HC Deb 15 March 1867 vol 185 cc1951-91

, in rising to move the Resolution of which he had given notice— That this House, reserving for future consideration when requisite the question of the exigencies of a state of war, is of opinion that it is unnecessary that the punishment of Flogging should be awarded during the time of peace to Soldiers of the Army or Corps of Royal Marines serving on shore, said, that he had given notice of this Resolution with a view to elicit a declaration as to the inexpediency of continuing the system of flogging in the army. The present moment appeared to him most opportune for mooting such a question, as it appeared that additional burdens were about to be laid upon the country to induce men to enter the army. The subject was, in his eyes, of such paramount importance that he would have hesitated, humble as he was, to bring it before them if it had not been for the deep convictions he entertained on the subject, and for the support he knew he would obtain from many Members of the House. The subject had been formerly brought before the House of Commons by the hon. Member for Brighton, by the hon. Member for Leicester, and others, who objected to that clause in the Mutiny Bill which authorized the punishment. But he thought the division lists on those occasions showed that the question had never been fairly submitted to the judgment of the House. In the first Reformed Parliament the subject was brought forward by a relative of his own, and one of the most distinguished men in it—the late Sir Francis Burdett—who proposed to restrict corporal punishment to three offences, and there appeared on a division the very small majority of 11 against Sir Francis Burdett's proposition. To prevent the question being again brought forward as was threatened, Mr. Ellice, who was then Secretary at War, issued orders on the authority of the King William IV., to commanding officers of regiments, restricting the punishment of flogging to certain heinous offences—mutiny, insubordination, or violence to a superior officer, drunkenness on duty, sale or making away with arms, munitions, or necessaries, stealing from comrades, or other disgraceful practices. But how did the question stand at the present day r He feared, by the Returns on the table of the House, that the question had retrograded since that time. The offences for which flogging was inflicted had increased from seven to seventeen. The number of men flogged in 1830 was 658; in 1831 it was 646; in 1832 it was 485, and in 1833 it was 370. It was remarkable that whenever a discussion had taken place in Parliament on the subject the result had been a diminution in the number of floggings, and that the amelioration which had taken place in the military code of the country had arisen from the opinions expressed by civilians in Parliament in opposition to the views of military men. The number of men flogged in 1863 was 518, and the number of lashes inflicted 23,668; the number of men in 1864 was 528, and the number of lashes, 25,638; the number of men in 1865 was 441, and the number of lashes 21,561. So that, in point of numbers, more men were flogged in 1865 than at a previous period when the matter was very little considered, though it must be mentioned that the number of men now in the army was much greater. There were certain offences also now punishable which did not find a place in the order to which he had alluded. In 1865 men were flogged for habitual drunkenness, breaking out of prison, disobedience of orders, loss of necessaries, unlawful possession, drunkenness in camp, and one man had been flogged for an offence new to him, entitled "miscellaneous." He wished to call the attention of the House particularly to two of those offences which were punishable with flogging—habitual drunkenness and desertion. It was unnecessary to describe the nature of the punishment itself. In many cases it went far beyond the intention of those by whom it was awarded, and in a recent case a man had died in hospital at Limerick after a severe flogging. He submitted that if it were possible that death should result from the punishment, the punishment ought to be abolished altogether. The Returns before the House showed that the punishment was utterly inefficient as a remedial measure. A most valuable Return entitled "Subsequent Conduct of Men who have been Flogged," most clearly proved this. It had been stated that the word "desertion" had suddenly come into the Mutiny Act in 1858, and that many men had since that time been punished for an offence which was intended to be excluded from the Bill. Now, if there was any one offence for which a man ought not to be subject to this punishment, it was that of desertion. How did a man enter the army? He was frequently entrapped by some wily sergeant when in a state of intoxication, and when he recovered he instinctively ran from the trap in which he had been caught. No doubt a man deserved some punishment for such an offence; but he ought not to be subjected to the most degrading punishment that could be inflicted. Of all offences "desertion" ought to be excluded from the list, except that of drunkenness. In 1865 the number of men flogged for desertion was seventy-two, and for habitual drunkenness, twenty-seven. When a man had been convicted of habitual drunkenness three times, he was brought before a court martial for the fourth offence, and degraded to the second class. Now, what was the case with respect to an officer offending in a similar way? At Agra a captain on the Staff was arraigned the other day, charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, prejudicial to good order and military discipline, in having been drunk at a public banquet given by the Maharajah of Jeypore, an ally of Her Majesty, and caused such a disturbance that he had to be removed by force. The Court found him guilty of the charge, and sentenced him to be severely reprimanded. The sentence was approved and confirmed by W. R. M. Mansfield, General Commanding-in-Chief Her Majesty's Forces in India. Mark the contrast ! The unhappy recruit who got muddled with beer was brought to the halberts, stripped to the waist, and flogged till the blood ran down his back, whilst the accomplished captain of the Staff who had to be removed for drunken violence was merely reprimanded. Truly might it be said— That in the captain's but a choleric word Which in the soldier is rank blasphemy. If that were the treatment recruits had to expect, while at the same time they were debarred from rising to the position of an officer, how could we hope to popularize the army? It was said that the punishment was necessary for the maintenance of military discipline. But to disprove that assertion it would only be necessary, without going back as far as the Jews, who, more humane than ourselves, inflicted only forty stripes save one, or the Romans, who did not inflict the punishment at all on their soldiers, to look at the Continental armies. In the two great wars which had recently taken place, the four Continental armies had been engaged—those of Russia and Austria, France, and Prussia. In the armies of France and Prussia corporal punishment had been altogether abolished. In the Russian army it still existed. In the Austrian army it was on the decrease. And what had been the result of the different systems? The armies disciplined under the lash had been defeated, whilst those in which the lash had been abolished had achieved invariable and brilliant success. In England, also, we had seen an army in which discipline had been maintained without the lash. Flogging was unknown in that famous army of Cromwell, of which Macaulay says, "No enemy ever saw its back." And how was it with the descendants of those Cavaliers and Roundheads who had once again met in deadly strife in the new world. The lash would not be tolerated for a moment in the American army, and yet during the recent gigantic war discipline had been fully maintained. It had been said that the English soldier was an exceptional soldier, and no doubt he was so to a certain extent; but it was not necessary on that account that he should be governed by the lash. In the metropolis discipline was maintained in the three regiments of Household Cavalry without the use of the lash. It might be said that they were composed of men of a superior class. And why? No doubt the men received better pay; but he maintained that a better class of men were attracted to those regiments, because they were not subjected to that degrading punishment. During the Indian Mutiny, in one of the most gallant regiments, under the command of the hon. and gallant Member for Norwich (Sir William Russell), discipline was fully maintained without the use of the lash, and it must be a source of great satisfaction to the hon. and gallant Gentleman to find that the Returns showed a continued absence of flogging in that regiment. One word with respect to recruiting. It had been admitted by the late Secretary for War that great difficulty existed in obtaining recruits. He was surprised to find that the Recruiting Commission had so much confined themselves to a certain class of witnesses, who could afford but little information as to the reason why men did not enter the ranks. Still, there was some evidence of import- ance upon this point. Several of the witnesses called before the Commission stated that flogging in the army checked recruiting, and was one of the causes which rendered it less attractive than it would otherwise be; and one of them said—and he (Mr. Otway) could confirm the statement—that he had heard mothers declare that they would sooner see their sons dead than in "the army. It was understood that the right hon. Gentleman the late Secretary to the Admiralty had issued orders limiting the amount of flogging in the navy. Now, it was not sufficient merely to issue orders, for orders in the army were not attended to. There was but one remedy, and that was, the entire abolition of the punishment. The House had been led to understand that there was an absolute protection to a man entering the army from this degrading punishment; and that before he was degraded to the second class he could not be punished. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: Hear, hear!] He (Mr. Otway) regretted to say that that was not the case—that there was no absolute protection for a soldier in the first class; for soldiers in the first class had been flogged before they were degraded into the second. The question as to those by whose orders the punishment of flogging was inflicted, opened up too wide a field for him to pursue now; but the House would remember that the regimental court martial before which a man was tried, was composed for the most part of young officers—that the tried soldier had not that protection which was given to every other citizen of the country—he was not tried by his peers. In France and in Prussia two private soldiers sat on every court martial, and their voices were equally free and powerful with those of their superior officers. No doubt the young gentlemen who constituted the judges pursued what they regarded as a proper course in sentencing men to this degrading punishment; but he maintained that it was not a satisfactory tribunal for subjecting men to such a degradation. It had been said that flogging was only given as a punishment for the gravest offences, but that that was not so was proved by the fact that regimental courts martial had power to inflict it; while the gravest offences could only be tried, not before a regimental court martial, but before a general court martial. Then, again, it was sometimes alleged that the soldiers themselves desired the retention of the punishment; but this on the face of it was incredible, and was quite counter to the testimony of those who had had opportunities of learning the feeling which they really entertained. In the Life of Sir William Napier an interesting anecdote was related of a private who, on a critical occasion, risked his life in rescuing that of his Commander, and when Sir William asked the motive for his gallant conduct, he replied, "You saved me yesterday from corporal punishment;" General Napier having, on the eve of the engagement, remitted his sentence. That man afterwards became an excellent soldier, and died a Serjeant pensioner. The statement that the lash had been entirely abolished in Prussia was sometimes questioned; but he was able from a recent visit to that country, and on the authority of a Prussian officer of high rank, to assert positively that such was the fact. Corporal punishment having being thus dispensed with in France, Prussia, and America, and being on the eve of abolition in Austria, why, he would ask, should England lag behind? The House had passed a number of measures mitigating the punishment of the soldier, but always, he regretted to say, in opposition to the views of the military authorities. When the 1,000 lashes were reduced to 300, and when the barbarous punishment of tying up cavalry soldiers by the wrist with their toes suspended over spikes was abolished, it was emphatically declared that discipline could not be maintained—just as Lord Eldon predicted that if hanging for burglary were given up people would all be murdered in their beds. He remembered, too, that on a visit to Van Diemen's Land—in an innocent capacity—he found the inhabitants greatly alarmed on account of the capital penalty for sheep-stealing being abolished. He hoped the House would disregard such bugbears, and would disdain to believe that the discipline of our army was dependent on the lash. The Resolution he was about to propose did not, he admitted, go as far as he should himself prefer; but he hoped that in time of peace, at all events, a punishment so demoralizing to those who inflicted and witnessed it, as well as to those who endured it, would be abandoned. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution.


