Skip to main content

Portugal (Detention Of Dr Scott)

Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

(by Private Notice) asked the Lord Privy Seal what report he has received from Her Majesty's Representative at Lisbon regarding the detention in prison of Dr. Cecil Scott, a British subject and director of the Evangelical Missionary League, and if he will state the reasons alleged for Dr. Scott's detention.

Yes, Sir. Dr. Scott was detained for questioning by the Portuguese authorities on 19th July. No charge has been brought against him. He was visited by the Consul-General and by Mrs. Scott on 20th and 21st July. He is in good health, and arrangements have been made for food to be sent in to him.

In view of complaints about Dr. Scott's treatment, representations have been made both to the police and by Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Portuguese Government with a view to ensuring that he is well treated while in custody.

My noble Friend is sending further instructions to Her Majesty's Ambassador to request the Portuguese Government that Dr. Scott should either be charged and tried without delay or released.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Dr. Scott occupies a responsible position, and that for many years he has been in charge of the training of all Protestant missionaries, of whatever nationality, in Portuguese overseas territories? Is he further aware that the news of Dr. Scott's arrest without charge will, therefore, occasion very widespread concern, not only in this country but elsewhere? Will the right hon. Gentleman do his best to keep the House informed on this matter?

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the facts which the hon. and learned Gentleman has given about Dr. Scott. I will certainly answer any Questions put down to me about future action. As I have said, my noble Friend has already taken the action which we deem appropriate.