HC Deb 26 April 1956 vol 551 cc1943-4
2. Mr. Paton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the prices of commodities manufactured in prison workshops for sale to the public are computed.

Major Lloyd-George

Articles are not normally manufactured in prison workshops for direct sale to the public. A small number of gymnasium mats have been sold to wholesalers for resale to the public. The price of these articles is fixed so that it will not, so far as can be ascertained, undercut prices charged for similar articles by outside manufacturers.

Mr. Paton

Is the Home Secretary aware that I do not want in any way to hamper the constructive work being done in prison workshops, but there have been complaints from one or two areas that some of the products made in prison workshops have been sold at uneconomic prices to the detriment of products made, for instance, in workshops for the blind? Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman see that the prison products are sold at properly competitive prices?

Major Lloyd-George

I will certainly consider that suggestion. A large number of the products made in prisons are sold to Government Departments. We do our best to see that the costs that we add to the cost of manufacture bear some relation to costs outside, but I will look into the matter.

Mr. Hyde

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend draw the attention of the public to the existence of these commodities which are available? Is he aware that, owing to his courtesy, I recently visited Wandsworth Prison, where I gather there is a considerable difficulty in disposing of these products to the public?

Major Lloyd-George

I will consider my hon. Friend's suggestion.