HC Deb 22 November 1956 vol 560 c1930
44. Mr. Collins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department under which Statute or Regulation prison officers are authorised to censor prisoners' letters to Members of Parliament.

Major Lloyd-George

Rule 75 of the Prison Rules, 1949, made under Section 52 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948, and continuing in force under Section 54 of the Prison Act, 1952, requires a prison governor to ensure that every letter to or from a prisoner—except for certain communications to a legal adviser—is read by himself or by a responsible officer deputed by him for the purpose.

Mr. Collins

Will the Home Secretary look into this matter again so that when the very necessary provisions have been satisfied, that the prisoner should submit his case to the prison governor, and may then, if necessary, petition the Home Secretary, he can then write to his Member of Parliament without the letter being altered or censored? Will he not alter the regulations so that that can be done?

Major Lloyd-George

I do not think I could agree to do that. The details of these regulations are very lengthy, and the matter has been discussed in this House, and I really do not think I can add anything further at the present time.