HC Deb 10 May 1894 vol 24 cc766-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can state to what extent brushes made in German prisons are imported to and sold in this country, and whether articles made in the prisons of this country are to any, and what, extent exported to foreign countries, and whether they are marked as prison made; and, if he cannot give the figures of such imports, if he can cause inquiry to be made and then furnish to this House the result of such inquiry?


I am unable to add anything to the answers which I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham on the 23rd of last month, and to the hon. Member for the Central Division of Sheffield on the 4th of the present month. The Board of Trade are still in communication with the Foreign Office on the subject. The German Ministries of Commerce and Industry and of the Interior have, I understand, decided to institute inquiries into the effects of prison labour on industry, and by my directions a letter has been addressed to the Foreign Office asking that any information which can be obtained in Germany with reference to such inquiries as may be instituted there shall at once be communicated to the Board of Trade. With reference to that part of the hon. Member's question which refers to the prisons of this country, there is nothing to prevent the export of brushes, mats, &c, made in the prisons of the United Kingdom; but I have no information at present as to whether this is done, and, if so, to what extent.