Ruldolf Hess

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1972.

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Photo of Mr Airey Neave Mr Airey Neave , Abingdon 12:00 am, 24th April 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking to secure the release of Rudolf Hess.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

My hon. Friend knows my interest and concern about this. Nothing can be done without Soviet agreement. As my hon. Friend is aware, Her Majesty's Government have made numerous representations to the Soviet authorities that the dictates of humanity require that Hess should be released. We are always willing to make a further approach to them when we consider that this might achieve a positive result.

Photo of Mr Airey Neave Mr Airey Neave , Abingdon

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but will he put this matter on the agenda for the next four-Power conference in Berlin? How long will the British Government remain party to the detention of one man as a solitary prisoner in a 600-cell prison in Spandau?

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

As I say, I share my hon. Friend's concern. Before signature of the final quadripartite protocol, we have to agree with the Russians the details regarding establishment of their consulate-general and commercial premises in West Berlin. It may be that discussion of these questions will offer an opportunity to raise once again the question of Hess, but I can make no promises. It is a question of priorities, and the Berlin agreement must come first.