, in seconding the Motion, said, that he had always voted against propositions arbitrarily interfering with the power of those who were responsible for the maintenance of the discipline of the army; but it could not be denied that corporal punishment was contrary to the spirit of the age, and was condemned by public opinion. It consequently deterred a number of persons who would otherwise enlist in the army—and especially operating prejudicially on the class and description of men who actually did enter. It was time for the House to consider whether it was absolutely necessary to retain this punishment in order to maintain the discipline of the army. That flogging could be done without was shown by experience. In 1811, when the character of the men was far worse than at present, Colonel Dalrymple, who commanded the second battalion of the Scots Fusileer Guards, announced his determination never to have recourse to the punishment of flogging. Colonel Dalrymple remained in command for two years and a half, and when he was promoted, a General Order was issued by the Duke of Gloucester, setting forth that the battalion under his command had supported the character of the regiment by its uniform good conduct, that this had been effected without the infliction of corporal punishment, and that no corps were ever in a higher state of discipline. If the House wished to know the effect of corporal punishment upon the men, he would refer to a Return moved for by Lord Alfred Church-hill, in 1865, of the number of men flogged in 1862, and the number of courts martial subsequently held upon the same men, with the punishments inflicted. It appeared from this Return that in 1862 there were no less than 329 men flogged, and out of this number there are only 107 who have not been since tried by court martial, and of these some 20 had their punishment extended from one to two years' imprisonment, leaving but short time to judge of their reformation; 63 had been discharged, in most cases ignominiously, from the service; of 16, no further information had been received after the first punishment; and on the rest as many as 275 further courts martial had been held, inflicting various punishments. It was certain that the punishment of the lash did not deter from the commission of subsequent offences. These figures were quite sufficient to justify the House in expressing an opinion, and the thanks of hon. Members were, he thought, due to his hon. Friend for the manner in which he had brought forward the subject, by giving the House an opportunity of expressing its opinion without taking immediate action. He trusted that if his hon. Friend should carry his Motion he would not take any steps to embody it in the Mutiny Bill of the present year. If a General Order were issued by the Commander-in-Chief suspending the punishment of flogging for a year in the army, the authorities would discover whether it would be possible to do away with corporal punishment or not. This would give both officers and men an opportunity of showing that they could do without the punishment of the lash. Such a course would, he believed, offer the easiest means of settling this difficult question.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House, reserving for future consideration when requisite the question of the exigencies of a state of war, is of opinion that it is unnecessary that the punishment of flogging should be awarded during the time of peace to Soldiers of the Army or Corps of Royal Marines serving on shore,"—(Mr. Otway) —instead thereof.


In rising to offer a few observations in answer to the Motion so ably introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Chatham (Mr. Otway), and so ably seconded by the hon. and gallant Member for Lichfield (Major Anson), I feel that I labour under great disadvantage in speaking merely from the experience which I have acquired in the administration of the office with which I have the honour to be connected. My hon. Friend the Member for Chatham has introduced his Motion with an announcement that he speaks on behalf, not merely of his constituents at Chatham, who are deeply interested in this question, but of the mothers of England, who are interested on account of their sons who are now in or may be likely to enlist into the British army; and he says he speaks also with the authority of experience which he obtained in our Australian colonies. The hon. and gallant Member for Lichfield also has added to the Motion the weight of the authority which he has derived from his experience during many years of distinguished service in the field. I feel that in attempting to answer those two hon. Members I labour under great disadvantage; yet I venture to say that the case which those two hon. Members have sought to make out is one that admits of a complete answer. The Motion which the hon. Member for Chatham has submitted to this House is to this effect—That during the time of peace, under all circumstances, under all conditions, in all parts of the vast extent of the British dominions, where the British army may be placed, this House will be of opinion that the punishment of flogging shall under no circumstances be awarded; and the hon. Member, in introducing the Motion, stated to the House that this question has never fairly been submitted to it. But he himself has given a complete contradiction to his own statement, by showing that from the year 1833 and down to the year 1867, on various occasions, the opinion of this House had been elicited by various Members on this question. I do not hesitate to say that to pass the Motion of the hon. Member for Chatham would be an interference on the part of the House with the discipline of the army, and one which is contrary to the opinions and judgment of those to whom the administration of the army is intrusted, and which might—I do not wish to use an exaggerated phrase, and therefore do not say that it will—effect a revolution in the army, but I do say that the result will be a fundamental change in the law; and such as I think this House will be unwilling, except in the strongest possible case, to adopt. The hon. Member for Chatham says that the question has retrograded since 1834, when the question was introduced into the Reformed House of Commons by an hon. and gallant Member (Major Fancourt), and Mr. Ellice, then Secretary at War, made certain promises to the House which were embodied in a Memorandum issued by order of King William IV. restricting the punishment of the lash to seven classes of offences. Now, the hon. Member says, the classes of offences to which the punishment is applicable have been increased from 7 to 17, and that thus the question has retrograded since 1834. Well, I felt a difficulty throughout the speech of the hon. Member for Chatham in understanding what was the nature of his objection. At one time he seemed to object to the punishment as degrading to the soldier; at another he objected on the ground that it was applied to offences to which it ought not to be applied; and it was with respect to the latter that I understood him to complain that the 7 classes of offences specified by William IV. in 1834 had been increased to 17 in 1867. But, so far from the question having retrograded during the last 33 years, I think I shall be able to show that there has been a most remarkable diminution in every re- spect in the amount of corporal punishment awarded within that period. He has spoken of the number of men flogged in 1831–2, and of the number of men flogged in 1863–4–5. But did the hon. Gentleman compare the number flogged with the total number of the forces at each of the two periods—the forces of the King in 1830, and the forces of the Queen in 1865? In 1830 the hon. Gentleman said the number of men flogged was 658. So they were. But that was 658 out of 88,498, or 1 man in 135. And how stands the case during the last three years? Why, in 1863 the British army, including the Indian army, consisted, not of 88,498,but 280,000 men; and the number flogged in that year was only 518, or 1 in 403. In 1864 there were 528 men flogged out of a force of 204,057 men, or 1 in 386. In 1865 there were 441 flogged out of 198,048, or only 1 in 449. Let me ask my hon. Friend the Member for Chatham whether that is not an aspect under which the question should be regarded? Let me take another point. Compare the men sentenced to corporal punishment with the number tried by courts martial. Some 40 or 50 years ago, from 1821 to 1823, every other man—1 man out of 2 of those tried—was flogged. From 1825 to 1828 1 in 5. How stands the proportion in the last three years? In 1863 there were tried by court martial 18,659 men, of whom 518 were flogged, or 1 out of 36; in 1864, there were tried 18,028, of whom 528 were flogged, or 1 in 34; in 1865, there were tried 22,261, of whom 441 were flogged, or 1 in 54. Whereas somewhere about 40 years ago every other man who was tried was flogged; in the last year the proportion was only 1 in 54. How, then, can it be said that we have retrograded on this question since the year 1834. There is another point, and that is the amount of punishment inflicted. The hon. Member has talked of the question having retrograded, Why, in 1834, a general court martial could award an unlimited number of lashes; and there is a Friend of mine sitting behind me who says he has seen 999 lashes given. I will show you the progress which has been made since that time. I am not defending the practice of by-gone days. I adduce it as a matter of history, in answer to the observation that the cause of abolition has retrograded since 1834. In that year an unlimited number of lashes could be given by a general court martial. A district court martial could inflict 300 lashes, and a regimental 200.


wished to explain that the right hon. Gentleman had misunderstood his argument. He had not said that they had retrograded in respect to the points to which the right hon. Member was referring, but in respect to the number and class of offences for some of which flogging was not previously inflicted.


