§ MR. J. MORLEY (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland by whose direction Mr. E. Harrington, M.P., Mr. W. O'Brien, M.P., and Mr. Carew, M.P., were, on being admitted to prison, subjected to the indignity of having their hair cut off; and whether this course has been sanctioned by the Prisons Board; why a distinction was made in this respect between these Members and other Members of Parliament and others who have been previously committed to prison under the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act; and whether the prison rules justify such action otherwise than for the purpose of enforcing cleanliness?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It was by no special direction, but in accordance with ordinary prison rules, that the hair was clipped. I understand the Rule is as follows:—No. 35. Each male prisoner shall have his beard clipped or be shaved at least once a week, unless specially exempted by the governor or surgeon.… The hair of male criminal prisoners shall not be cut closer than may be necessary for purposes of health and cleanliness.The distinction made in the cases referred to by the right hon. Gentleman was therefore due to special exemptions by the governor or medical officer. The rule and practice is precisely the same as that which obtains in England, and which was put in force in the case of the Member for North-West Lanarkshire.