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Prisoners (Treatment)

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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2.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India, whether he will inquire as to a circular, alleged to have been issued by the inspector-general of prisoners, Bombay, to the effect that political prisoners should be treated as others in regard to food, clothing, work, and communications?

I will inquire from India whether any such circular was issued; the matter is one in which it is not desirable to interfere with the discretion of the Indian and Local Governments.

If such a circular be issued, will the Noble Lord see that it is enforced, and not whittled down in any way?

I have already replied that this is a matter which, think, is one that should be left to the Local Government.

Is there any reason to suppose that this preferential treatment of political prisoners is popular with other than a very small class in India?

3.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the large number of political prisoners now in gaol and the hot weather now in season, any special steps have been taken to see that prisoners are moved to more temperate gaols, and that the conditions and the punishments in the gaols are not adding to the discomforts of normal prison life in India; and, if he has no information on the subject, will he communicate with India, and in particular with Lahore?

The Secretary of State is satisfied that all reasonable steps to safeguard the health of prisoners, amongst which, however, he would not include removal from their native climate, are already taken in the normal course by the Government of India, of whom he is not prepared, accordingly, to make the inquiries suggested.

If there be a choice of gaols, will the Noble Lord see that the hottest is given to those who incite to crime?