HC Deb 09 December 1954 vol 535 cc1091-2
9. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now allow the remains of Sir Roger Casement to be returned to Ireland.

Major Lloyd-George

No, Sir. Successive Governments have considered this matter and have found no reason for departing from the invariable practice of refusing permission for the removal of the remains of executed prisoners. I see no reason to take any other view.

Mr. Hughes

Will not the Minister take a fresh view of this matter, and examine it again? Is he aware that the Foreign Secretary has said, about allowing the remains of German war criminals to be returned to their families, that the policy of the Government was not to carry hatred beyond the grave? Is he aware that the Irish regard Sir Roger Casement as a distinguished patriot and a prisoner of war who was wrongfully hanged? Does he not think that it is time for this chapter to be honourably closed?

Major Lloyd-George

I think the matter had better be left. It is closed now, and I do not think that this suggestion would do anything to improve relations between Southern Ireland and this country. In fact, it might easily lead to the reverse.