Naval Detention Quarters, Portsmouth

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th January 1971.

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Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking 12:00 am, 14th January 1971

asked the Minister of State for Defence how many men are at present detained in the Naval Detention Quarters, Portsmouth; what tasks are now allotted to them; what improvements have been made in the condition of these quarters and in the nature of the tasks performed by those detained in them; and what is the longest period during the week for which they are locked in their cells.

Photo of Sir Peter Kirk Sir Peter Kirk , Saffron Walden

Forty-seven men were detained on 1st January, 1971. As regards the tasks carried out in detention and the improvements made, or planned, to this establishment, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave him in the winding up of the debate on the Armed Forces Bill last night.

The longest period men are locked in their rooms is 10½ hours between 2000 hours on Saturday and "call hands" at 0630 hours on Sunday.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Does the Minister agree that, because of ill-informed public doubts which still exist about the nature of life in the prison, it might be extremely helpful if he were to take an early opportunity to make a full statement about the objectives of work within a prison of this kind and demonstrate to the general public the degree of cross-fertilisations of ideas which goes on with administrators of civil prisons?

Photo of Sir Peter Kirk Sir Peter Kirk , Saffron Walden

I thought that I made a pretty full statement last night.