HC Deb 20 March 1963 vol 674 cc498-515

Fourth Resolution read a Second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.

8.40 p.m.

Miss Alice Bacon (Leeds, South-East)

We have very little time—about fifty minutes—to deal with this important subject. I hope that, in the very near future, the House of Commons will be enabled to have a full day's debate on what is an extremely important subject and one which worries many people.

The Vote which is now before us raises many matters about which we could speak—for example, buildings, food, medical services, work, punishment, the segregation of prisoners into different types, young prisoners, borstals, the treatment of women, and, of course, the whole of the prison system and the way in which we treat criminals. I shall, however, be brief because I know that the Minister wishes to speak and some of my hon. Friends, in particular my hon. Friend the Member for Durham (Mr. Grey), who has recently visited Durham Prison, would like the opportunity to say a few words.

I remember visiting Durham Prison with my hon. Friend some time ago, when I went particularly to see the girls who were in the borstal attached to the prison. I am pleased to know that what I then regarded as a scandal—that borstal girls were in the same building as the male prisoners—has now come to an end. I understand that the borstal girls are now elsewhere in the country.

If I do not mention various items contained in the Supplementary Estimate, the reason is not that I consider them to be unimportant but that I wish to be brief. I have visited several prisons. One of the things that most people find on visiting prisons is the immense variation in conditions—in the case of women's prisons, for example, the variations as between Holloway, on the one hand, with its old building, and, on the other hand, an open prison like Askham Grange.

I shall mention only two or three matters. First, buildings and staff are mentioned in the Supplementary Estimate. These aspects are particularly important in the local prisons where the overcrowding is extremely bad. It is much worse than in the other prisons, because the governor of a local prison cannot say, "We do not have room for you" as the prisoners come in from the courts. He has to make room for them. The regional and the central training prisons, on the other hand, take the prisoners as they come from the local prisons.

I believe that we could relieve the overcrowding in the local prisons if we could take out of those prisons the young prisoners and those on remand. That means that we must get ahead with the building of remand centres. In the section of the Vote dealing with buildings, I see that £790,000 less than expected has been spent because the building programme has not gone ahead as quickly as was hoped. That may be the reason why we have only one remand centre.

We all remember that in April, 1961, the former Home Secretary, now First Secretary of State, said that we would soon have many more remand centres. We have only one at present, and because of the shortage of staff in that one, and because of the shortage of teachers for the younger boys, some of the boys are shut up alone for fifteen or sixteen hours a day and sometimes more. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman when he anticipates that we shall have more remand centres, because I believe that it is only through having more remand centres that we shall relieve the overcrowding in some of the local prisons.

There is an item here about medicines. I was very pleased to hear recently that the right hon. Gentleman agreed to set up a Committee to bring forth a report about the whole of the prison medical system. I get a lot of letters from prisoners. Apart from letters in which prisoners point out that they did not commit the crimes for which they are in prison, I think the largest number of letters I get from prisoners are complaints about the medical services, and I hope, therefore, that the Committee which is sitting will not be too long before it produces its report. I was pleased to hear the right hon. Gentleman say last week that women in Holloway and other women's prisons were not compelled to take the V.D. test, but I hope that it will be made clear to them that they can refuse this test and not just have to object on their own without knowing what their full rights are.

Medicines, of course, include drugs. I feel very strongly that in this day and age when we have so many drugs it is a scandal that we should see in the Report of the Prison Commissioners that such things as straitjackets are still used in our prisons. I should have thought, for instance, that if anybody should be in a state of hysteria he could be more easily dealt with by modern drugs than by being put in a padded cell or in a straitjacket.

There is an item for public utilities and cleaning. I think that one of the worst features of our worst prisons is the degradation which prison life, and particularly the toilet facilities, brings to a great many of the prisoners. I do not know whether it is true or not—I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to say—but I saw in a newspaper article about the new borstal which has been built and is now open in Bulwood in Essex, an article written by someone who visited the borstal, that the toilet facilities there leave a great deal to be desired and that, in particular, there are no toilet facilities for use by the girls and young women at night time. I have not yet visited that borstal, but I hope to do so in the very near future.

