'Cat and Mouse' Act, 1913

'Cat and Mouse' Act, 1913
  • Title: Prisoners Temporary Discharge for Health Act 1913 ('Cat and Mouse' Act)
  • Date: 1913
  • Medium: Parchment
  • Catalogue number: Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1913/3&4G5c4
  • Description:

    In 1913 the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act was rushed through Parliament by Asquith’s government in 1913; suffragettes who went on hunger strike were released from prison as soon as they appeared weak or ill.  However, once recovered, the Act allowed for them to be re-imprisoned.  The Act became popularly known as the Cat and Mouse Act as the imprisonment and release of the women resembled that of a cat playing with a mouse. The repeated imprisonment of the women was held in distaste by the general public and proved to be counter-productive.

    UNESCO Suffrage logo

Related information

Related Information

Find out more about the Parliamentary Archives