HC Deb 11 May 1903 vol 122 cc301-2
MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that Henry Elderkin, who was recently sentenced to imprisonment under the Vaccination Act at Wellingborough, did not receive at Northampton Gaol the treatment of a first class misdemeanant as required by the Vaccination Act, 1898, but was obliged to wear prison clothes, stripped with ordinary prisoners, and his measurements taken, put on prison diet, and refused books or permission to write letters, and otherwise subjected to all the treatment of an ordinary criminal; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent such treatment of prisoners under the Vaccination Acts.


I almost think there must be some mistake. The inquiries which I have made show that the prisoner in question was treated strictly in accordance with the rules for prisoners of the First Division. He was not stripped with ordinary prisoners, nor measured; by his own choice he were prison clothes and received prison diet; and he was allowed library books. As his sentence was only one week, he did not become entitled to any privileges under the rule allowing fortnightly visits and letters, but he was allowed to receive a letter from his wife.


There must be some misunderstanding. I will furnish the right hon. Gentleman with facts, and ask him to make further inquiry.


I thought there must be some mistake, as the hon. Gentleman's Question and my answer so entirely vary.