Coal Industry Dispute

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1985.

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Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:00 am, 6th June 1985

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many miners arrested during the miners' strike are still in prison; and if he will make a statement. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Mellor): The occupation of prisoners is not recorded centrally.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Is the Minister aware that during the miners' strike most Ministers talked of the strike as being a political strike? If that is the case, those miners who are still in prison are political prisoners. If it is in order for Ministers to trot over to east European countries and claim that there are political prisoners there who should be brought out, surely it is right for Labour Members to call for an amnesty for those miners who are in prison. Would the Minister not be better disposed rounding up the crooks at Johnson Matthey who have been giving out backhanders in order to get £75 million in rescue deals?

Photo of Mr David Mellor Mr David Mellor , Putney

The logical powers of the hon. Gentleman make those of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear appear positively prosaic by comparison.