HL Deb 24 August 1835 vol 30 cc870-1

The Duke of Richmond moved that their Lordships do agree with the Amendments of the Commons in the Prison Discipline Bill.

The Marquess of Salisbury

complained that, as the Bill now stood, the Bridewell Hospital was improperly subjected to its jurisdiction, and he pressed the noble Viscount at the head of the Government for a promise to bring in a Bill early next Session to remedy this error. He said, that he felt an interest in the question, only as one of the Governors of Bridewell, and he believed that the government of the place had not been made a subject of censure. He believed that the noble Lord now at the head of the Home Department had promised the noble Duke that this alteration should be made in the present Bill, yet it had gone through the Commons without the alteration. Under these circumstances he pressed the matter on the attention of the noble Viscount.

The Duke of Richmond

said, that this Bill could not be altered in the respect desired by his noble Friend, because, if it were, other persons, governors of particular prisons, as for instance the governors of the City prisons, would apply for a like exemption. The City prisons were known to be among the worst managed in the empire, and if such an alteration were to take place with regard to them, there would be an end to the utility of the Bill. He believed his noble Friend was right in saying that Bridewell was well governed, but the object of the Bill was to introduce one uniform system of prison discipline; and he did not see how Bridewell was to be exempted from that uniformity of system which was to be enforced with regard to all the rest. It was true that the noble Lord in the other House had made the promise stated; but afterwards, when the full force of the objections to it came to be felt, he for one did not think himself justified in calling for the performance of the promise; and therefore the Bill was allowed to retain its present shape.

Viscount Melbourne

said, that he could not make any promise of the sort required by the noble Marquess. They had already heard the objections to granting an exemption from the Bill to the Bridewell prison; and he confessed that he did not like to take on himself the responsibility of again introducing the question.

The Commons' Amendments agreed to.

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