MR. F. A. NEWDIGATE (Warwickshire, Nuneaton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been drawn to a lecture, delivered on Thursday, 5th March, at Coventry, in which the lecturer, Mr. Donald Stuart, described as late Captain 86th Regiment, who, condemned to imprisonment for three years in 1893, did seven months at Wormwood Scrubbs and the rest of the time at Parkhurst, alleged that murders and outrages, of which the outside world knows nothing, are frequently committed in prisons, and that prisoners are kicked and beaten in the most brutal fashion; and if the Secretary of State for the Home Department will cause an Inquiry to be made into these allegations?
§ SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
My attention has been called by the hon. Member's Question to the report of a lecture delivered by this man. Inquiries are always made into charges of this kind if particulars are given. Without some particulars it is impossible, of course, to proceed very far, and the allegations made by Stuart were entirely general in character. It is only fair to the prison officials to add that it is not uncommon for prisoners and ex-prisoners to make charges of an atrocious character which investigation proves to be wholly without foundation.