§ MR. BRODIE (Surrey, Reigate)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware 523 that certain ladies recently imprisoned for making political demonstrations have been placed in the second division in Holloway Prison, and are being treated as ordinary criminals; whether this is contrary to the accepted practice of treating political offenders as first-class misdemeanants; and whether he can arrange that they should be treated in the same way as ladies imprisoned for similar demonstrations in 1906.
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL
My hon. friend is mistaken in thinking that these ladies are being treated as ordinary criminals. The second division of prisoners was established for the purpose of separating from ordinary prisoners of the third-class persons of previously good character convicted of minor offences. Whether a prisoner should be placed in the first, second or third class is a matter in the discretion of the magistrate. The ladies referred to in the hon. Member's Question have committed offences against the ordinary law, and the Secretary of State sees no reason to interfere with the magistrate's decision that they should be treated in the second division.