HC Deb 22 February 1951 vol 484 cc1438-9
23. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken, as a result of the recent inter-Departmental discussions, to make more efficient use of prison labour.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

As a result of the inter-Departmental discussions, a directive was issued to the purchasing Departments which should ensure that the prisons, together with other non-profit making institutions, receive a due proportion of Government orders, and that they are given the opportunity to manufacture the widest possible range of the requirements of the Departments. The Prison Commissioners are now in touch with a number of those Departments in the hope of obtaining orders, which will result in an increased use of the existing prison workshops and possibly also in the opening of workshops for new industries, but it is too early to assess the results of these discussions.

Mr. Dodds

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the concern caused by the information that it takes an able-bodied resident two days to sew one mail bag? Could not this be speeded up?

Mr. Ede

I do not know where the hon. Gentleman got that information, but it is quite untrue.

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman obtain a report on this subject from Soviet Russia, whose experience in this regard is so much wider than ours?

Mr. George Jeger

Does this mean that inmates of prisons may in future be paid such wages as will enable them to keep up their National Insurance contributions?

Mr. Ede

No. Sir.

Back to
Forward to