3. Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that permission was given by the Prison Commissioners in 1922 for a gift of oranges and other fruit to be made to the prisoners in all English prisons; that this caused much happiness to the prisoners and was also generally welcomed by prison officers; and that permission was refused in 1923 for any similar gift to be made; what was the reason for the refusal; and whether the matter will now be reconsidered with a view to permitting gifts of fruit to prisoners next Christmas?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Rhys Davies)
At Christmas, 1922, prisoners were allowed to receive gifts of fruit. The experiment was not altogether successful, and it is not intended to repeat it.
§ Mr. DAVIES
It would be very difficult to distribute these goods to the prisoners, and it would create a great deal of jealousy.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Would it not be possible for the country on this day to give the prisoners some fruit, so that all might have some? Prison is a very deadly hole at any time.
§ Mr. J. HARRIS
Can the hon. Member say whether a very large quantity of fruit was supplied for this purpose?
§ Mr. DAVIES
I will convey the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) to my right hon. Friend.