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Gartree Prison (Attempted Escape)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

May I associate myself with the congratulatory remarks about the governor and the staff who handled these matters very coolly last night? The prison is in the middle of my constituency. Will the Home Secretary take another look at a letter I wrote him not very long ago after a recent visit that I paid to the prison? I stressed then the general dissatisfaction with the standard of catering in the prison. I am sure that my right hon. Friend is looking into that but there was, I felt, a general undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the prisoners for that reason.

Will my right hon. Friend Friend now give further consideration to the Mount-batten recommendations that there should be a special security prison for troublemakers, who should be segregated until they cease to become troublemakers? My right hon. Friend will be aware that the Mountbatten report said that a purpose-built prison should be provided for this specific purpose. Has he considered using the existing Leicester Prison for this purpose? It is centrally located and it could be converted easily. Will he assure me that he will do his best and will he reassure my constituents by ensuring that the Gartree officers are brought up to full complement at the earliest possible date?