HC Deb 17 February 1916 vol 80 c218

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, considering the decrease in crime and consequent decline in prison population, any and what steps are being taken to utilise the gaols of the country for prisoners of war and interned aliens, and so save the expense of the providing and upkeep of new and separate establishments?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

Seven prisons, and wings of two others, have been temporarily closed and lent to the War Office for use as detention barracks for military prisoners. The closing of five others is under consideration, but they do not afford suitable accommodation for prisoners of war, who cannot be imprisoned as criminals, but can he confined only so far as is necessary for safe keeping.