Member's first question is that it is true that in some prisons contractors undertake to furnish materials to the prison authorities for the making of certain articles other than mats, and to take the products at a certain agreed price. This work, however, is all done in the prison, and under the supervision of prison officers. As to the hon. Member's second question, I cannot, in the interest of the Public Service, give any information beyond that which is already given to Parliament in the annual Reports of the Prison Commissioners in accordance with the Prison Act of 1877.
§ MR. QUILTER
I beg to give notice that, in consequence of the unsatisfactory answer of the right hon. Gentleman, I shall repeat the question again in some form or another until I get a satisfactory answer.
§ MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)
Is it not true that these mats are sold in competition with mats manufactured outside at considerably lower prices than they can be produced by outside makers?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
The Commissioners have nothing to do with the sale of the mats.