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Prisoners (Interviews With Members Of Parliament)

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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78.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that constituents in prison who have exercised their right of making complaints through the appointed channels are subsequently unable to interview their Members of Parliament except in the presence and within the hearing of the Governor, Deputy Governor or chief officer; why Members of Parliament are denied by the Prison Commissioners the facilities afforded for interviews to solicitors and probation officers; and whether he will direct that Members of Parliament with a visiting order may see prisoners in sight but out of hearing of any prison official.

It is the general rule that, with the exception of legal advisers and probation officers who are in a special position, all visitors, including Members of Parliament, see prisoners in the presence of a prison officer. On consideration this practice seems to have been accepted and should be maintained.