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John F Kennedy Memorial Stone, Runnymede

Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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asked the Prime Minister if he will take steps, as a matter of urgency, to safeguard from vandalism and further defacement the John F. Kennedy Memorial Stone at Runnymede.

While I am sure that the whole House would join with me in deploring acts of vandalism, I understand that recent reports of such acts at the Runnymede Memorial to the late President Kennedy have been exaggerated.

Is the Prime Minister aware that many of the worst scars have been removed successfully, except for some scratching on one side of the stone, and that the National Trust, on behalf of the trustees for the American people. is doing what it can to keep the area free from litter and untidiness? Would the right hon. Gentleman care to express an opinion as to why these monstrous desecrations occur? President Kennedy represented a great ideal in the Western world. Is nothing sacred?

I agree with the hon. Gentleman in deploring what has been done. This is pointless and vandalis-tic action. But I understand that the trustees who have been responsible for the memorial are taking all steps to preserve it in proper condition. The hon. Gentleman will know what they are doing about paving the approach.