HC Deb 07 August 1941 vol 373 cc2129-30W
Mr. Maxton

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make any statement about the trouble in Dartmoor Prison; whether the grievances that the convicts protested against will be inquired into and remedied; and whether a staff adequate for the smooth running of the prison is maintained?

Mr. H. Morrison

On the 28th July some 200 prisoners stood fast when ordered to march to labour, apparently as a protest against certain disciplinary action taken on the previous day against four men who had refused to exercise as ordered. The Governor, having anticipated that some demonstration of the kind might be attempted, had arranged for additional prison officers to be available; and when four of the ringleaders were seized the demonstration collapsed. Some twenty prisoners who appear to have been mainly responsible for the trouble will be brought before the Board of Visitors for adjudication in due course. The reports which I have received indicate that there were no legitimate grounds of complaint leading up to the disturbance. As regards the last part of the Question, the Governor is satisfied that the present staff are equal to their task. The manner in which the disturbance was handled reflects great credit both on the Governor and on the prison officers.