§ 10. Mr. WEDGWOOD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make inquiries into the allegation of Miss Mary Richardson that, while on hunger strike in Holloway, she was told by Dr. Pearson that next time she would be kept for fourteen days until she was a skeleton and a nervous and mental wreck, and then she would be sent to an institution where they look after mental wrecks; whether there is any truth in this allegation; and, if so, whether Dr. Pearson has any authority for making the statement, and does it indicate a change of policy in respect of the treatment of hunger strikers?
§ Mr. McKENNA
No, Sir, the statements quoted in the question are wholly inaccurate. Dr. Pearson did not tell Miss Richardson that she would be kept for fourteen days, or threaten her in any way, 2045 but he did seriously warn her of the mischief she might do to herself, physically and mentally, by refusing food, and this warning was the more necessary as the prisoner appeared to be under the impression that a period of starvation in prison would be beneficial as a rest to her brain. It is perfectly right that any doctor, if a patient under his charge is refusing to take food, should warn her of the injury she is inflicting on herself.