HC Deb 28 April 1890 vol 343 c1522
MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the case of the fasting man at the Westminster Aquarium, who professes to be undergoing a 40 days' fast, and who claims to have accomplished nearly the whole of that period, and who is exhibited there fur money; and whether the Government can take any steps to prevent exhibitions which may endanger life and are otherwise open to objection? I have learned since I put the question on the Paper that the fast has been completed.


The law gives me no power to interfere with the public performances of adult persons on account of their danger or their folly. The fasting man has requested the Managing Director of the Aquarium to assure me that he has in no way suffered from his long fast, and is willing this afternoon to satisfy any Member of this House that this is the case. If the performance is open to objection on grounds other than those of danger, the Licensing Authorities might possibly take the matter into consideration when the next application is made for a licence.