§ MR. COBB (Rugby, S.E., Warwick)
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Islington, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that many assistant prison warders who have been in the service for 10 years and upwards have not been promoted; and whether he is prepared to alter the system so that seniority of service throughout all the prisons shall count, or that an assistant warder shall be promoted to warder after a certain number of years' service?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH, Fife, E.)
It is true that there is, and has been, a block in promotion, due to the reduction of the number of prisoners. To meet this the maximum pay of assistant warders was increased in 1891 to an amount which, in the convict prisons, brings it very near what was, till then, the pay of warders. In local prisons the minimum pay was also increased, and, besides this, the assistant warders were given free quarters or a sum per annum instead thereof, and other advantages which brought their emoluments above what had previously been those of warders. It would not be to the advantage of the assistant warders to fill vacancies in warder's rank by transferring an assistant warder from a perhaps distant prison. They would be at much expense, and would, in some cases, lose useful connections or employment for their children, and the increase of pay is very small.