Peterhead Prison (Incident)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan 12:00 am, 28th July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the nature of the report he received from the Governor of Peterhead prison in regard to the recent shooting incident which occurred in an outside working party.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

The Governor reported that on 10th July a prison officer, who was posted as an armed sentry while a party of prisoners was working in an area which is only partly enclosed, fired a warning round. Unfortunately it ricocheted, and as a result a prisoner and another officer were slightly injured.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us why it was so long before any news leaked about this happening within the prison and why it came to the surface and appeared in the Press only as the result of a message smuggled from the prison? In all the circumstances, does the right hon. Gentleman propose to hold an inquiry into this incident?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

As the circumstances which led to the shot being fired have been reported by the Governor to the Procurator Fiscal of Aberdeenshire and are being investigated by the police, I think that it would be undesirable for me to say more at present.