§ 32. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that T. S. Steed, a conscientious objector in Maidstone Prison, has been in a very bad state of health for more than a year; that constant representations have been made to the Home Office about his case without avail; that he is now suffering from dermatitis of the legs in addition to general weakness; whether the prison doctor refused to give him proper treatment; and whether he will order a special examination with a view to this man's release on health grounds?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
The allegation referred to is contrary to fact. The prisoner is reported to be in good general health, free from any indication of organic defect, fit for military service, and not likely to be hurt by further imprisonment. He has increased in weight since reception. He has some eczema on his legs, but there is nothing in his condition to justify his discharge.
§ 40. Sir W. HOWELL DAVIES
asked the Home Secretary whether F. A. Lewis, a conscientious objector of forty-four years of age, now serving his second sentence in Winchester Prison, is in the prison hospital suffering from rheumatism; whether he is aware that this man has suffered terribly from this complaint for the last fourteen years, and will be entirely crippled if he is debarred from the necessary treatment; and whether he will order his release on health grounds?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The report I have received on this man's health justifies his discharge from prison, and I have given instructions accordingly.
§ 75. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Home Secretary in what prisons conscientious objectors are now being forcibly fed; when this form of discipline was introduced; is it increasing; and, if so, will he state the reason?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Cases were reported last week from Newcastle and Pentonville. Forcible feeding is not a form of discipline, but a medical measure applied only for the purpose of preventing self-imposed starvation. As there is no such form of discipline, the last two questions do not arise.