HC Deb 07 March 1957 vol 566 cc524-6
24 and 25. Mr. Hale

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the period of training provided for the qualification of an assistant-governor of a prison at the Imperial Training School at Wakefield or at any other such institution;

(2) what is the nature of the training provided at the training schools for the qualification of an assistant-governor of a prison.

Mr. Simon

I will, with permission, answer Question No. 24 and Question No. 25 together.

Mr. Hale

On a point of order. As I tabled two Questions, is it in order to put two points to the Joint Under-Secretary? If it is a matter of giving my permission for the Questions to be answered together, I do so most unwillingly.

Mr. Simon

I hope that the hon. Member will find that I have, in fact, answered both Questions.

The training of assistant governors is described in the Commissioners' Annual Report, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. Briefly, the course at Wakefield varies from six weeks to six months, according to the type of entrant. All courses include instruction in prison administration and an introduction to case work.

Mr. Hale

With permission, I will now put two supplementaries together. Is it not a fact that on occasion this course has been limited to three weeks, and is it not a fact that, virtually speaking, it has been limited to the giving of lectures on organisation and control and so on? Whilst appreciating the difficulties of the Home Office and the lack of accommodation, is not one of the most important things the provision of an effective system of training for high executive officers in prisons so that we have the very best type available in the prison service?

Mr. Simon

I entirely agree with the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. This is, of course, a vital sector of prison administration. The length of the course has been progressively increased. I am not sure whether it was at any time three weeks, but it has been increased during recent months.

27. Sir L. Plummer

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officers of governor and assistant-governor grade there are at Her Majesty's Prison. Pentonville.

Mr. Simon

Two, Sir.

Sir L. Plummer

As my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) has already asked my supplementary question, perhaps we may continue with Question No. 28.

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