HC Deb 25 July 1867 vol 189 cc82-3

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether he has made further inquiry respecting the mode of punishment of Cadets on board the Britannia? It was alleged from a great many quarters that excessive cruelty was practised on board that ship; and it was stated by gentlemen acquainted with the practice, and who had given their names, that when a Cadet was punished his legs and arms were tied to ringbolts so that he could not move, and that he was flogged by a birch broom which had been previously steeped in water to make it more pliant; that fifteen cuts were inflicted with it on the back, and that the doctors invariably attended. He wished to know whether the First Lord had made further inquiries on the matter, and if he retained the opinion he formerly expressed?


said, in consequence of the statement of the hon. Member he had thought it necessary to make minute inquiry on the subject of the punishments on board the Britannia, and the result was a complete denial of any cruelty whatever. The allegation of a birch-broom instead of a rod being used was denied. It was a birch-rod precisely similar, though rather smaller, than that used at Westminster school. The other charges, also, were denied. [Mr. BASS: The arms are not tied to ringbolts?] Certainly not. But it is hardly necessary that I should go further into the case, as the Admiralty, having taken the whole subject into consideration, have thought it advisable that the punishment of flogging on board the Britannia should be discontinued. An order to that effect was issued by the Board of Admiralty on the 8th of last month.