HC Deb 29 July 1912 vol 41 cc1655-6W

asked the Home Secretary how many prisoners, men and women, connected with the suffrage agitation are or have been forcibly fed; how many times each prisoner has been so fed; and if any prisoners have been released owing to breakdown of health in connection with such feeding?


I am sorry that, beyond saying that no prisoners are now being forcibly fed, I cannot undertake to give the information for which my hon. Friend asks. It would involve the collection of figures from a considerable number of prisons and over a period of several years; but with regard to the last head of the question, I may say that, while a considerable number of cases have occurred in which prisoners who were being artificially fed have been released on grounds of health, the failure was due to the feeble condition of health in which they were received into prison, to the injurious effect of the voluntary starvation to which they subjected themselves, and to the violent resistance they offered to what is merely necessary medical treatment.