Will my right hon. Friend take advantage of one of the useful by-products of the malicious Press campaign in regard to prison escapes—the way in which it has drawn attention to the need to spend more money on prisons? What steps is he taking to replace such antiquated prisons as Dartmoor and Strangeways, which is in my constituency?
I would like to replace many prisons, some of which are 100 years old and some of which, like Dartmoor, are 150 years old. One of the great problems is the mounting prison population, which presses on such replacements as we can make. I hope that, as a result of the recent concentration of public attention on this issue, we shall be able to make some progress.
Was not the prison programme announced by the then Home Secretary in 1958–59 to provide increasing expenditure on prison building over the following 10 years? In view of the fact that the crime wave has increased steadily since then, would the right hon. Gentleman say how he justifies postponing or cutting back any part of that programme?