§ 18. Mr. PENNY
asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the publication in the Press of morbid details relating to prisoners under sentence of death in His Majesty's prisons, he will issue instructions that in the event of officials giving such information to the Press they will be liable to instant dismissal?
Any such communication is strictly prohibited by Statutory Rule 115 (1), which lays down that any breach will render an officer liable to dismissal.
§ Mr. BIRKETT
Has the attention of the hon. Gentleman been drawn to the publication in serial form in a certain journal of some of these matters by the late public executioner; and is it not desirable in the public interest that this source of information should be stopped as well?
In reply to the last supplementary question, I can only say that I will convey that suggestion to my right hon. Friend. I think, however, that the House ought to understand that the Home Office cannot prevent ex-prisoners giving information to the Press. I should also add this one word: that the Home Office cannot prevent the imagination of journalists.
I will inquire into the matter, but I believe on this occasion the Press were present officially.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Is not all this evidence that the time has arrived when there is a consensus of opinion in the House that capital punishment should be stopped? [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]