HC Deb 13 December 1956 vol 562 cc607-8
25. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the privilege whereby G. Howison, an artist imprisoned at Parkhurst Gaol, was allowed to send drawings and paintings made at his own expense to his home has been discontinued and in what circumstances prisoners may be permitted under his regulations to send to relatives articles which have been made in their cells at their own expense.

Major Lloyd-George

Prisoners are not permitted to send out during their sentence drawings or paintings done in prison. This prisoner was originally allowed to do so because of a mistaken interpretation, which I regret, of the governing circular.

Mr. Yates

Is not the Home Secretary aware that this man's pictures are displayed throughout Parkhurst Gaol, and that he was allowed to send home over 1,000 pictures as a means of helping him to become rehabilitated when he leaves prison? If there is no abuse, why cannot he be allowed to continue to send them?

Major Lloyd-George

The Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders advised in 1949, and it has been confirmed since, that this should not be done. In this instance he was allowed to do so by mistake, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that this practice could lead to tremendous abuses if it were allowed.

Mr. Younger

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House whether the rule to which he referred applies also to taking out works of literature or art at the end of the sentence? There is a feeling that it is one of the more depressing features of modern administration, that whereas in the past many works have been completed in prison and have subsequently seen the light of day, that does not seem possible nowadays.

Major Lloyd-George

They are allowed to take them out.