§ 2. Mr. Longden
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the cost to public funds in terms of money and manpower of Great Britain's share in guarding Rudolph Hess; and what is his policy regarding the continuation of this obligation.
§ 54. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has received from the Soviet Government in answer to his approach to them about the release of Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. William Rodgers)
I regret to say that the Soviet Government have refused to agree to the release of Rudolf Hess from Spandau.
The direct cost to Her Majesty's Government in guarding Hess arises from the employment of five British warders, and in 1966 amounted to £6,691.
§ Mr. Longden
Is it not time that, in conjunction with our American and French allies, we stopped paying this price for Soviet vindictiveness and released an old gentleman who is far beyond doing any harm to anyone?
§ Mr. Rodgers
Without necessarily following the hon. Member in his precise terminology I entirely agree that for practical and humanitarian reasons it would be better that Hess should be released, but I do not think that it can be done in the way the hon. Member suggests.
§ Mr. Rodgers
As I have said, it would be better if he were let out. He has been locked up now for 25 years, which is long enough.