§ MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the inmates of convict prisons in the United Kingdom are precluded from the production of goods which can be sold to the public; and whether he will consider the desirability of allowing such occupation in prisons as will be useful employment to the inmates.
§ * Mr. GLADSTONE
There is no rule or practice which forbids the production by prisoners of goods which can be sold to the public; but, as a matter of fact, prison labour in convict and in local prisons is employed almost entirely where it is not required for prison service, building, etc., on the fulfilment of orders received from the various Government Departments. The supply of such orders is, generally speaking, sufficient to ensure the employment of prisoners on occupations which are both useful and interesting, and calculated, not only to instil the habit of work, but to provide (where the sentence is sufficiently long to admit of effective instruction) a means of gaining a livelihood on discharge.