HC Deb 20 October 1909 vol 12 cc288-9

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department a question, of which I have given him private notice, whether all the suffragist prisoners now in Newcastle gaol are being fed by force; whether any representation has been made by the regular medical adviser of Miss Rona Robinson, M.A., a suffragist sentenced to one month's imprisonment in the second division for breaking a window in Liverpool gaol, to the effect that, owing to the weak- ness of her heart and throat, forcible feeding in her case would be highly dangerous; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take?


Only three of the seven suffragist prisoners in Newcastle prison are being fed by tube. The others are now taking their food from the officers without active resistance. Rona Robinson was released yesterday morning on medical certificate.


May I ask why seven were detained and four were released?


Four of the suffragist prisoners at Newcastle were released solely on medical grounds. In each case the prison medical authorities certified that the prisoner was either suffering from heart disease or was in a feeble state of health with cardiac symptoms, and in each case the medical authorities recommended discharge.