HC Deb 13 April 1921 vol 140 c1133W

asked the Home Secretary if the inquiry into the unrest at Dart moor prison among the staff and prisoners was an impartial one; if the deputy governor was permitted to select officers and others to give evidence on his behalf, and the staff were refused a like privilege; whether a complaint from a meeting of the staff was sent to the Commissioners relating to the deputy governor and militarism, and not from a few officers; and whether he will consider the advisability of abandoning what is known as the rule of silence in prisons where it is applied rigorously or with moderation?


The inquiry was conducted by two of the Directors of Convict Prisons, and was strictly impartial. Full opportunity was given to any member of the staff to come forward and give evidence. No complaint from a meeting of the staff reached the Directors, previous to the inquiry, but at the inquiry certain resolutions, passed at a meeting of some of the staff, were submitted to the tribunal, which arrived at the conclusion that the allegations made against the deputy governor could not be sustained. Promiscuous and unrestrained conversation between prisoners would not be consistent with good order and discipline. The regulations now permit of reasonable opportunity for talking' under prescribed conditions.