In 1952, the attention of all Colonial Governments was drawn to the very strict Regulations governing the use of mechanical restraints on prisoners in the United Kingdom. They were invited to bring local practice as far as possible into conformity with United Kingdom practice. The replies so far received show some measure of conformity but my information is still by no means complete. If the hon. Member has any particular case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it.
Surely the right hon. Gentleman is aware of the report in the London "Star" of 5th November, quite clearly indicating that prisoners are being chained—that there have been attempts to escape after these chains had been filed from prisoners' ankles. This smacks of the methods of the Inquisition. Will he not do something really worth-while about it?
I have already said that we have had replies from a certain number of our Territories. In fact, of under 20 from whom we have had replies, ankle chains are being used in only nine. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] But let me point out that those are Territories in many cases—both in West Africa, East Africa and the West Indies—with a very high degree of self-government, Territories such as Nigeria, in which we must be very careful how far we interfere.
As the Question on the Order Paper was to ask the Minister in which Colonies and Protectorates this practice of using mechanical restraints is still being employed, should he not have given an answer to the Question, instead of saving the number for a reply to a supplementary question? Should he not now publish the names of the Colonies in which this practice is going on?