There is another point I must raise. I see there is an additional requirement for mail bag canvas and other materials for the manufacture of goods for other Government Departments. When are we going to get rid of mail bag sewing by hand in our prisons? Surely there are many better things which could be done by our prisoners in occupying their time than sewing mail bags by hand. It must be the most soul-destroying thing, and surely does not fit a man to go out into life.

While I am on the question of work, I think that the women in our prisons work far harder than the men, because there always seems to be work for the women prisoners to do. I hope that we shall look at the whole question of jam-making which goes on and which is very useful. Nevertheless, I think that the women in Holloway probably have to carry heavier weights than is good for them.

I want to mention only one other thing and I hope that I shall keep in order in mentioning it. I see an item about pay and allowances and other staff expenses, and that would affect the whole of prison welfare and some of the aftercare. We have seen in the newspapers today photographs of men who have been serving long-term sentences of preventive detention leaving prison, and anyone who has seen those photographs will agree that they did not see any great jubilation on the faces of the men being released. There was just absolute bewilderment because the most frightening part of a long-term sentence is the day of release. I receive many letters—and I have no doubt other hon. Members do too—from prisoners saying how absolutely frightened they are to face the outside world.

I have always been interested in the hostel scheme, which I have seen working at Wakefield and Askham Grange, by which long-term prisoners, in the last few months of their sentences, are allowed to go out to work and return to the prison at night. This is of inestimable value. I have seen women prisoners travelling on their bicycles a few miles to York where they work in the chocolate factories. On their release many of them continue to work in those factories and to live in York. This is a valuable scheme which was begun a few years ago.

The Dartmoor reconviction rate is twice as high among those who are not in the hostel scheme as it is among those who have gone through it. We have all heard of the tragic case which, I understand, will be raised by other hon. Members, of George Thatcher, who was participating in the hostel scheme at the time when he committed a murder. Maybe he was not the type of person to have been selected for the hostel scheme. I do not know. Maybe there should be a stricter watch and supervision over the free time of prisoners who are participating in the scheme. But what I should not like to see is any attempt to bring the scheme to an end, for I believe that it has worked well in easing the problems facing long-term prisoners when they are released. It has been a valuable scheme and I hope that nothing will be done to destroy its value.

Mr. Charles Loughlin (Gloucestershire, West)

Thatcher was to have been released.

Miss Bacon

He would have been released in two or three months. In this case perhaps it is not a question of the hostel scheme having failed but a question of the whole of the prison system being at fault in that a man had been in prison for so many years but was coming out no better than when he went in. I agree that this was a tragic happening. Unfortunately, time does not permit me to go into many of these matters in detail and that is why I hope that we shall have a full debate on another occasion when we shall be able to discuss these matters at length.

8.54 p.m.

Mr. Edward Gardner (Billericay)

This is, as the hon. Lady the Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon) said, undoubtedly a very important subject. I listened with interest to her remarks, particularly when she described the degradation of the toilet facilities in prisons. The most inexpensive yet most effective way of reforming our prisoners and helping those who are incarcerated in prison as a punishment would be to put in proper lavatorial facilities. I cannot see any reason in this day and age why a person who is being punished by the State must be forcibly subjected—because there is no alternative—to the habits of an animal. The "slopping" system should go as quickly as possible.

While I have said that this would be a comparatively inexpensive, although essential reform, I am not one of those who would advocate enormous expenditure on our prisons now. I am not complacent, but I am content with the level of expenditure on our prisons at the moment. That expenditure is about £5 million a year on building and alterations and the £26 million scheme started in 1959 is taking about £4½ million a year.

We must analyse all this and be careful that we know the answers. We must know why our prisons are being filled up at the rate at which they are at the moment. I believe that one of the sources of crime is bad housing, and if there are to be priorities, as indeed there must always be priorities in these matters, I would rather see money spent on housing than on prisons.

I agree that there is discomfort in prisons. Of course, no one enjoys being in them. I concede without hesitation the harm that can be done by having a number of men, for example, sleeping together in the same cell. I concede also the humiliation and the oppression of mind caused by these conditions. But these are at the moment one of the elements of punishment. I think that it is very easy to become over-sentimental in these matters.

The reasons for sending a man or a woman to prison are many. Primarily, they fall into three categories. The first reason is to punish them, the second to deter others from doing the same, and the third—which I am not sure is not as important as any of the others—is to reform them so that when they come out they will become good subjects of society.

