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Cardinal Mindszenty (Appeal)

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet heard the date when the appeal of Cardinal Mindszenty will be heard; whether there is any time limit to the hearing of such an appeal; and whether our Minister in Budapest has yet made any attempt to see the Cardinal in prison or to find out the conditions under which he is living.

No announcement has yet been made of the date for hearing the Cardinal?s appeal, and I understand that there is no statutory time limit for such hearings. His Majesty's Charg├ęd? Affaires has not been able to obtain reliable information as regards the Cardinal?s living conditions, but it is believed that he is at present in a detention prison, and not in a convict prison.

With regard to the first part of the Question, is the right hon. Gentleman aware how unsatisfactory it is that this might go on indefinitely and can nothing be done to try to find out when this trial is to take place; and with regard to the second part of the Question, is he aware that a large number of people in this country are feeling more and more worried about the rumours of the ill-health of the Cardinal, and of the way he is being treated?

We will continue to observe this matter as closely as we are permitted. We will not spare ourselves any effort in that direction. As to the second part of the supplementary question, while I appreciate the hon. Member?s anxiety, I scarcely think it would be proper for us, at any rate at this stage, to try to suggest that the appeal might be hurried. We ought to conform to their procedure so long as their procedure is not improper or abused.

The right hon. Gentleman will remember at the same time that there were other prisoners tried with the Cardinal, and that their condition is very much similar to his?