§ MR. RUSTON (Lincoln)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home De 1803 partment, Whether it is the fact that treadmills are now being constructed in Her Majesty's Prisons; whether they are practically the same description of instruments as were, many years ago, discarded in our Prisons as inhuman and wasteful; is it intended to use these treadmills for the infliction of hard labour sentences; has he any objection to state what reasons have led the Prison authorities to re-introduce this method of punishment; and, what are its advantages over crank labour?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CHILDERS) (Edinburgh, S.)
The hon. Member is under a misapprehension in thinking that treadmills have ever been condemned as inhuman and wasteful. On the contrary, a Committee, which was appointed after the Prison Act of 1877 to consider this question, reported that the treadmill was the most suitable form of hard bodily labour. It is now being used for this purpose, and was never, as far as I am aware, generally discontinued. The crank is used in some prisons instead of the treadmill; but I am not aware that the one form of labour has any marked advantages over the other.