I am answering the general statement that we have retrograded since 1834. In 1847 the number of lashes to be inflicted in any case was reduced to fifty, and no more than fifty can now be awarded for any offence whatever; and this has been the case for the last twenty years and upwards. This is a third answer to the alleged retrogression since 1834. The hon. Gentleman has spoken of courts martials being composed of young officers, leading the House to infer that punishments are awarded in a reckless way. But there can be no court martial that does not require confirmation. Every sentence is submitted to superior authority. A sentence of a general court martial is submitted to the Sovereign, and the Sovereign acts under the advice of the Judge Advocate General; a sentence of a district court martial is submitted to the confirmation of the General Officer commanding the district; a sentence of a regimental court martial undergoes the double revision—first of the Commander of the regiment, and secondly of the General Officer commanding the district. The hon. Member has alluded to one case of flogging that occurred in 1865, which in a Return of corporal punishments was said to have been inflicted for "miscellaneous" offences. I really do not know who compiled this Return; but I imagine the explanation would be that the man was convicted of several offences at the same court martial. The case occurred in the East Indies. The hon. Member's Motion is that in time of peace the punishment of flogging should be abolished in the British army under all circumstances. Now, I do not stop to inquire exactly what the hon. Gentleman means by "time of peace." What is "time of peace" at home may not be "time of peace" at New Zealand or at the Cape. We learned yesterday that it is not time of peace in Honduras, May there not be parts of the British Empire at all times where there is not peace? Let me call the hon. Gentleman's attention to this point with respect to these sentences of corporal punishment. A very small proportion after all is inflicted for offences committed at home. The hon. Gentleman has spoken of the Guards. Well, there is an hon. and gallant Friend behind me (Sir Charles Russell) who will be able to state that the amount of corporal punishment inflicted in the Guards is almost nil. [Opposition cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen cheered; but it did not follow that because in a well-disciplined corps in London they could dispense with corporal punishment they could dispense with it also in New Zealand, China, and our distant dependencies. You will find the annual average number of persons flogged during the last three years to be 141. In 1863 the number was 167; in 1864 it was 109; in 1865, 147; so that the average of the 3 years was 141. Well, where is the punishment principally inflicted? You will find at one time a mutiny at Sierra Leone, on which occasion 30 were flogged. At New Zealand a very large proportion of flogging-took place. There would be great difficulty in imprisoning offenders in New Zealand; and yet what other punishment than imprisonment could be substituted for the lash? And the same remark applies to India and to China. The majority of these instances are cases, as I have said, relating to distant dependencies, such as New Zealand, the East Indies, and Canada, and in the latter colony the floggings have chiefly taken place for the crime of desertion—there being great temptations for soldiers to pass over the borders into the United States. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Chatham objects to such a punishment being inflicted for desertion, or for drunkenness. I would like therefore clearly to understand what it is that the hon. Gentleman wishes us to do. Does he wish the House to affirm that corporal punishment is to be abolished, or does he wish us to pass an opinion as to the particular class of offences which ought to be punished in that way? My own idea is that the latter is rather a question to be dealt with by those to whose charge the discipline of the army is committed. At present there are offences—such as absence without leave, which are no longer brought under the head of desertion. It is not for this House to decide what class of offences shall or shall not be visited with corporal punishment. According to my own experience the offences for which it is mainly inflicted are thefts from comrades, striking non-commissioned officers, making away with necessaries, desertion, and habitual drunkenness; but in the two latter cases this punishment is rare. I speak only from my official experience of a few years; but comparing the years 1858.9 with 1866–7, I find that in the latter years the courts martial are more loth to inflict it than they were in the former, and that it is only in the most flagrant cases that the presiding officer is willing to inflict the punishment. ["Oh, oh!"] There can be no doubt whatever that flogging is diminishing instead of increasing, and that those who administer the discipline of the army are slow to take advantage of the powers which the law gives them. There is a growing indisposition on the part of officers to resort to such a measure, and that, coupled with the facts I have already brought under the notice of the House, makes me believe that no case has been made out for intervention in this matter. The hon. Gentleman says it should be restricted within the narrowest limits. With respect to that point, I speak my own sentiments, and I am sure I but echo the opinions of all in this House, that we are perfectly at one with him. His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief and those upon whom depends the administration of discipline in the army also earnestly wish to restrict this punishment within the very narrowest possible limits. Upon that point we are all agreed. The hon. Gentleman has referred to the important change introduced by the late Lord Herbert in 1859–60 with regard to the classification of soldiers, and he complains that the orders sanctioned on that occasion have not been complied with. The hon. Gentleman having appealed to me in the matter, I feel bound in all candour to tell him all that I know with respect to it. It is well known to the House that by means of Lord Herbert's classification, soldiers upon entering the army are placed in what is called the first class, and so long as they continue in that class they are protected from being subjected to corporal punishment. It has been urged by the hon. Gentleman that this immunity has been violated, and that a soldier belonging to the first class had actually been subjected to the lash. That is perfectly correct. In the course of last autumn it was my duty to read the proceedings of a court martial, from which I found that a soldier of the first class had been sentenced to corporal punishment. My attention was immediately directed to the case, and I may add that it was one of so detestable and abominable a character that were the facts disclosed I am sure every Member of this House would agree that the punishment was fully merited. In that case the principle laid down in Lord Herbert's classification was certainly violated; a soldier belonging to the first class had corporal chastisement inflicted upon him, but it occurred under what were very exceptional circumstances. I felt it my duty, however, to write to the confirming officer, and to point out to him that, as a pledge had been given to Parliament in the year 1860 that soldiers of that class should possess an immunity from such sentences, those to whom the duty of administering discipline in the army should keep faith with Parliament and carry out the regulations which the Queen had sanctioned. I also addressed a communication on the subject to the Secretary of State for War and his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief; and the result has been that in future the provision applicable to the cases of soldiers of the first class, instead of forming part as it hitherto has done, of the Queen's Regulation, will form part of the Articles of War, and will thus be imperatively binding on all commanding officers, and absolute protection will in this way be afforded. Passing from that, I may remark that one would really suppose from the way in which the hon. Gentleman has put the question that the only persons in the British dominions who are liable to be flogged are the British soldiers, and that such punishment was reserved for one class of Her Majesty's subjects, and for one alone. Nay, more, the hon. and gallant Member for Lichfield spoke of it as opposed to public opinion. But is this really the case? Is it a fact that corporal punishment is opposed to the public opinion of this country? ["Hear, hear!"] Hon. Gentlemen say "Hear, hear!" but I should like us to be explicit upon this matter. The question has been put to the House over and over again for the past twenty-five years, and it has always been answered in the same way. And in what way has it been answered, let me ask? I am speaking now, of course, of civil offences. What happened twenty-five years ago? Why, in the year 1842 this nation was shocked by a succession of impotent and unmeaning outrages against its Sovereign, and it being strongly felt that the cases could not be treated as high treason, a special Act of Parliament was passed providing that this crime should be visited with corporal punishment. The result of that has been that since then there has not been a single instance of personal outrage against the Sovereign. What happened somewhat later? A senseless and miserable man entered the British Museum and wantonly destroyed a beautiful work of art—the Portland Vase—then Parliament felt that the outrage was so gross, and that it gave evidence of such a brutal and degraded nature, that corporal chastisement was really the only punishment which could be inflicted. Again, in the year 1861, when we had the whole of our criminal law under review, Bills were introduced with the greatest deliberation by the Attorney General of the day, submitted to a Select Committee upstairs, and discussed there week after week, and were passed by the House sanctioning the infliction of corporal punishment on offenders not over sixteen years of age. Again, in 1862, Parliament passed an Act especially to regulate the mode in which juvenile and other offenders should be whipped, and prescribing the mode in which they should be whipped in England as well as the way in which the punishment should be inflicted in Scotland. ["Oh, oh!"] I have not the Act by me; but any hon. Member can refer to it for himself. It is a short Act of two clauses, prescribing the mode in which the whipping of juvenile and other offenders should be carried out. But there are even stronger instances in favour of my argument than those which I have already adduced. Four years ago, when garrotting was very prevalent, and when an hon. Member of that House was unable to proceed to his home in safety at night, a special law was passed making violent outrages of that description liable to corporal punishment. That measure was carried on the Motion of my right hon. Friend the Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Adderley), then a private Member of the House, without the weight which attached to a Member of the Government, and solely relying on the preponderating public opinion out of doors. But Parliament has done more. The hon. Member for Chatham complains of the brutal system of corporal punishment in the army, which consists in the administration of fifty lashes. Does he forget that in 1863 the Legislature provided that garrotters might be whipped not only once or twice, but three times? [Mr. BUXTON: How many lashes?] I will tell the hon. Gentleman. If the person on whom they are inflicted happens not to be over sixteen years of age the number of lashes prescribed is twenty-five each whipping— that was to say, seventy-five if the three whippings are inflicted, as against fifty in the case of the soldier. Any male offender over sixteen may, however, receive fifty lashes at each whipping, or 150 in the whole, while that brutal punishment—the relic, as the hon. Gentleman would have it, of an obsolete age, is maintained in the army only to the extent of fifty lashes for a single offence. I have, I think, said sufficient to show that there is but little force in the argument that corporal punishment is opposed to public opinion; and, when it is borne in mind that only one out of every 400 soldiers is now flogged, and that the lash is not carried to such an extent as to shock the general feeling, I think I am justified in appealing to hon. Members not to interfere with those who are responsible for the discipline of the army, and whose business it is to maintain that army in a state of efficiency, by passing a Resolution couched in such general terms as that under discussion, and which will, if passed, operate in all parts of the world and under all circumstances, however difficult or inexpedient it might be to act upon the suggestion which it contains.


