§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that ship cork fenders, made by prisoners in Durham Gaol, are being sold to firms outside at a price much below (2d. as against 2½d. per pound) what they can be 695 made outside by the blind people engaged in this work; and, if so, whether it is his intention to take any action likely to minimise this competition and so enable the blind to make a living at this trade. The hon. Member explained that 2d. represented the retail price and 2½d. the net cost.
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
The manufacture of ship fenders for private customers is carried on to a small extent only in prisons, and the prison authorities regulate prices, so far as possible, so as to avoid interference with the outside market. I have no information as to the manufacture of these fenders by blind people, but as I have ahead informed my hon. friend privately, I shall be happy to consider, and if possible to remedy, any cases of hardship to them which may arise in the manner suggested, if he will kindly bring the particulars to my notice.