§ MR. QUILTER (Suffolk, Sudbury)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will inform the House to what extent cocoanut mats and matting are being made in Irish prisons for sale; and whether he is aware that such competition with free labour has been discontinued in England in deference to the urgent representations of those engaged in the trades in the Sudbury Division and elsewhere, supported by the Parliamentary Committee of the English Trades Unions?
MR. J. MORLEY
Cocoanut-fibre mats and matting are manufactured to a limited extent in eight Irish prisons. The total sales in the year ended March 31 last amounted to £951 4s. 9d. The General Prisons Board are informed that there are no free mat-makers in Ireland, 27 and consequently the competition with free labour referred to in the question does not exist in Ireland. On the contrary, the Board believe that the discontinuance of the mat-making industry in Irish prisons would be a cause of inconvenience and loss to the Irish public and traders.