§ MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's Co., Ossory)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the treadmill is still employed in the prisons of the United Kingdom; whether this form of hard labour has long since been condemned by prison reformers as cruel and unprofitable; and, whether he will consider the feasibility of substituting for it a kind of labour at once useful and more humane?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; the treadmill is still employed, as it is enjoined by the provisions of the Prison Act, 1865. I am not aware that this form of hard labour has been condemned as cruel and unprofitable. Whenever it is possible, the labour is utilized for the purpose of pumping or grinding; so it cannot be called useless, and I do not think it is inhumane.