said, he thought that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down (Mr. Mowbray) furnished the best arguments—if any arguments were required to show the propriety of abolishing corporal punishment in the army—in favour of the Resolution of his hon. Friend the Member for Chatham. The right hon. Gentleman began his speech by putting on that Resolution a construction which the words did not bear, and had argued that Motions of the same character had been brought before the House on various occasions, always to meet with the same fate. The present was, however, he (Captain Vivian) believed, the only occasion on which such a Resolution had been submitted to the House in a substantive form. In all previous cases it had been introduced in Committee by way of Amendment to one of the clauses of the Mutiny Bill. The Motion on the present occasion would therefore have more force than it could previously have had. The right hon. Gentleman went on to charge his hon. Friend with stating that the question of flogging in the army had gone back within the last thirty years, but what he really said was that the class of offences for which that punishment was inflicted had retrograded. He was, however, glad that the right hon. Gentleman had misinterpreted the words used by his hon. Friend, because upon that misinterpretation he hung an argument which was one of the best that could be advanced in favour of the abolition of corporal punishment; for surely, if the cases in which that punishment was now inflicted were only as one in 400, whereas thirty years ago they were one in 137, it was clear that the discipline of the army had gone on rapidly improving without the aid of a brutal and barbarous practice. The right hon. Gentleman the Judge Advocate General had referred to the fact that a gallant Officer in that House had witnessed the infliction of 999 lashes. It had been his (Captain Vivian's) misfortune to have witnessed the infliction, under the sentence of a general court martial, of 200 lashes; but now only fifty lashes could be given, which, in his opinion, proved that the army got on just as well without this brutal and barbarous practice as it did when the larger number were inflicted. The Guards had been instanced by the right hon. Gentleman as a regiment in which corporal punishment was rarely, if ever, inflicted, and he gave as a reason their good discipline, arising from their being in London; but every one connected with the army knew that London was the worst place in all the world where they could enforce discipline. If that could be done with regard to the Guards, who were stationed in London, why could not the discipline of the whole of the army be maintained without corporal punishment? The Household Cavalry regiments had been quoted to show that corporal punishment was not required to enforce discipline; but that was owing to the fact that it was considered the greatest disgrace that could happen to a man to be turned out of the regiment. They should, therefore, endeavour to teach the whole of the army that it was a glory to belong to the profession, and a disgrace to be driven from it. There was no gentler nature or kinder man than His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief, and he knew that His Royal Highness would be glad to see corporal punishment abolished if he could, and he only wanted the sanction of the House for it. ["Hear, hear!"] He understood that cheer; but he had no doubt that if the Resolution was adopted by the House the discipline of the army would be quite as safe as it was now. The right hon. Gentleman had compared the British soldiers to felons, because he had urged that public opinion was in favour of the lash in the case of garrotters, those who committed high treason by firing at the Queen, men who wilfully destroyed property, as in the case of the Portland Vase, and also in the case of juvenile offenders; but it was precisely because it was so that the punishment lowered the moral standard of the army, and rendered it so difficult to get recruits of a character different from those who now enlisted. But he (Captain Vivian) wished to see the British soldier stand on a different footing. The Secretary of State for War had introduced a new system of recruiting, which no doubt would bring a greater number of recruits to the ranks; but he (Captain Vivian) wished to see a different class enlisted. Nothing prevented a man of respectable family from joining the army so much as the fact that he might be subjected to the lash, and it was therefore only natural that a mother should say to her son, "Don't go where you may be disgraced by the application of the lash." Flogging was not brutal as it was now carried out. A case had been referred to in which a man who had received punishment was supposed to have died in consequence; but from the report of the inquest on Private Symes, of the 74th Highlanders, who died in the Limerick Military Hospital, after receiving fifty lashes, it appeared that the military medical men said he died of erysipelas of the brain, independent of the flogging, while a civil doctor attributed death to irritant fever, consequent on the flogging; and the verdict was that he died from congestion of the brain and fever, accelerated by corporal punishment. It was not proved, then, that he died from corporal punishment, and the probability was that he died from disease, induced by intemperate habits. But in this case the sympathy of the public was in favour of the victim. One of the strongest reasons he had to urge against the continuance of corporal punishment was that it was now administered with such mildness that it had ceased to have any deterrent effect; and that was proved by the Return already quoted, which showed that of 328 men flogged, only six were reclaimed by the flogging. Formerly, when men received 500, or even 999 lashes, it had a different effect, because men's minds were struck with terror. Now, however, it was not the abuse of the lash, but the use of it, that was objected to. It did not deter the really bad from committing crimes, and yet it degraded the army. He sympathized not with the rascal and the ruffian, but with the good soldiers, who were obliged to witness this degrading punishment, knowing that at any moment whilst he were the Queen's uniform he was liable to it. ["No, no!"] The right hon. Gentleman had admitted that men of the first class had received the lash; the public did not understand the distinction of classes, and the whole army was lowered by the infliction of the punishment. He could not understand the process of reasoning by which it was inferred that if flogging were abolished resort must be had to capital punishment. It was not so in other countries; and the proper punishment of the soldier was that inflicted upon other persons who committed crimes—namely, useful hard labour, and not the dragging of shot and shell. If the Resolution were carried, something must be done to strengthen the hands of commanding officers, and facilitate their getting rid of bad characters, and it might be easily done. The other day he was conversing with a gallant friend who commands one of the most distinguished regiments, and that officer said he would be glad to see flogging abolished if power were given to commanding officers to get rid of bad characters. At present it was impossible for an officer to get rid of a bad character unless he was branded—that was marked, painlessly, with the letters "B. C." He had received a letter from a commanding officer, who said— About the year 1863 a man enlisted in the regiment named James—, a quietly contumacious and mutinous blackguard. He soon proved himself, never doing his punishment, and always absenting himself. On the occasion of one of his long absences I caused his kit to be examined, and there discovered a 'branded' discharge, purporting to be that of 'James—,' who had been drummed out of the Royal Marines as a notoriously bad and incorrigible character. On his return (he was apprehended soon after) he acknowledged the fact. I wrote to the Admiralty, complaining that this man had not been marked 'B. C.,' and had thus re-enlisted. I received as an answer that they were 'not in the habit of marking men discharged with ignominy.' I then applied to the Adjutant General for leave to discharge him, as a man unfit for the Marines was evidently unfit for any other regiment. The reply was 'You must wait till he further commits himself, then try him, and brand him; but till then he cannot be discharged, as he would again enlist.' I humbly submit that it is Her Majesty's gracious prerogative to discharge any man she pleases. The Household Cavalry have the power, and until the hands of commanding officers are strengthened, we cannot do without the example of flogging, which, however little it may benefit notorious offenders, has a most wholesome effect (by the terror it inspires) upon the young soldier. I will mention another case—that of a man guilty of a horrible offence. A true bill was found; but, on his trial, the counsel pleaded that the indictment was faulty, inasmuch as the offence was not committed on the Queen's highway as stated, but in a passage three yards away. This man was returned (legally innocent) to his regiment, who have him still, inasmuch as a discharge was refused because the man was not branded. How can commanding officers ameliorate the condition of the soldiers, when recruits are thrown into the society and companionship of such men? If the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the War Department would inaugurate his reign there by abolishing the cruel and useless punishment of flogging, and by enabling commanding officers to get rid of bad characters, he would do more to raise the moral standard of the army, and bring recruits into the service, than could be done by any other system that could be adopted. He wished to see the moral standard of the army made equal to the moral standard of other classes of society. He was quite sure that if the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary of War brought his abilities unbiassed to bear on this question of flogging, and if he adopted the present Resolution, he would do more for the condition of the soldier than could be effected by any other means.