Mr. Victor Yates (Birmingham, Lady-wood)

Surely the modern conception of imprisonment is not primarily punishment but correction spiritually, morally and educationally?

Mr. Gardner

I agree. But I do not think that we should lose sight of the punitive element, and I think that the hon. Member will agree with me there. It is something that we cannot overlook. If we are to make our prisons as comfortable as home, and give the prisoners all the facilites that they could have outside, there will be little distinction between prison and the outside world except loss of freedom, which I agree is a very considerable thing.

One aspect of punishment that particularly interests me, and I am sure concerns the House as a whole, is the punishment of young girls. It is something which also particularly interests the hon. Lady the Member for Leeds, South-East. There has been an appalling increase in the crime rate among young women. I should call them young girls really, because the age group with which I am concerned is that between 14 and 17.

Since 1938 the crime rate in this age group has risen by nearly four times. In 1938 the number of young girls between 14 and 17 who committed offences was about 912; in 1961 the figure had risen to 3,305. If one compares this figure according to the number of offenders per 100,000 of the population, in 1938 it was 90 and in 1961 it was 310.

I mention this subject because it is essential when we consider the amount of money being spent on prisons and borstals that we keep these young girls in mind. It is essential that we should be satisfied that the very best is being done for them by deciding which particular form of treatment or punishment they should be given. It is essential that classifying centres—a very important step in the decision which is eventually taken about where a young girl should go—should be operated on the most effective and efficient basis. There is only one classifying centre for girls in the country at the moment and that is working at half-strength because of lack of staff.

The punishment given to a person, particularly to a young girl, is of paramount importance for the country's future. We all know the immense influence which women have upon society, and if these crime rate figures continue to grow and we are not careful, we shall get a criminal class of women whose influence on society might be profound. I urge upon my right hon. Friend the need when deciding upon priorities of expenditures on our prison and borstal system to deal with women criminals at the top of the list.

I am grateful to hon. Members for their patience in listening to the case I have attempted to make. I know that there are many other hon. Members who wish to add their quota to the debate. I conclude by hoping that this subject of young women criminals will achieve a very high place in the list of priorities.

9.2 p.m.

Mr. Charles Grey (Durham)

I hope that the hon. and learned Member for Billericay (Mr. Gardner) will forgive me if I do not follow him into that subject. I wish to deal with allegations which were made in the House on 12th March concerning Durham Prison. When the Home Secretary recently suggested that one or two hon. Members might visit a prison, I had no idea how soon it would be that I would take the opportunity of visiting that prison, although the circumstances surrounding my visit were very sad.

Perhaps I have been successful in catching your eye, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, because of a speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock). In all kindness and fairness to her, I have to say that I wish that she had mentioned her allegations to me before raising the subject in the House. It is an act of courtesy that when an hon. Member's constituency is involved the hon. Member wishing to raise the issue informs him of his intention to do so. My hon. Friend is a personal friend of mine, and I have no bitterness in my heart about her action, but if she had told me what she intended to say the harm which has been done might not have been caused.

I visited Durham Prison on Monday of this week. I met all types in the prison. I met the governor, the medical officers, the prison officers and the prisoners themselves. It took me three and a quarter hours to get in and out of that prison. I have never had such an exhausting time before.

I can assure the House that the allegations which were made on 12th March were absolutely untrue, and it is because they were untrue that I ask the Home Secretary to agree to a full-scale inquiry into them. All these allegations are connected with brutal treatment. There are some with which the right hon. Gentleman could deal at once.

It was alleged that five of the warders at Durham Prison were transferred from Liverpool Prison because of their part in the inquiry at that prison. That allegation was not true. Only one of the five warders who were moved to Durham Prison took part in the inquiry at Liverpool Prison. One went to Durham on compassionate grounds and the other four were sent there on promotion. To suggest that they were moved to one prison because they were responsible for some upheaval in another is definitely untrue and malicious.

Mrs. E. M. Braddock (Liverpool, Exchange)

I did not say that at all. I did not say that anybody was transferred because of any difficulty at Liverpool Prison. I said that I had discovered that there were five warders from Liverpool Prison at Durham Prison who had been involved in the inquiry at Liverpool Prison.

Mr. Grey

Only one was involved in that inquiry.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Robert Grimston)

I must interrupt the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Grey). Although I want to be as lenient as possible, I find it difficult to see to what item the hon. Member is relating his remarks. Perhaps he can help me.

