HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc500-1
30. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent applications he has considered from American historians writing the life of Sir Roger Casement to visit Pentonville Prison; the nature of their applications; and his reply.

Mr. Renton

There has been one such application recently, from an American historian who wished to see the place where Casement was imprisoned and where he was buried. He was informed that it is a long-established practice not to allow visits to the graves of persons executed in prisons, and that the Home Secretary was sorry that he did not feel able to make an exception to the general rule in his favour.

Mr. Hughes

As this execution took place 40 years ago, is not it rather mean to refuse an American citizen permission to see the grave?

Mr. Renton

I am sure that on reflection the hon. Member will agree that we have to be very careful to prevent any kind of sight-seeing in prisons. It is very difficult to avoid creating precedents by agreeing in a case of this kind.