said, he cordially agreed with the hon. and gallant Member (Captain Vivian) that the Commander-in-Chief would be very glad to dispense with corporal punishment in the army if he could; but as it had been said that his Royal Highness would consider his hands strengthened if the present Resolution were passed, probably the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War would be able to inform the House that the Commander-in-Chief was not of that opinion, but would, on the contrary, think that the passing of the Resolution would very much derogate from his power of carrying on the discipline of the army. His right hon. Friend the Judge Advocate had gone so very fully into the subject that he (Colonel Herbert) would not do more than state a few facts. According to a Return which he had seen, it appeared that out of 187,000 and odd men comprised in the Returns of the Army, 170,000, or 91 per cent, were in the first class, and therefore not liable to be flogged, and only 17,000 were liable to that punishment. The hon. Member for Chatham (Mr. Otway) must have fallen into an error when he referred to the flogging of a recruit for desertion, because a recruit must commit a great crime to be put in the second class, where he would be liable to be flogged. The hon. Member also referred to the case of a soldier being flogged for drunkenness, and gave a sensational description of the different punishment inflicted on the officer for the same offence. The House, however, should bear in mind that a soldier was not flogged for a simple act of drunkenness, but only for habitual drunkenness; and, therefore, the comparison of the case of the officer was hardly a fair one to put before the House. He thought that the House would be prepared to admit that if the punishment of fifty lashes was allowed to be given for a great variety of offences in civil life, the punishment of flogging in the army, if it were to be inflicted at all, was not excessive; and in reference to the case which had been alluded to of loss of life having ensued on flogging, he apprehended that it was owing to some accidental circumstance that the man's days were shortened. There was no punishment, not excepting imprisonment, that did not place a man's life more or less in danger, and tend to shorten it. Some stress had been laid on the efficiency of other punishments, and admitting, as he did, that they were efficient, he asked how could they be carried out unless enforced by the dread of corporal punishment? There was an old story that when some one was pressing the Duke of Wellington on this subject of preventing crime in the army by other punishments besides flogging, and suggesting that the offenders might be sent to drill, the noble Duke observed, "Suppose they won't go to drill?" It was not to be denied that a system of other punishments could not be carried out unless there was behind the ultimate terror of corporal punishment. The Resolution expressed an opinion in favour of the abolition of flogging in time of peace, and disclaimed the idea of getting rid of it in time of war, when the soldiers had to undergo the severest hardships and privations. But if, in accordance with such Resolution, flogging happened to be discontinued for ten or twenty years, how would it be possible afterwards, on the occurrence of a war, to resort to that punishment again? Upon this point he would read to the House a statement made before a Commission of Inquiry by the Duke of Wellington. The noble Duke said— It would be a very unfortunate circumstance if a punishment pronounced by the Government and Parliament to be an improper punishment should be inflicted on those who are to perform the service abroad, which it has been the object and duty of those at the head of the army to represent as a service of honour and advantage.…If it (going abroad) was to be attended by corporal punishment being revived—having been put down in England and Ireland—I do not mean to say that there might not be some instances of mutiny and difficulty in getting the soldier abroad, from the fear of having, or under the pretext of the fear of having, this punishment inflicted. The Duke of Wellington also expressed an opinion that if corporal punishment were discontinued it would not be possible to enforce the minor punishments. Now, these remarks applied much more strongly to soldiers on active service. When he was on service in India it was his fate to have to bring to court martial and to confirm the sentences of corporal punishment on three men in the course of one morning. Two of those men were guilty of having been found asleep while on their posts as sentries on an outpost, with a large number of the enemy in front of them. The other man had committed a deliberate murder of a native, who had been given into his charge as a prisoner. He had put him in charge of a rearguard, whom he had told to take care of the man; but he had hardly ridden away from them the length of that House when he heard the discharge of a musket, and on turning back found the prisoner lying dead. Seeing the man's musket smoking, he made a prisoner of him, and tried to get evidence on the spot; but he found there was a disposition to screen the offender on the part of his comrades. However, he managed to get evidence sufficient to bring the man before a court martial. Now, he would ask the House to consider whether, as he had not power to hang the man, it would have wished such a crime to have been dealt with in a more lenient way than by corporal punishment? In order to show that he was not of a barbarous or cruel disposition, he might mention that on the very same day he remitted half the amount of punishment awarded to the two other men, and apologized to the regiment for having to inflict the same punishment on them as was inflicted on the man who had committed the murder. Now, what was the course pursued in the French army in regard to crimes of violence? A case occurred in the neighbourhood of the English army in front of Sebastopol. A soldier struck an officer; though, as far as he was aware, there was no pretence that the soldier had any design on the officer's life. Now, according to the French code the penalty for the offence was death. The officer commanding the troops halted on the spot, sent a message to his superior officer, obtained authority to hold a court martial, tried the man, found him guilty, dug his grave, shot him, and marched home. Now, he would ask the House whether, in the interests of humanity, did they wish punishments of this kind to be inflicted in the English army? He had no hesitation in saying that in the English army a similar crime would have only led to corporal punishment, and that the discipline of the English army would have been thereby fully and entirely sustained. It was certainly true that some officers of very high character entertained an objection to flogging, and said they could do without it. Now, no doubt, it was not very difficult for individual officers to take that line under ordinary circumstances; yet their men well knew, if driven into a corner, they would change their minds and resort to it. Moreover, it must be remembered that officers were always enthusiastic about their own regiments, and their opinions must therefore be accepted cum grano salis when they said that their own corps could do without that which was found necessary under other circumstances by other people. The confidence which some officers had in the honour and good behaviour of their men was a part of that esprit de corps of which exaggerated instances were sometimes seen. On this point he might refer to the case of officers of the Bengal army, who after the commencement of the Mutiny were still convinced that their own regiments were still faithful, and would never turn against them. That example showed conclusively that officers were sometimes carried away by their esprit de corps. Now, as corporal punishment was under the present system moderate in amount, as it was only resorted to when serious offences had been committed, as it was effective for the repression of crime, and as without it it would be impossible—especially in time of war—to maintain the discipline of the army unless recourse were had to the more severe punishment of death, he thought he had made out to the satisfaction of the House that there were good grounds why Her Majesty's Government should resist the Motion of the hon. Gentleman.


