HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc199-200
53. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has now received the results of the investigation in Cyprus of the complaints made by Cypriot prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Not yet, Sir.

Mr. Brockway

In view of the fact that the hon. Member for Cannock (Miss Lee) and I saw prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs whose arms had been broken, who had swellings on their bodies the size of cricket balls, and scars on their necks, will the right hon. Gentleman take this opportunity, for the sake of the reputation of the medical officer at Wormwood Scrubs, to correct his statement in this House on 27th June that when the medical officer examined them: No marks, bruises, or anything else suggesting injury or ill-treatment were noticed on any of these men."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th June, 1957; Vol. 572, c. 387.]

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have nothing to add to what I said last week. As soon as possible I shall lay the information before the House. Although the administration of Wormwood Scrubs is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, naturally I have found out what has happened. The Cypriot prisoners have refused to be examined by the prison medical officer. I think the House might draw some conclusion, anyhow, from that.

Mrs. L. Jeger

Surely that is a direct contradiction of a statement which the right hon. Gentleman made in this House recently when he stated that the prisoners had been examined by the medical officer at the prison who had found no marks and no bruises whatever?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Lady perhaps misunderstood. They were, of course, examined by the prison medical officer on entry to the prison; but, as a result of the statement made last week, the prison medical officer was anxious to make another examination. They insisted on some outside doctor and refused to be examined by the prison medical officer. This is a matter for the Home Office, but I personally entirely share the view of my right hon. Friend that we could not accept a reflection of that kind on the integrity and fair-mindedness of the proper authority.

Mr. Brockway

On a point of order. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the integrity of the medical officer, but the integrity of the hon. Member for Cannock and myself is also involved. We have seen these injuries on these men and the right hon. Gentleman says the medical officer has examined them and found no injuries. It is a matter between the medical officer and us. Why does the right hon. Gentleman refuse an independent examination?

Mr. Speaker

I must say I did not hear any reflection cast upon the integrity either of the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) or his hon. Friend the Member for Cannock (Miss Lee). There was nothing of that sort which reached my ears.

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