13 JUNE 1958, Page 6

A FRIEND HAS SENT on to me the following letter.

I have suppressed the names of the people con- cerned.

Dear Sir,

Sorry I cannot give you my name, for obvious reasons, but just let me say I am an ex-convict, with a small gang of my own. I have been enjoying a delightful holiday in this beautiful spot of England. Now to the point. I should like you to read this. letter very carefully, for after all my years of experience amongst criminals, as honest people like to call us, I have met a man who lives in Torquay, who has served four terms of hard labour at Parkhurst and Dartmoor. I met him in Dartmoor during the Mutiny. Well I have met him for the first time in his own home. To be quite honest with you I have offered him a job with my gang. It's crooked, I adrfiit, but it will earn him twenty to thirty pounds a week, and no fear of being out of work, as he is at the moment. He left Dartmoor in April, 1934, and has gone straight ever since, without a penny from all these dud societies, who are always boasting about what they do for men on their discharge from prison. They have a lot to answer for. He has done prac- tically every job possible. Dishwasher, builder's labourer, steel-erector, gardener, handyman, painter and decorator, motor driver, cars and lorries; in fact, he even went down the mines as a coal surface worker in Sheffield. Now he is out of a job in his own town. To keep out of prison for so long, get married and bring up a family without the slightest suspicion on anyone's part as to what he has been is a remarkable example of will-power and guts. Now I have only told you a small part of the story and if there is any of these societies really interested, here is one man who can be saved by someone who will take an interest in him and find him work. He doesn't want charity. - I offered him £20 but he would not take it.

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