Mr. Grey

My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon) has already widened the scope of the debate. We are here concerned with the recruitment of prison officers. If this kind of thing is to be said about prison officers, how are we to recruit them?

I am taking this matter up now because it is perhaps the only opportunity that I shall have of hearing from the Home Secretary whether there should be an inquiry into Durham Prison and all the aspects of prison life there concerning the governor, the medical officers, the prison officers, and the prisoners themselves. I think that there should be an inquiry in the interest of all concerned and of the country. A slur has been cast against this prison which, I believe, ought to be removed.

I have tried to put myself in order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and I promise that I shall not be too long, but there is another case that I should like to mention. If it is said that warders are brutal when they are not, how shall we be able to staff our prisons? If we allow them to be maligned, and if ex-prisoners are allowed, in Press interviews, to make all kinds of malicious statements and there is no means of countering the allegations, what position will the country be in when it wants to launch a campaign to recruit prison officers?

The position has been jeopardised by the accusations that have been made. There is not one statement that has been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange that can stand up to the truth. This is very unfair when we think of all the things that a prison officer tries to do inside a prison, in difficult circumstances.

There is another aspect of the matter. Is not this a sad reflection on every religious denomination in Durham? Ministers of every religious denomination visit and are in close contact with the prison. If we say that cruelty occurs in the prison, we are condemning these people. because they must obviously know about it.

In view of the malicious and outrageous statements which have been made, and of the fact that great resentment is felt by some of the prisoners in the prison, by the prison officers, by the medical officers, by the governor himself, and by people outside the prison, nothing short of an inquiry will satisfy. I hope that I shall be permitted to tell the House what happened on Monday night.

Within half an hour of a television interview, a person whose name I shall not mention—I dare not—rang me and said, "I was in Durham Prison. I am ashamed of what I did in the past, but now I have a decent job. I am working for a good employer, but he does not know my past, and I do not want him to know it". This man is now afraid that his future has been jeopardised.

I feel very strongly about this. I am grateful for being allowed to go rather wide in my remarks, but I felt that this was the only opportunity to make known the views of the Durham authorities and of some of the prisoners, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be in favour of a full-scale inquiry into the whole matter.

9.12 p.m.

Mr. John Wells (Maidstone)

I thank the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Grey) for his vindication of the prison service in his constituency. What he has said will be of real value to the prison officers throughout the service. This is a matter which has caused widespread distress among prison officers and people who wish the service well, and I think that the House and the country should be grateful to the hon. Gentleman.

I shall confine my remarks to Subheads C and H. Under Subhead C we see that there is to be an increase of 212 staff. I welcome this increase, but I hope that my right hon. Friend will write me a letter as soon as he can answering the nine and a half points which I raised in my speech last Tuesday and which he left unanswered and deal with this question of additional staff which is of great importance.

I said last Tuesday, and I repeat now, that promotion prospects for the staff are far too slow. Until there is a more attractive career structure for the uniformed grades they are bound to want to press, and quite rightly so, for all promotions to the non-uniformed grades to be from the lower grades.

With regard to the non-uniformed grades, it is essential that there should be mobility and an improved career structure there also. I believe that the new arrangements which the House approved last Tuesday will enable the Home Secretary to allow manoeuvreability and mobility between one branch of the prison service and another, and I hope that further changes within the prison service, and indeed the probation service, will further improve recruitment in the years ahead.

Dealing with Subhead H, the hon. Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon) rightly deplored the continued sewing of mail bags. As I said last Tuesday, this grave shortage of work in the prisons is extremely distressing. A discharged prisoner faces a crisis when he goes back to employment. If he has been spending his twenty-four hours a day in prison with a lack of work, he has formed a very unsatisfactory view of work. It is essential that we should do all we can to improve the real working conditions in prisons.

There are two requirements: first, more staff—and I welcome the increase under Subhead C—and, secondly, more realistic work. This can come only from the good offices of the Government and the trade unions. I therefore hope that my right hon. Friend will get closer to the trade unions in this matter of encouraging proper work in prisons. The hon. Lady deplored the sewing of mail bags by hand in prison, and so do I. But prisoners must be offered something relatively simple. I hope that the hon. Lady's condemnation of the jam factory in Holloway Prison was not coloured by the book which has been written by two young ladies who may not have been used to manual work. Conditions in Holloway may have been an eye-opener to them.

