HC Deb 24 February 1920 vol 125 cc1480-1
42. Viscountess ASTOR

asked the Home Secretary if he will state, with reference to the case of Florence Parker, who was recently sent to Holloway on remand in an advanced state of pregnancy, whether she was informed that she could apply for bail; why, when her condition had been reported, the police did not convey her to a hospital or to prison in an ambulance; and whether, in view to the serious consequences suffered by women in this condition, he will consider legislation enacting that in future no woman expecting confinement shall be sent to prison on remand unless accused of serious crime?


On inquiry I find that from the time of this prisoner's arrest till after her case had been disposed of by the Justices, she made no mention of her pregnancy to the police matron or otherwise. After the hearing she stated in reply to a question from the police Court matron at Hendon that she was pregnant, but she was able to make the journey to prison in the usual way; there was no reason to suppose that she was at an advanced stage of pregnancy. A police sergeant at the Court asked her if she would be able to obtain bail and she said she had no friends to whom she could apply for the purpose. There are difficulties in the way of legislation, and I do not doubt that if she had mentioned her condition to the police matron special arrangements could have been made.


What difficulties are there in the way except want of will?


That is not the question.