§ MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has recently received a number of petitions from the warders and assistant warders of His Majesty's prisons, both metropolitan and provincial; whether these petitions show a state of unrest and dissatisfaction both as to wages and conditions of service on the part of prison officers; and whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a small Committee to inquire into these alleged grievances, or whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE,) Leeds, W.
Petitions were received last year from all local prisons asking for an improvement in the scale of pay. After a careful examination of the matter I was able, with the consent of my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and on the advice of the Prison Commissioners, to grant considerable improvements by increasing the maximum salary of the different warder ranks, by giving larger annual increments of pay to the warders and principal warders, and by raising the lodging allowance at provincial prisons where proof was forthcoming that the authorised rate, owing to the prevalence of high rents in certain places, entailed pecuniary loss on officers for whom it was not possible to provide quarters. There was nothing in the petitions to justify their being described as showing a state of unrest and dissatisfaction, and I see no occasion for any further inquiry. A full account of the increases in pay, etc., was given in my printed Answer to a Question put by my 366 hon. friend the Member for Rochester on 15th November last. †