Item (3) of Subhead H is in respect of Additional requirements for mailbag canvas and other materials for manufacture of goods for other Government Departments and for prison use. I hope that the other Government Departments will give a proper accounting for the raw materials that the Prison Commissioners buy for them and that the matter will be put upon a proper commercial basis. I notice that the former Assistant Postmaster-General, who is now at the Home Office, is present. I hope that the Post Office has not been getting its mailbags on the cheap in the past.

I notice that in Item (1)—"Farm Supplies"—there is apparently a decreased provision of £10,000. This does not surprise me, because the farming activities of the Prison Commissioners have been extensive and successful. I hope that my right hon. Friend will do all he can to improve recruiting, and also work conditions in prisons.

9.17 p.m.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Henry Brooke)

I am reluctant to rise now, but there are only 12 minutes remaining, and I want to take the opportunity of answering as many questions as possible.

In reply to the hon. Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon), I shall always welcome opportunities for debating prisons and the prison service in Parliament. It is a great responsibility, not only for the Home Secretary but for every one of us, that we have 30,000 people in detention. We should never forget them. We must always be thinking how we can improve the prison system not only in its deterrent but in its reformative aspect.

One of the necessary things is to recruit more prison staff and good prison staff. I am glad to say, in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Maid-stone (Mr. J. Wells), that the strength of prison officer staff increased by no less than 550 last year, thanks to excellent recruitment, We now have two training centres open. This improved recruiting is continuing in the current year, and it is that, together with the vigorous building programme on which we are engaged, which will do more than anything else to put right some of the admitted shortcomings in our prisons now, especially with regard to work.

I set more store by providing prisoners with a full week of work than by almost anything else, but we cannot do that so long as we have to run a number of our prisons on a one-shift system of prison officers, and we cannot do it until we have enough workshop space. Hon. Members mentioned the question of mailbag sewing by hand. This is dreary and monotonous work, but it is, nevertheless, rather popular work in some prisons, because the prisoners sit close to each other on a bench and they can talk. They prefer that to working on machines by themselves, when they cannot chat to their neighbours. I am not saying that it is a good thing to have prisoners sewing mailbags by hand, but, until we have more workshop space and room for more machines, this kind of thing must continue.

I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Maid-stone, whose speech I very much appreciated, that I set great store by the work of my Advisory Council on Employment for Prisoners under the chairmanship of Sir Wilfrid Anson, who takes a great interest in the subject. I ask my hon. Friend to believe that the real difficulty at present is not the shortage of work for prisoners to do, but the shortage of space in which they can do it.

The hon. Lady the Member for Leeds, South-East asked about the building of remand centres. I am glad to say that in addition to the Ashford remand centre which is open, and which I have visited, we have six remand centres under construction and two more out for tender, so that we have a programme of nine altogether which will be coming into operation from next year onwards.

The hon. Lady referred to the hostel scheme. A case which is now sub judice brought the hostel scheme into prominence. Neither I nor any hon. Member can say anything about that case. But I wish to impress on the House that I set great store by the hostel system. I do not think that we should be deterred from carrying on with it. We should be seeking to perfect it all the time and if defects become apparent, we should seek to put those defects right.

The hostel scheme operates for men sentenced to terms of imprisonment of more than four years. These people will find it very difficult to stand on their own feet when they come out of prison unless they have some transitional experience. On a certain date they will come out of prison and be free to go straight or to commit crime and nobody can exercise control over them. The idea of the hostel system is that between six months and nine months before the date when, after many years in prison, they will be released, they shall do work for outside employers but live in a hostel. They are subjected thereby to far closer after-care than prisoners discharged in the normal way. I am glad to say that of the prisoners who came out of hostels up to 31st December, 1961, 86 per cent. had not been reconvicted by the end of 1962. I am not saying that is a perfect record, but I am sure that the facts show this to be an experiment which we should not set aside.