The right hon. Gentleman the Treasurer of the Household—[Colonel PERCY HERBERT: Not "right honourable."] Well, you ought to be right honourable. I will say, then, the hon. Gentleman has somewhat misapprehended the Motion of the hon. Member for Chatham, which is for doing away with the punishment of flogging in the army during the time of peace; whereas the anecdotes so graphically narrated by the hon. and gallant Officer referred entirely to a state of war. He has given us anecdotes of his own personal experience in the Crimea, where he so much distinguished himself, and at Sebastopol, where he also distinguished himself; but his distinctions have been gained in the field of war, and his experience does not apply to a time of peace. But the hon. and gallant Officer, following the lead of the Judge Advocate, attempted to deter the House from dealing with this question by saying it would be an interference with the discipline of the army. But ever since I have had the honour of a seat in this House, that has always been the argument of all Judge Advocates, and if it had held good in this House we should have had the same state of things in 1867 as existed in 1812, when any number of lashes might have been inflicted by a district, regimental, or general courts martial. I ask, what has been the cause of the great amelioration, not only in our criminal code, but in the army, if it has not been the influence of this House? Before 1830 there was a punishment in the army of attaching an enormous weight to a soldier's leg. It was proposed to abolish that mode of punishment; and the Judge Advocate of that day, and no doubt the Treasurer of the Household of that day, said then as now—no; that would be interfering with the discipline of the army. But in 1830 a Commission sat; Lord Hill was examined before it, and he said that the punishment was more fit for a beast than a man; and that punishment was abolished altogether. When I heard my hon. and gallant Friend below me describe this punishment as being now tolerably mild, I could not help remembering the lines of Pope— Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, To make a wash would hardly stew a child. The hon. Gentleman on the other side is also of opinion that the punishment is excessively moderate; but how has it been reduced to that moderation but by the interference of this House. Prior to 1832 there was no limitation to the number of lashes that might be given by regimental, district, or other courts martial; and a most serious thing happened in 1833, when the same language as we have just heard was held by the Judge Advocate of that day. In that year a clause was moved by Mr. Hume to be inserted in the Mutiny Act absolutely forbidding the punishment of flogging in the army. The division was a very narrow one, and the Motion was only lost by eleven votes—there being 140 for it, and 151 against it. But what happened immediately in consequence of that narrow majority? The punishment was restricted to certain offences, and cut down from 500 to 300 lashes; and so it has been always going on. When the House interfered military men always got up and said, you should not interfere with the British army. I made a Motion in 1843 that the punishment be restricted to fifty lashes. Of course, I was told that it would interfere with the discipline of the army. But what followed in 1845? The Minister for War came down, and on his proposition the punishment was restricted to fifty lashes. What is the argument of the Judge Advocate at the present time? Why, Sir, I was a little ashamed of the speech coming from a man of his official dignity and position; and I thought that if that speech were published side by side with your new army recruiting regulations, that what you gained by your extra 2d. a day you would lose by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman compared the British soldier to a felon, and almost spoke as if he were the flogging master at Eton, or an amateur at flogging. He seemed to say, Is not this a fine national punishment? What do you do with your garrotters? And then he turned round and attempted to apply his great garrotting argument to the recruits of the British army. I was astonished. He thought possibly that he was malting rather a smart defence for the punishment of flogging. I thought how it would probably tell in the city of Durham to-morrow morning, and how much more it would tell in the British army. I say if we are ever to have any improvement in anything in this country it will never be done by the mere authorities, whether they he a Royal Highness unnecessarily dragged into this discussion, or any one else; it will never be done until it is effected by the common sense and good feeling of this House. I heard with great satisfac- tion the hon. Member for Chatham (Mr. Otway), who has served as an officer of the army in several quarters of the globe, make a most excellent speech, in which he displayed the mind of a statesman as well as the humanity of a man. I see now many Gentlemen who were not in the House when that speech was made—they are probably rushing in to vote that they will not interfere with the discipline of the British army. But I hope that, at any rate, we shall find that there are men in this House who will not be deterred by these hobgoblin arguments. There is one right hon. Gentleman in this House who has rather gained a fame for re-construction. He was about to re-construct the British navy some time ago, and the other day he was about to reconstruct the Board of Admiralty; but somehow or other he failed in both—at least, he has not done either—and now, like an Admirable Crichton, fit for any office, he is removed to the War Office. Well, let him now make a re-construction there, and the first thing he does, let him re-construct the system of punishment in the British army. Let him take my word for it, that if he wishes the army to be well disciplined and well recruited he will remove this abominable punishment from the page of our criminal code in the army, and then he will get a better class of men, and give satisfaction not only to the army but to the country at large.


thought the right hon. and gallant General who brought forward the Army Estimates the other evening gave a convincing proof of the most effectual mode of stimulating recruiting for the army by practically improving the condition of the soldier; for no sooner was a little addition made to his pay than the recruiting for the quarter was in excess of the demand, and even time-expired men, who know the necessity of maintaining discipline, were re-entering the ranks because they knew that some ameliorations of a practical character were about to be effected on their behalf. The hon. and gallant Member who last spoke (Mr. Osborne) had congratulated his hon. and gallant Friend the Treasurer of the Household on having told some very graphic anecdotes; but he found fault with them on the score of their applying to a time of war rather than a time of peace. Now, he (Sir Charles Russell) also would tell the House two anecdotes, and they should be both confined to a period of peace, and which showed how deterrent this punishment was. In 1846 he was put on board an old hulk called the Cornwall in which there were many draughts going to the Cape, Mauritius, Ceylon, and China. The officers had never been together before, and the men were entirely recruits. They had not been long at sea when there were serious exhibitions of a mutinous spirit. The non-commissioned officers told the officers that the men in their hammocks were discussing how they could seize the vessel, and that a rising had been determined on. Preparations were made by getting together the most trustworthy of the men in a sort of band for protection, and they were told in the event of anything like a mutinous spirit exhibiting itself to rush to the poop. They did so when a man was haranguing his comrades, telling them that if they would only cut their officers' throats and seize the ship he would lead them; that he knew the use of the quadrant and would take the vessel into a port. The man was tried then and there—he himself was a member of the court martial; there was a difficulty with respect to drummers, for there were none on board; but Colonel Erskine, who commanded, was determined the punishment should be inflicted. The man received corporal punishment before all on the deck; and from that instant, though much anxiety prevailed, every mutinous symptom vanished, and they arrived at the Cape without a single syllable of discontent. That was during peace. The hon. and gallant Member for Truro (Captain Vivian) appealed to him, pointing to the Guards, and asked why they got on so admirably? When Colonel Hamilton commanded his battalion there were a series of violent assaults made on the non-commissioned officers in the execution of their duty. He tried every punishment; but these failing, he assembled the men and told them if there was any repetition of the offence he should have a sufficient number of officers kept in barracks to form a court martial; he should have the offenders tried on the spot, and they knew what that meant. Next day a soldier, a very good man, knocked down a noncommissioned officer; he was tried by court martial, and, although all regretted that he should be the subject of the example, he was flogged, and from that instant the offence ceased. It was no argument against the punishment to say that because a soldier was flogged twice it was ineffectual. It was not to punish an individual but to preserve the discipline of the army. And if they stamped out offences against discipline by vigorous means they often prevented more serious offences arising. He would relate an anecdote of a case in time of war. At the Crimea he saw a French soldier taken prisoner for striking his superior officer, and on asking the serjeant in charge of the man what would be done with him, he said that which being literally translated was—"We will whiten his face over with lead to-morrow morning;" and he afterwards found the man was shot. No one would exert himself more than he would to benefit the soldier, but it was the good soldier he spoke of; and if they referred to the evidence before the Recruiting Commission they would find that the good soldiers did not object to this punishment. He would add that in company courts martial soldiers were flogged. He would join in limiting flogging as much as possible; but if they sent officers to distant stations, and did not allow some moans short of death by which they might check mutiny and other outrageous misconduct, they would materially interfere with the discipline of the army without benefiting the soldier one iota.


said, they had been favoured recently with the views of Her Majesty's Government on the whole question of military organization, but the question of flogging remained just where it was before, though it eminently demanded solution; and he quite agreed with the hon. and gallant Member for Truro (Captain Vivian) that the success of this Motion would materially tend to facilitate the solution of the problem, and therefore he must tender his thanks to the hon. Member for Chatham (Mr. Otway) for bringing the subject at such a time under the consideration of the House. After the expression of opinion by so many Members—be would not say on both sides of the House, but of various political complexions—he thought there was fair reason to hope that, at least within the limits described, civilization would no longer be disgraced by the use of a punishment which, if it could find justification at all, must seek it in urgent and paramount necessity. It was to him a matter of genuine wonder that a system so justly held in abhorrence should have shown such tenacity of existence. There were some persons who thought that officers viewed the application of the lash with indifference or with positive satisfaction. It was impossible to make a greater mistake. No calumny could be greater. Yet, when the practice was attacked, officers were always found to defend it despite their personal feelings, and because they would not shrink from the enforcement of what they deemed due to discipline. He had had the honour of serving thirteen years in a regiment in which he was happy to say the lash was unknown; and in the brigade of which that regiment formed a part there was less crime than in any other of the service. Hon. Gentlemen argued that the Household Cavalry did not come fairly in comparison with other regiments, because there were certain inducements which secured for that cavalry a better class of men. He maintained that the most powerful of those inducements was the absence of the lash. There was another case particularly apposite just now. He alluded to that of the Irish police—a most gallant body, 12,000 strong. There was no flogging in that force, and yet no one would allege that there was not good discipline in the Irish police. He concurred with his hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne) in what he had said upon this point. Years ago there were persons who said that if the tortures then in vogue were done away with discipline would suffer. 300 lashes were then inflicted for, he would not say trivial, but certainly for ordinary offences. Well, the number of lashes had been very considerably diminished; and yet discipline in the British army remained pretty much what it was when that severe punishment was held to be necessary for its maintenance. The opponents of this Motion took their stand on the cases of a certain body of hardened, incorrigible offenders, and contended that on their account the lash must be continued. But he ventured to ask whether a demoralizing punishment, which had been inefficacious either in deterring or improving, ought to be maintained throughout a regiment merely on account of a few hardened and incorrigible offenders. It must be very gratifying to every one to see wicked persons turn over a new leaf; but he very much questioned whether any hon. Gentleman had ever heard of a case in which a reformed culprit, looking back on his career, dated his conversion from the hard, incisive, and deliberate infliction of the cat-o'-nine-tails on his own person. The duty of officers was at times very difficult, and that there was much crime, insubordination, and drunkenness in our army nobody could deny; but the remedy must be sought in other means than the lash. Why was it that those disorders existed in the ranks? It might be partially accounted for when they bore in mind the classes of the people from whom the offenders were originally drawn and the "haphazard" way in which they were drafted. As an onward step in our national civilization he hoped the House would affirm the Motion; and that they would affirm it as a step towards making the military service more palatable to the nation at large. In supporting that Motion he felt that he was but exercising his duty towards his constituents, and likewise that he was consulting the best interests of the profession with which he, in common with many hon. Gentlemen opposite, had the honour of being connected.


