HC Deb 18 July 1929 vol 230 cc600-1
13. Mr. DAY

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that prisoners, handcuffed and chained together, are frequently transported between Lewes Prison and Brighton by railway, either for their trial or during their trial, in the? late morning and afternoon; and will he consider altering these arrangements so that these prisoners are transported for this short distance by road conveyance?


The prisoners in question are those who are being conveyed from Portsmouth Prison to Lewes Assizes. When this journey is made by rail, it involves a change at Brighton Station. I am considering whether in future, when any considerable number of prisoners have to be conveyed, arrangements can be made to take them by motor conveyances directly from Portsmouth to Lewes.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that this mediaeval system of transport, which prevails all over the country, is not only degrading but should be abolished altogether?


I am considering the whole question of the conveyance of prisoners, but am not in a position to make a statement.


Is it not the commission of the offence which is degrading, and not the mode of conveyance?

28. Mr. LANG

asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that prisoners conveyed to Victoria Station, Manchester, for transport elsewhere are marched across the station chained together; and will he consider the advisability of abolishing the use of chains?


When a number of prisoners have to be conveyed together it is impossible for the prison authorities to secure their safe custody without some method of linking the members of the party together, but every effort is always made to avoid exposing prisoners to public humiliation, and as it is found that at the rail-way station mentioned the transference of prisoners to the train cannot be effected without attracting a good deal of public attention the Prison Commissioners are having inquiry made as to the possibility of avoiding railway journeys for the larger parties of prisoners by a greater use of motor conveyances.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that this is the utmost rigor of the law recommended by the hon. Member for Shore-ditch (Mr. Thurtle)?