asked the Minister for Home Affairs whether it is a fact that, in accordance with Treasury Letter 159/22 and General Prisons Board's Circular 977/22 the clerical officers in the Prisons Service are entitled to an allowance in lieu of uniform equal to the actual cost of the uniform supplied to the uniformed ranks; whether he is aware that these officers are, and have been, receiving an allowance equal to the cost of the unmade material, and that the cost of making the uniform has not been included in the allowance; and whether, as this means that those officers are not compensated for the making of their clothing and are not in receipt of an allowance equal to the actual cost of the uniform, as laid down in the Letter and Circular above referred to, he will now take the necessary steps to have this matter rectified and the officers put in receipt of the full allowance to which they are entitled?

An allowance in lieu of uniform is granted to officers of clerical grades in the Prisons Service. As uniforms for prison officers are made up by prisoners' labour, the actual cost to the State is the cost of the materials, plus five per cent. for wear and tear of tools. The allowance in question is equivalent to such actual cost.