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Conveyance Of Convicts In Unreserved Railway Carriages

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that convicts and prisoners (the former handcuffed) with their police escorts at present travel in trains in carriages along with other passengers; and whether, out of regard to the feelings of such convicts and prisoners as well as of the ordinary passengers, he can make arrangements for convicts and prisoners and their escorts to travel in special compartments reserved for the purpose.

So sar as convicts and convicted prisoners are concerned, governors of prisoners have instructions, whenever occasion arises for removing them by railway, to apply beforehand for compartments to be reserved, and I have no reason to doubt that as a general rule the railway officials are able to comply with these applications. When prisoners come into police custody it obviously must often be impossible to ask beforehand for a compartment to be reserved, and the officers may be unable to get a compartment reserved on the spur of the moment. This is not a matter with regard to which I have any authority to give general instructions to the police, but I feel confident that police officers having prisoners in custody do their utmost to keep them as far as possible separate from other passengers on the railways.