HC Deb 01 February 1962 vol 652 cc1263-4
10. Mr. Holland

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made in recruiting for the prison service.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Good progress is being made and we trust it will continue. There were 9,200 applicants for posts in the prison officer grades in 1961, compared with 4,438 in 1960. The national advertising campaign which ended last December has so far produced 3,254. It is too early to say how many trained officers will result from these applications.

The last training class at Wakefield produced 110 trained officers, compared with 41 from the corresponding class last year. A second training school is being set up in Falfield, in Gloucestershire, to help Wakefield to cope with the increased number of recruits selected for final training.

Mr. Holland

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for a more encouraging reply than I expected. Does he consider that the present measures will continue to ensure an adequate rate of recruitment, not only to overcome the prison staffing shortage, but also to meet the requirements of the expansion of prison accommodation that is under way?

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

We have very much in mind not only the need to man the new prisons as they come in, but also the effect of the prospective introduction of an 11-day working fortnight instead of the 12-day fortnight as at present. All these things will require more manpower, and we are very glad that increased manpower seems to be coming forward.