HC Deb 29 March 1956 vol 550 cc2349-50
44. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in Her Majesty's prisons are at present engaged on making mailbags; and how many are so employed in Manchester, Winson Green, Birmingham, Pentonville, and Wandsworth prisons, respectively.

Major Lloyd-George

On 21st March this year 3,065 prisoners were employed on making or repairing mailbags. Of these 135 were at Manchester, 176 at Birmingham, 111 at Pentonville and 291 at Wandsworth.

Mr. Yates

Would the Home Secretary not consider that this work is soul-destroying, and that in other countries alternative work with plastics is provided for prisoners? Will he consider taking some action to reduce the very serious amount of soul-destroying work given to the prisoners?

Major Lloyd-George

I agree entirely with the hon. Gentleman that it is important that we should not have soul-destroying work when there are other varieties of work, as there are. I am watching the matter the whole time, for I am anxious to do anything I can to see that work of as interesting nature as possible is given.