HC Deb 14 June 1956 vol 554 cc747-8
26. Mr. Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve the situation revealed at the recent annual conference of prison officers in regard to overcrowding, shortage of staff, and lack of suitable work for prisoners in local prisons.

Major Lloyd-George

I have not received any representations from the Prison Officers' Association since the conference to which my hon. Friend refers, but I will give the most careful consideration to any proposals they may make. I am only too well aware of the existence of these long-standing and intractable problems and I intend to continue to make every effort to mitigate them.

Mr. Hyde

Does my right hon. and gallant Friend not agree that the problem is not so much one of conditions of pay in the prison service as one of making the job of the average prison officer more constructive and less negative in practice and, consequently, more rewarding morally? In approaching this difficult question, will he give further consideration to encouraging and stimulating that sense of pride which prison officers should feel in their work, but which it is by no means certain they all do feel?

Major Lloyd-George

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend that it is most important for prison officers to have every pride in their work. Under present circumstances, prison officers can be regarded as social workers. We have done a great deal in this regard, certainly since the war, and we shall continue to do so in order that what my hon. Friend has in mind shall come about.

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