§ Mr. Maude
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the number of prisoners in Exeter prison is now so great that all authorised cells are fully occupied, so that it is necessary to place prisoners together in hospital cells; and if similar congested conditions are to be found in other of His Majesty's prisons.
§ Mr. Ede
The answer to both parts of the Question is in the affirmative. All prisons are now severely overcrowded owing to the great increase in the prison population during the war and to shortage of accommodation, due partly to the closing of prisons after the last war and partly to losses from enemy action. All possible steps are being taken to deal with the situation by reopening closed prisons, as they can be made available and staffed, and by acquiring additional premises.