The hon. Member for Leeds, South-East asked about the use of the restraint jacket. That matter was dealt with by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) in reply to an Adjournment debate recently. The essential point is that we cannot use sedatives to restrain prisoners without their consent. This situation does not arise in respect of mental hospitals, which deal with statutory patients. There, the position is quite different. I can assure the hon. Lady that restraint jackets are used as little as possible.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Gardner) asked whether we could get rid of the slopping-out system as quickly as possible. I wish that we could. But the problem is a practical one. It would be quite impossible to provide water closets in the cells in the old prisons. The point of policy was carefully considered when the new prison building programme began. But it was decided not to provide lavatories in the cells in the new prisons. one reason being that it did not seem desirable to provide them in rooms to be used throughout their sentence by prisoners as bedrooms. Nobody wants to sleep in water closets.

I understand that the Swedes put water closets in the cells in some of their new prisons and decided to take them out again as a result of experience. We certainly are not accepting the slopping-out system as something which is ideal and which should remain for all time. In many ways it is disgusting, but there are real practical difficulties in finding a better alternative.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Billericay also referred to crime among young girls. Crime among young girls, although it has greatly increased, is far less than crime among young boys of a comparable age. I think that my hon. and learned Friend had in mind, when he spoke of classifying arrangements, classifying arrangements for approved schools rather than for prisons. It is my policy to keep girls under 21 out of prison altogether. That is one reason why we have opened a detention centre at Moor Court, in Staffordshire. Our reward for that was that we were immediately attacked in the Press on the ground that detention centres are not suitable for girls, but they are more suitable than prisons. I hope that I shall have the support of the House for this policy.

I turn to the speech of the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Grey). I should like to say how much I appreciate his action in having gone to visit the prison in his constituency immediately after the reference was made to it in this House last week. I repeat that if hon. Members will visit prisons when they have an opportunity and, if they think fit, let me know afterwards—formally or informally—the impression that the prisons make on them, they will be performing a public service, not just to me but to the prison service. I am quite sure that it is right that there should be as many visits as possible by responsible people and I and other Home Office Ministers are seeking to act in that way.

The hon. Member mentioned the speech of the hon. Lady the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock). I noticed her remark last week saying that there were five prison officers at Durham who had been involved in an inquiry concerning Liverpool Prison and who were now in Durham Prison. I have taken some pains to go into the facts. The facts are that there are nine prison officers at Durham Prison who, at one time or another, served at Liverpool. Of those nine, live were not at Liverpool at the time of the events which were the subject of the inquiry and not one of the other four was among the prison officers referred to in the Liverpool inquiry.

I certainly think that the allegations which have been made from various quarters about events in Durham Prison deserve investigation. Durham is not a prison from which complaints and adverse reports have been coming in; there is no reason to think that it has a bad record of any sort. But serious allegations have been made and I have decided that an inquiry into these allegations is necessary.

I have considered what form that inquiry should take, because I take the hon. Member's point that it should not be carried out by the Prison Commissioners and I have reached this decision: I am going to act in accordance with Rule 194 of the Prison Rules. I am calling on the visiting committee of Durham Prison—as the House knows, a visiting committee is an independent committee of justices, quite independent of the prison, the Prison Commissioners and the Home Secretary—to arrange for an inquiry to be held and a report to be made to me. When I receive that report I shall, naturally, con- sider whether it is a report which t can publish.

I was anxious to have the opportunity of making that statement tonight because I do not think that allegations of this sort should be bandied about and certainly not made on television without their being taken seriously and without a full and proper inquiry being made by independent people into the facts underlying them.

Meanwhile, may my last words be that I would beg nobody lightly to say anything which will cast slurs on the prison service as a whole. No doubt there are "bad eggs" in the prison service—there are "bad eggs" wherever one looks—but, in general, the prison service consists of devoted people who are doing their very best according to their lights. We ought to be thankful that there are more and more men who are willing—

It being half-past Nine o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Standing Order No. 16 (Business of Supply), to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Resolution under consideration.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution, put and agreed to.

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith, with respect to each of the remaining Resolutions reported from the Committee of Supply but not yet agreed to by the House, the Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in that Resolution:—

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Fifth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Sixth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Seventh Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Eighth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Ninth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Tenth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Eleventh Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Twelfth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Thirteenth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Fourteenth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Fifteenth Resolution,

put and agreed to.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their Sixteenth Resolution.

put and agreed to.

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith, with respect to each Resolution come to by the Committee of Supply and not yet agreed to by the House, the Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in that Resolution:—