HC Deb 21 April 1937 vol 322 cc1759-60
74. Mr. Lambert

asked the Home Secretary whether he will take further powers, by legislation or otherwise, to prosecute persons or newspapers for the circulation or publication of known false statements regarding conditions in His Majesty's prisons?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend does not think that this matter could conveniently be dealt with by legislation, and he does not contemplate asking for special powers of the kind suggested.

Mr. Lambert

Is the Home Secretary going to take no action whatever?

Mr. Lloyd

I think that this is a question that had best be left to the good sense of the newspapers concerned, but I would ask them not to accept without proper investigation stories supplied to them by discharged prisoners.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a fact that this question arises out of the report about the Dartmoor Prison trouble, and that practically every newspaper in the country published the report?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

If the hon. Gentleman asks hon. Members not to accept statements in the newspapers without adequate investigation, will he afford facilities for investigation?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Gentleman misunderstood me. I asked newspapers not to accept stories without proper investigation.

Sir Percy Hurd

In view of his answer, will the Under-Secretary invite the Newspaper Proprietors' Association to take this matter into immediate consideration?