I am sincerely sorry that the first duty I have to discharge in my new office is to appear as a supporter, to some extent, of corporal punishment, from which, in the abstract, every man on both sides will shrink. In fulfilling the duties of the office which I now fill I shall have to ask the indulgence of the House; but I confess I have less hope than I should otherwise have had of receiving that indulgence after the tone—and, as it appears to me, the uncalled-for tone—in which I have been referred to by the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne). I have never in this House heard a subject discussed which appeared to me to require to be decided more by calm reason, and less by party feeling, than the one now under discussion. It seems to me that in this matter we should be guided solely by the real merits of the case. On the one hand, I do not believe there is any man in this House who does not hold it to be necessary that the discipline of the army should be maintained. I am sure the hon. Member for Chatham (Mr. Otway) is of that opinion. On the other hand, I am convinced there is no Member of this House who would not be glad to get rid of corporal punishment if we could do so with a due regard to that discipline. In coming to a decision on the proposition of the hon. Member for Chatham, the sole question we have to consider is whether, looking at all the facts of the case, we can afford to get rid of the comparatively small remnant of corporal punishment still inflicted in the British army. Now, it appears to me that in discussing this matter the hon. Member for Chatham and the hon. Gentlemen who have supported I him have not sufficiently born in mind the important alteration effected in 1861 by the division of the army into two classes, the first of which classes is entirely exempted from corporal punishment, except only for mutinous conduct. It is otherwise only in the second class that punishment can be inflicted, and even in this case it is so guarded that it can only be inflicted for gross and serious offences. I heard with some surprise from the hon. Member for Chatham that this distinction between the two classes has not always been adhered to. I heard with some surprise that there had been a case in which it was not observed. [An hon. MEMBER: Several cases.] I am very sorry to hear it. I beg to say that I, for one, can be no party to any such deviation from the general rule. I can be no party to a double code; and hon. Gentlemen may now be assured that after what has passed this evening, whatever may have been the case heretofore, no instances of the kind can occur again, because in the annual revision of the Articles of War, which will take place before long, the exemption of the first class will be incorporated in the Articles of War. The hon. Gentleman in his speech made use of an argument which was a rather dangerous one for him to touch on. He alluded to the military codes of France and Prussia. He said that in France corporal punishment was not known, and that the same was the case in Prussia. But I very much doubt whether the British soldier would exchange our military code for either that of France or of Prussia. For offences which in our service render the British soldier liable to be flogged, the French or the Prussian soldier would be shot or sentenced to a long term of imprisonment; and though in the military service of those countries there may be no corporal punishment, yet their codes are so severe that the change might seem merciful. The hon. Gentleman also, I think, referred to the military code of the United States. In that code corporal punishment by flogging is not included; but in the United States they have a punishment called the. II and chain," which I am told inflicts severer corporal suffering. There, again, exchange would be a very bad one for British soldier. Then in Austria, where corporal punishment is not unknown, they have a system under which the wrist and ankle are chained together, a punishment by which great torture is inflated. The hon. and gallant Member for, Truro (Captain Vivian) referred to the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief. I am sure he only does justice to the kind disposition of the illustrious Duke, and that his Royal Highness would be delighted to see an end of corporal punishment in the army if that were possible. But I am sorry to say that in the present view of his Royal Highness the system cannot be entirely abolished. The right hon. and gallant Member for Huntingdon (General Peel), my predecessor in the office I have the honour to hold, with the view to meet the Motion of the hon. Member for Chatham, wrote a letter to his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, in which he expressed his deep sense of the importance of the question about to be brought before the House, and expressed his desire that his Royal Highness would inform him of the opinion he held upon this question. I am authorized by his Royal Highness to read to the House extracts from the letter he wrote in reply to the right hon. Gentleman. His Royal Highness says— Within the last few years a great change has taken place in the regulations which govern the infliction of corporal punishment, and the only crimes for which it can be awarded are of a very flagrant and disgraceful nature. … The very general opinion among those who command or have commanded regiments is that it cannot be dispensed with; and, under these circumstances, I desire to state that although no one can be more opposed than myself to the exercise of the power of carrying into execution sentences of corporal punishment awarded by courts martial except in very flagrant cases, the abolition of it would, in my opinion, be fraught with extreme danger to the discipline of the army. That is the deliberate opinion of the Duke of Cambridge. I have also here the opinion of the Adjutant General to the same effect, but I need not detain the House by reading it. Hon. Members must agree with me that, after having received this opinion from these distinguished persons, it would be impossible for me to accede to the Motion of the hon. Member for Chatham. The hon. and gallant Member for Truro has stated, with perfect truth, that I come to this question with an entirely unprejudiced mind. I wish it to be decided solely upon its merits; but I am bound to consider, as the first duty of my position, the preservation of the discipline of the army. The hon. and gallant Member for Westminster (Captain Grosvenor) has alluded to the experience afforded by his own regiment—the 1st Life Guards; but I am sure the hon. and gallant Member will forgive me if I remind him that he can hardly compare the mode of preserving discipline in the Household Brigade in this country with that which prevails in other regiments in the army serving in different parts of the world. The hon. and gallant Gentleman will no doubt support me when I say that when a man misbehaves himself in the Household Brigade, and it is considered undesirable to retain him in the regiment, he is at once turned out, and in that case, therefore, there is no occasion to resort to the punishment which we are now discussing. The hon. and gallant Member for Truro has expressed a hope that the recruits for the army will be obtained from an improved class. I sincerely hope that such will be the case; but I must remind him, that even in that case we shall still find that where we have to deal with very large bodies of men assembled under military discipline, however high their general character may be, there will always be among them a certain proportion of inferior and abandoned characters, for whose correction it will be absolutely necessary that some severe punishment should be adopted. I can only say that if on further experience it should be found possible to do away with this particular mode of punishment as unnecessary to maintain the discipline of the army, no one will be better pleased than myself.


said, he felt somewhat nervous in making a few remarks after the somewhat solemn injunction of the right hon. Gentleman to avoid party spirit and to preserve calm reason. He would, however, endeavour to reason as calmly as possible when speaking upon this subject. The right hon. Gentleman said every one must admit the truth of the proposition of the hon. Member for Chatham, considered as an abstract question. In his (Mr. Fawcett's) opinion that admission, unless some strong arguments were brought to bear on the question on the other side, was conclusive that the right hon. Gentleman ought to vote in favour of it. The army was gradually becoming a skilled profession, requiring a skilled soldiery. They required skill to carry on their operations; the greatest mechanical and scientific genius was displayed in perfecting their weapons, and to use those complicated weapons they required men of intelligence to do justice to the genius that devised them. No one who had mixed at all with the class from which the army was recruited could deny that flogging in the army was positively abhorred by the people of England, and that fathers posi- tively entreated their sons not to enter a profession in which they would be subject to such a terrible disgrace. He was not speaking a single word which was not justified by experience when he said that the effect of retaining flogging was to keep the best men in England from entering the army. The statement made by the right hon. Gentleman at the end of his speech was conclusive in favour of the Motion; for he told the House that the men in the Household Brigade felt that it was such a disgrace to be turned out of it that flogging was wholly unnecessary. If the army were properly administered, what was felt in the Household Brigade would be felt throughout every regiment in the British army. The army should be looked upon as the noblest profession a man could enter. They made this pledge to their country—that if the honour or interests of the nation required it they would freely give up their lives to maintain it. When a man did that he ought not to be treated in such a way as was allowed under the existing system, when a dismissal from the profession would be considered by him as the greatest disgrace. Flogging was not required to maintain the discipline of the police force, because the men there considered that a dismissal from it was sufficient disgrace. He was confident that they would never have the army in a proper condition until they gave up this exceptional punishment, which was not necessary to keep up the discipline. If they abolished flogging they would satisfy the wishes of the English people, and thousands would then enter the army (who were now deterred from doing so), because they would look upon it as one of the most honourable professions.


