HC Deb 25 July 1960 vol 627 c1068
23. Mr. Healey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has yet decided when he will release Mr. Rahman al Baker, and two other Bahreinis sentenced with him, from detention on St. Helena.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have at present nothing to add to my reply of 29th June.

Mr. Healey

The Foreign Secretary will recall that, in his reply on that occasion, he suggested that he was considering remitting the rest or part of the remainder of the sentence. Can he say when he is going to take a decision on the matter? It has been in front of him for several years. Is he aware that it is the unanimous view of many people—I think most of the Opposition—that the continual imprisonment of these subjects of a foreign State in Her Majesty's prisons is absolutely intolerable?

Mr. Lloyd

I have never said that I would consider remitting the sentence. I do not think I have any power to do so. I said that I would enter into discussion with those concerned to see what can be done. I have done that, and I still hope for favourable results.

Mr. Wall

Do we have to take action? Surely the only action that we can take is to hand these men back to their lawful ruler?

Mr. Lloyd

That may well be so.