HC Deb 16 March 1857 vol 144 c2372

Clauses 1 to 13 agreed to.

Clause 14.


said, there was a subject connected with this Bill to which he wished to call attention before they proceeded further in Committee. He believed that the Articles of War for the army or navy had not been altered for a vast number of years. Now they were very severe in their terms, but were never executed or fully carried out. They were ordered to be read frequently on board of ship, and were of a most intimidating character, because many of them pronounced death for certain offences, when it was never intended that death should follow. He, therefore, thought that it was deserving the consideration of the Government whether those Articles should not be reconstructed. When he was a boy he remembered being afraid, on hearing those Articles read, that they would be hanging men every week. He thought that these apparently harsh regulations had a deteriorating effect on the service, and that ignorant seamen were very likely to be deterred from entering into the service from the severity of those articles.


said, that the hon. and gallant Member would find that the punishment of death no longer existed in the cases to which he referred, but was modified by other punishments.


said, he was perfectly well aware of that fact. He, therefore, wanted death to be expunged from the Articles of War.


said, the objection of the hon. and gallant Member for Bath (Captain Scobell) applied equally to the Articles of War in the General Mutiny Act.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bills reported as amended, to be considered To-morrow.