July 26, 1955

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Mr. Chairman, lacking at this late hour the assistance of my staff I am afraid I am not able personally to give any details with regard to the work at Dorchester or the other prisons; but such work varies from prison to prison. In some places, for example, there is a great deal of printed forms and other printed material prepared for use in the penitentiaries and ir other government departments. In other prisons, or perhaps in the same prison, we produce large quantities of prison clothing and shoes. In other prisons-and I think this is true of Dorchester to which the hon. gentleman has just referred-farming operations are carried out on a considerable scale. The total production for all the penitentiaries across

Canada runs into substantial sums of money under all these heads, and is quite an important source of revenue on the other side of the ledger to the moneys which we are obliged to expend to maintain the prisons.

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PC

Gage Workman Montgomery

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Montgomery:

I have just one more question. I take it that this production from the labour of the penitentiaries is sold more or less to the government and that it is not sold to the public. Is that right?

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Yes, that is right. It is sold to other government departments. A great deal of it is used within the prison itself. For example, the consumption of food in our penitentiary system is very substantial. A very large percentage of it indeed is grown and prepared upon the penitentiary properties. The same thing is true with respect to clothing. A large percentage of it is manufactured in the penitentiaries.

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PC

Gage Workman Montgomery

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Montgomery:

Are the inmates credited with the amount of labour they do?

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

They are credited with wages for that labour.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Caslleden:

Mr. Chairman, the reply the minister gave to the hon. member for Vic-toria-Carleton seems to be denied by a recent report from the province of Saskatchewan to the effect that the penitentiary at Prince Albert is somewhat overcrowded, and that fact has been part of the cause of the recent trouble there.

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No. I cannot remember the figures exactly, but I think they were 660 and 630, if I am not mistaken. In other words, the capacity of the penitentiary at Prince Albert was 660 and its population was 630. It therefore could not have been overcrowded because that number would not even fill it to capacity, much less overcrowd it.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Caslleden:

The trouble then was not due to overcrowding?

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LIB
CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Caslleden:

What was given as the cause of the uprising? I understand that some conditions were not in line with ordinary procedure, and that they might have been short of staff.

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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No, they were not overcrowded. They were not short of staff. They had had beforehand very few complaints of the character of those which are sometimes given by rioting convicts as the reason for their action. More than that, only a small percentage of the prisoners took part in the riot. I am sorry I cannot give now any more facts than these. We are having an investigation conducted at the present time by the

eputy commissioner. I will not be in a posi-Lon to make a more detailed statement until fter we have received his report. But those auses which are sometimes regarded as a iossible reason tor these occurrences were 11 conspicuous by their absence in the resent case.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Casileden:

I see that in the vote for his department-I guess perhaps it is vote 72-the sum of $148,000 is expected to be pent this year on construction, improvements ind new equipment in Saskatchewan.

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LIB
CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Casileden:

And I note that last year the imount of vote was $136,000. That is as far is the Saskatchewan penitentiary was con-:erned. Was the $136,000 used last year?

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LIB
CCF

Item agreed to. Resolutions adopted in committee of supply ;his day reported, read the second time and incurred in.


LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

When shall the com-nittee have leave to sit again?

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?

An hon. Member:

Later this day.

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LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Next sitting of this douse.

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July 26, 1955