HC Deb 27 August 1895 vol 36 cc895-6
MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, whether a remonstrance has been addressed by the Government to Foreign Powers, against the practice of sending brushes and other articles made in prisons to this country; whether there is a considerable manufacture of carpets in prisons in India, and whether this manufacture is fostered and encouraged by the Government, and what the annual value of the carpets so made is; whether these carpets are freely exported to European countries; and, whether it is the intention of the Government to suppress this competition with free labour in this important Trade?


The manufacture of carpets in prisons in India has for some years past been sanctioned by the Government of India, but there are no statistics to show to what extent the manufacture is now carried on, what the value of the carpets so made is, or the number exported to European countries. An inquiry can be made of the Government of India on these points if the hon. Gentleman wishes it. In 1885 the Secretary of State sent instructions to the Government of India that gaol manufactures should, as far as possible, be confined to articles adapted for use by other public departments; but he added— It is not, of course, intended to preclude gaols from special industries, such as carpet-making, which have been found suitable as a means of employing convict labour, but for which there is practically no market in the department of Government. ["Hear, hear!"].


asked, whether the noble Lord would kindly mention one or two of the other articles still made in Indian gaols and exported to foreign countries, and would furnish a return on the subject?


said, that if the hon. Gentleman would specify the articles with respect to which he desired information, he would make inquiries and see whether he could furnish the return asked for. ["Hear, hear!"].