§ Dr. CHAPPLE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the divergent opinions as to the alleged danger, suffering, and degradation of the forcible feeding of prisoners, he will hold an inquiry into the prison treatment of political offenders?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
I do not think an inquiry is necessary. The law is clearly laid down in the case of Leigh v. Gladstone, and the process of forcible feeding is a matter of ordinary medical practice carried out daily in hundreds of cases in asylums, and in a smaller number of cases in hospitals, prisons, or private practice. There is no danger to life or health from the process of feeding by tube; where there is any danger it arises from the violent resistance sometimes offered by prisoners who have gone to prison while suffering from heart disease or broken down in health. Such cases are carefully observed by the medical officers, and where it has been really necessary I have authorised the prisoner's discharge.