§ 2.46 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the cost to the United Kingdom of guarding Mr. Rudolf Hess in prison.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)
My Lords, there is no cost to the United Kingdom arising from Hess's imprisonment. All the costs of the three Western powers are borne by the German authorities.
My Lords, I thank the noble Minister for that Answer. May I ask her whether, in view of the forthcoming special 40th anniversary celebrations in commemoration of VE Day, her noble friend will approach the nations concerned in order to secure the liberation of Herr Rudolf Hess as a gesture of peace and goodwill?
§ Baroness Young
My Lords, I am sure that your Lordships will understand that it would not be right for me to give the House an undertaking to make a further approach on a specific occasion. However, I should like to assure the noble Lady that successive British Governments, together with the Governments of France and the United States, have argued for Hess's release on humanitarian grounds. Her Majesty's Government have made more than 20 such appeals to the Soviet Union, most recently in November 1984.