HC Deb 07 May 1952 vol 500 cc380-2
45. Lieut. - Colonel Marcus Lipton

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the transfer of responsibility for the internal control of the Broadmoor institution from the Ministry of Health to the Home Department.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

Responsibility for the management of Broadmoor was transferred from the Home Office to the Board of Control by Section 62 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948. As at present advised, Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any reason which would justify them in proposing a reversal of the decision so recently taken by Parliament.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Will the Prime Minister amplify the statement made by the Minister of Health yesterday, part of which seemed to prejudge the very issue which the Committee of Inquiry is to investigate, by giving an assurance that the long series of warnings submitted to the appropriate authorities by the Prison Officers' Association will be taken into account by the Committee of Inquiry; and will he give a further assurance that the Home Office continues to be responsible for the protection of innocent people against violence, whether on the part of criminal lunatics or any other section of the population?

The Prime Minister

I have no doubt that all relevant matters comprised within the scope of their reference, which has not yet been announced, will be taken into consideration by the Committee. But that does not in any way preclude the general consideration of the whole position by Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Peter Remnant

Can the Prime Minister say whether the possibility of a transfer of responsibility will be within the terms of reference to the Board of Inquiry?

The Prime Minister

I think that is a decision which is obviously one for the Government.

Mr. Remnant

Can a recommendation be made by the Board of Inquiry?

The Prime Minister

I have not the terms of reference in my mind at present; I might, therefore, mislead the hon. Gentleman if I tried to guess.

Mr. Kenneth Younger

Can the Prime Minister say whether, following the transfer from the Home Office to the Board of Control, the security arrangements at Broadmoor were in fact changed, or whether they substantially remain the same?

The Prime Minister

I cannot pretend to be conversant with all these details, but the whole matter is to be examined by an inquiry.