HC Deb 03 July 1924 vol 175 cc1483-4

asked the Home Secretary how many children have been born in prison during the six months ending 30th June last; and whether he will consider the provision of extra food and nourishment for expectant and nursing mothers whilst in prison?


I regret that I am not in possession of the information asked for, but inquiry is being made. Medical officers have full instructions to grant extra or special diet to all expectant and nursing mothers, and these instructions are observed.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the possibility of arranging that expectant mothers shall be removed temporarily from the prison, so as to prevent the stigma of the prison resting on the children?


Sympathy, of course, would demand that that course should be followed. We have no power at present to release temporarily any expectant mother. Once a prisoner is released we have no power to replace that person in prison. When the question was before this House there was a Clause providing that prisoners be removed from prison temporarily for operations, but the House definitely refused to allow the Clause to be sufficiently wide to include cases of expectant mothers.


Can the right hon. Gentleman see his way to advise the Commissioners to relax the silence rule for women prisoners suffering in this way?


Will the right hon. Gentleman grant facilities to the House to discuss these matters? The Home Office Vote has been dealt with, and the discussion of prison matters was not reached.


I would welcome an opportunity to have the whole question raised, but that matter does not rest with myself. The question as to which subjects are to be discussed must be negotiated through the usual channels.

Forward to