Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Release of War Prisoner.

36.

asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will make representations to the appropriate nations for the release from prison of the war prisoner Rudolph Hess on humanitarian grounds, particularly in view of the fact that this nation is only too well aware of the suffering of felons in foreign prisons.

The release of this prisoner depends on the agreement of four powers. As recently as last month the British Government, one of the four powers, indicated in Parliament that a further approach which they made to the Soviet Government with a view to securing the release of Hess had met with an unfavourable reply. In this situation I do not consider that any representations on our part would be effective.

Could we not make representations to the Government of Russia?

We could, but I do not think they would have any effect.

Why not try?

TheSkibbereen Eagle is dead.

Have our Government ever made representations on behalf of this man?

We have made inquiries. If one of the four powers will not agree even when the other powers ask them, there is not much point in our entering into the picture.

Has the Minister or his predecessor ever made known what the attitude of the Irish Government is on this question?

What is the question?

The Minister can read it.

Read it yourself.

The release of Hess.

I do not think we would have any effect.

That is not an answer to my question.

I cannot answer for my predecessor without notice, but I have not at any time made representations about him.

Surely the Minister has access to his predecessor's files?

Not at the moment.

It is a separate question.

It is a supplementary question.

It is a separate question. It deals with another aspect of this matter.

Every supplementary is a separate question.

The question I am asking is: have the Irish Government ever made known their attitude on this question?

That is a separate question. Question No. 37.

If the Deputy wants information which is not available to me here, if he puts down a question I will have the necessary research done.

Would the Minister have it in a week or seven days?