§ MR. H. CAMPBELL (Fermanagh, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department has he kept in view that there may be more lives than one in jeopardy by the continued incarceration of Mrs. Osborne; is there no protection at law for the life of an unborn child in such circumstances, or is it ever afterwards to be subject to the odium of having been born in gaol; and can he, viewing all the facts, see his way to advise Her Majesty to graciously pardon Mrs. Osborne?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I am aware of the circumstance to which the hon. Member refers. It is not the rule for female prisoners who are with child to be discharged from prison in order that their children may be free from the odium of birth in a prison. They are not discharged before confinement unless special medical reasons exist. Mrs. Osborne, like any other prisoner in her condition, is receiving, and will continue to receive, all possible care and medical advice. There is nothing 349 sufficient to justify at the present time any interference with the sentence.
§ MR. H. CAMPBELL
I would beg in addition to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is true that during the past year no less than 66 women were either released at once or had their sentences reduced as their confinement was approaching?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
If the hon. Member wishes any further information, I must ask him to be good enough to put the question on the Paper.