§ MR. HAZLETON (Galway, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Alfred Lincoln, who attacked Principal Warder Alford while working on the Dartmoor Prison farm on 8th June, and Michael Hogan, who assaulted Assistant Warder-Nurse Brown in the casual sick hospital on 1st July, were each ordered to receive eighteen strokes with the cat, to undergo dietary punishment, to wear chains for six months, and to wear the black dress; whether he confirmed those sentences inflicting flogging upon these two men; and whether those sentences have since been carried out.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE, Leeds, W.)
The sentence on each of the convicts mentioned was to undergo 688 a corporal punishment of eighteen strokes with the cat, and to forfeit certain marks. No dietary punishment was awarded in either case. The convicts were ordered to be placed in the distinctive dress worn by prisoners who assault or attempt to assault officers, and to be restrained in leg chains or cross irons. This is a necessary measure of precaution; the chains or irons are not necessarily worn for six months, but only so long as the directors deem advisable and according to the conduct of the prisoner. Six months is the maximum limit; as a rule the time is shorter. The Answer to the last two paragraphs is in the affirmative.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to inquire whether there is really any necessity for placing these men, who have already been severely punished, in chains and especially in leg chains?
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
It is a precaution necessitated by the fact that they have used violence to officers.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is not aware that the practice of putting aboriginal prisoners in chains in Australia has been severely condemned, and whether in view of that condemnation the placing of prisoners in chains in this country will be allowed to continue?
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
These cases are exceptional and necessitate exceptional measures for the protection of the officers.
§ MR. KILBRIDE (Kildare, S.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman able to say if the dietary punishment which these prisoners have to undergo is three days bread and water, or a longer period?
§ MR. HAZLETON
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether two convicts, Thomas Ellis and Alfred Parrish, who were convicted in North London, and who eluded capture on Dartmoor for thirty hours, were ordered nine days bread and water diet and twenty-one days No. 2 diet, to lose all marks which would count for remission of sentence, to wear chains for six months, and also to wear a yellow dress, by the visiting board of magistrates; and, if so, whether he will state the names of the magistrates who inflicted these five separate punishments upon each of these convicts; what is the weight of the chains they have been condemned to wear; and for how long a period every day have they to wear these chains.
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
The terms of the sentences are not accurately stated in the hon. Member's Question. There are not "five separate punishments"; each convict's sentence is a period of punishment diet and a forfeiture of marks. The bread-and-water diet, however, is imposed only for six days—two terms of three days each, and the convicts do not forfeit the whole of their remission, but only marks equivalent to six months. In addition, not as punishment but as a measure of precaution, they have been ordered to wear the distinctive dress for 690 convicts who escape or attempt to escape, and to be restrained in "chains" or cross-irons. The last is a necessary precaution; but the maximum time that the chains are worn is six months, and they may be, and in most cases are, discontinued sooner. Every case of restraint is considered by the directors once a month, and the restraint is continued only if absolutely necessary in the interest of security. The chains weigh from 4½ to 6 lbs. They are worn continuously, but the leather belt by which they are fastened round the waist can be undone at night or at meals, thus allowing the chains to slip down. The names of the visitors were Lord Seaton, Vice-Admiral Wilson, Mr. Walter Wilson and Colonel W. G. Armstrong. Under the circumstances I consider the sentences proper ones and not severe for an attempt to escape which was almost successful.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
will the right hon. Gentleman be willing to place in the tea-room samples of the chains which were used, and will he give an explanation of what is the meaning of the cross-iron?