§ Mr. GARDNER
asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been drawn to the serious shortage of clerks in the prison service; and what action does he propose to take in view of the fact that the clerical staff worked 21,000 hours during the year ended 31st December last in excess of their official hours of duty, and for which overtime no payment has been made?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The numbers of the prison clerical staffs, like those of other branches of the Service, are frequently reviewed with the object of adjusting them to the volume of work, and I invited the hon. Member to send me details of any particular cases that he had in mind. Since that date there has been a further review, and this review does not bear out the suggestion in his question. As regards the number of hours' overtime worked in 1927, I would refer to the reply I gave on 23rd July last to my hon. Friend the Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson). As I then explained, the figure was spread over a staff of 232 stewards and clerks. Work in many prison offices fluctuates, and so far as is practicable overtime at one period is repaid by allowing equivalent time off at another period.