HC Deb 18 April 1957 vol 568 cc2082-3
18. Sir L. Plummer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time trained prison welfare officers are employed in Her Majesty's prisons.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. J. E. S. Simon)

Four prison welfare officers of the type recommended by the Maxwell Committee are in post, and two more posts have been advertised.

Sir L. Plummer

I presume that the Under-Secretary of State appreciates that this is an inadequate staff for the job that has to be done. May I ask whether his right hon. Friend, in reviewing prison staff pay generally, is also considering increasing the pay of welfare officers so that the best types may be employed for this important work?

Mr. Simon

The hon. Member will remember that in the recent prison debate I dealt with the difficulty mentioned in the first part of his supplementary question. The scheme is in the nature of a pilot scheme at the moment and we want to see how it goes before deciding the way it will be further extended. With regard to the second part, pay and conditions of work of prison officers are under review by a Departmental Committee.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

In deciding whether the pilot scheme is a success, can the Under-Secretary of State assure us that he will not be unduly influenced by representations from the less progressive discharged prisoners' aid societies?

Mr. Simon

My right hon. Friend is anxious to see this scheme made a success.