HC Deb 07 March 1957 vol 566 c524
23. Mr. Redhead

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the latest available figures of the approved establishment of prison officer grades in Her Majesty's prisons and the number actually in post.

Mr. Simon

On 4th March the total staff, men and women, of prisons was 3,795 against an approved establishment of 3,977. These figures do not include the staffs of borstals and detention centres. Auxiliary officers under training are also excluded.

Mr. Redhead

Whilst appreciating that the figures now given show an appreciable improvement in the staffing conditions, may I ask if the hon. and learned Gentleman does not agree that the continuing condition of staff shortage is minimising the possibilities of improvements which are requisite in the prison service? Will he not agree that it is time that an active and independent review was undertaken of the methods of recruitment, the attractiveness of the service, its competency and so on?

Mr. Simon

The answer to the first part of the supplementary question is, Yes, Sir, and the answer to the second part is that my right hon. Friend has this matter actively under consideration.