said, it was always painful to him to appear as the advocate of any punishment, particularly of one so degrading as that of flogging in the army; but since he had had the honour of a seat in that House, he felt it his duty, in the interests of the soldiers themselves, to oppose such Motions as that of his hon. Friend The House, in considering this question had, he thought, lost sight of the interests of the good soldiers. The problem to solve was, to invent such a punishment as would preserve discipline without diminish the strength or increasing the duties of the well-conducted soldiers of the regiment The case of civilians was altogether different, for offenders might be punished by imprisonment, without any injury being done to innocent parties. In the army the duties of the regiment must be performed, and every man taken away from the ranks and committed to prison, occasioned the performance of his duty to be thrown upon the shoulders of the good and efficient soldiers. The hon. Member opposite was wrong in saying that soldiers were liable to be flogged for habitual drunkenness. That punishment could not be inflicted except for drunkenness while on duty or under arms. His hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne), who had spoken so strongly that night, had changed his opinions very considerably since they were in garrison together several years ago. Fault had been found with the system of flogging for desertion; but there was no crime, he thought, that deserved greater punishment than that of desertion. He would mention one instance in which flogging had been administered, and the case was that of a man who had deserted eleven times, and had taken eleven differrent bounties. A good deal had been said about soldiers being treated like garrotters, but there were 91 per cent of the soldiers who could not be flogged, and there was only the remaining 9 per cent who were in the second class, and thus were liable to be flogged; though it did not at all follow that those of this class would be flogged if they committed offences. He wished to remind the House how the soldier was guarded from being flogged. He must first be tried by a court martial consisting of five officers; and even if they awarded the punishment of flogging it could not be carried into effect without the consent of the commanding officer and general of the district, and even then the greatest number of lashes which could be inflicted was fifty. As to civil flogging, it appeared from a Report presented to them last year, that men received fifty and twenty-five lashes for breaking their cell windows, and in another case a man received thirty-six cuts for refusing to read and disrespect to a magistrate in school. He asked whether crimes of them descriptions would be punished by; flogging in the army? He (Colonel North) had been held up to obloquy by hon. Gentlemen opposite, for supporting the system of branding, which he believed to have a beneficial effect; and it was most unfair on part of the Admiralty that they did not, carry out the system with regard to Marines who were drummed out of the service. He must say that there was no body of men who would be more grateful to any one who would invent a punishment by which flogging could be got rid of than would officers in command of troops, but till such was forthcoming the flogging system must be maintained. As to the case which had been referred to, in the 74th Highlanders, he thought that it should have been stated that three military medical gentlemen differed from the opinion which had been given as to the cause of death.


explained that he did not believe that the man in the 74th had been killed by flogging, and he had argued on the assumption that this was not so.


said, his complaint was that the conflict of opinion between the civil doctor and the army medical officers who saw the man in question had not been mentioned.


observed, that many of the statements which had been made in the course of the debate did not apply to this Motion at all; some referred to what occurred in service in the field, and others to what happened at sea; whilst this Motion applied only to time of peace, and to regiments serving on shore. There was one point which had not been referred to, and it was this. In 1846 the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, with the sanction of the Commander-in-Chief, the Duke of Wellington, introduced the question of the reduction of the punishment of flogging to fifty lashes, and the Duke sanctioned that proposition, and a noble Earl (the Earl of Dalhousie) made a speech, the substance of which was that the punishment would be gradually abolished. A Royal Commission in 1835 had made a recommendation to a similar effect, but still since 1846 nothing had been done. The object of the Motion was not to injure the discipline of the army, but rather that bad men should be altogether eliminated from its ranks, and they only asked that the profession of arms should be placed on the same footing as all other professions. The supporters of the present Motion were speaking on behalf of those who, as a class isolated from society, could have no representatives in Parliament.


I can easily imagine that it is with great regret my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War finds it necessary, on the first occasion of his performing the duties of that office, to oppose the present Motion. Many arguments and statements have been made in the course of this debate which were well calculated to carry away the feelings of hon. Members. But I rise for the purpose of urging that they should not allow themselves to be carried away by feeling, but should coolly and deliberately consider the grave question now before us. Many arguments have been brought forward in support of this Motion, and I perfectly admit that there is but one argument which can be brought forward in answer; but that one is so conclusive that it must overrule all other arguments—that argument is that the power of inflicting this punishment is absolutely necessary to the maintenance of the discipline of the army. You have heard from my right hon. Friend that His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief and the Adjutant General look upon this punishment as absolutely necessary for the discipline of the army; yet, even the hon. Member who introduced the question, and those who have supported him, would not be more ready to abolish the punishment of flogging than the Commander-in-Chief if it could be done consistently with the maintenance of that discipline for which they are responsible. The position of the hon. Member is, I think, perfectly untenable; he would reserve the punishment of flogging for times of war. I tell you to make up your minds either to abolish it altogether, or to maintain it without exception—who can tell when a war exists? It may exist at this very moment. Only last night a question was asked as to the conduct of the troops at Honduras. I shall not express any opinion on that question until it is investigated; but I believe that the conduct of these troops will subject them to the greatest penalty under the Mutiny Act. Are you going to tell the men who enlist that in time of peace they are not to be subjected to capital punishments, but that they are to be flogged when in face of the enemy? If you say that, you condemn your argument altogether. I venture to say that there is no country in which it is more necessary that discipline should be maintained than in England; any irregularity of the troops in this country would be looked upon with the greatest alarm; and depend upon it that, unless an army, however small, is subject to the strictest discipline, it is perfectly intolerable. Thirty years ago a Royal Commission reported strongly, not only in favour of retaining the punishment, but against making any distinction between the service at home and the service abroad. Upon that point no distinction can be made. You enlist a man without a character; if he turn out badly you have no means of discharging him, but you require from him strict obedience, and subject him, to a discipline which you could not call upon him to undergo in any other condition of life. In order, then to ensure that obedience, it is absolutely necessary that his commanders should have the power to inflict upon him a punishment which could not be inflicted upon him in any other condition of life. But, although the recruit may be a man of bad character, it is assumed that his character is good, which is a very charitable assumption, if the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Whitbread) be right; and the man is told that he shall not be subject to flogging until he has so degraded himself that he is passed into the second class, and that even then he will not be flogged until he has, by repeated acts of disobedience, gained for himself the character of being so incorrigible that no other punishment would have any effect. The example of one bad man will affect a whole regiment. And what do you propose to substitute for flogging? Do away with the disgraceful custom of flogging, you say, and good men will come to the service; but I say it is because flogging is a defence of the good man that I would continue it. A man of good character in the army is no more in danger of being flogged than any of us. Would you say to those whom you desire to enter the army, "Here's glorious news for you; you are no longer liable to be flogged—you will be shot instead?" That, I say, is the only substitute you could offer for some of the worst crimes; and, as I am not prepared to take upon myself a responsibility which the Commander-in-Chief and Adjutant General shrink from, I shall vote against the Motion.


said, that on former occasions he had refrained from voting upon this question, as he felt the heavy responsibility of voting against a majority of military men on a military questions; but he had now formed his opinion upon it. As a Member of the Royal Commission on Recruiting for the Army, he had put questions to witnesses as to the effect of flogging upon recruiting, and although the answers told in various ways, he was forced to the conclusion that the punishment of flogging was the great cause of keeping good men out of the army. Why was it, he asked, that the service was looked on with such pride in the upper classes, and with such aversion in the lower classes? He was bound to conclude that flogging was one reason for this. The service was unpopular because of the punishment; and the punishment was needed because the service was unpopular; he appealed to them to strike away the punishment and the unpopularity at the same time. There was no doubt, however, that if flogging were abolished, the commanding officers should have great powers of getting rid of bad men. He desired to explain that the descriptions "refuse" and "dregs" which he had used with reference to recruits were not his own, but quotations from the evidence of officers and men before the Commissioners.


said, he had come to the House resolved to rote against flogging, and he intended doing so still; but he had been almost induced to change his opinion by hearing speeches from the Opposition side of the House in support of it; the remarks of the hon. Member for Nottingham (Mr. Osborne) had been most powerful in their influence in this direction. He would go beyond hon. Members opposite, and would vote for the abolition of the punishment even in time of war. He desired simply to relate one incident which weighed heavily with him. When in the Crimea he had seen a man receive fifty lashes for having thrown down his firelock and run away in the face of the enemy. He had certainly never heard of a case in which the punishment was more disproportionate to the offence.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 107; Noes 108: Majority 1.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Resolved, That this House, reserving for future consideration when requisite the question of the exigencies of a state of war, is of opinion that it unnecessary that the punishment of Flogging should be awarded during the time of peace Soldiers of the Army or Corps of Royal Marines serving on Shore.—(Mr. Otway.)

Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Beach, W. W. B.
Archdall, Captain M. Bentinck, G. C.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Benyon, R.
Barrington, Viscount Biddulph, M.
Beach, Sir M. H. Bridges, Sir B. W.
Brooks, R. Lindsay, Colonel R. L.
Bruce, Sir H. H. Lowther, J.
Burrell, Sir P. Malcolm, J. W.
Calcraft, J. H. M. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Cartwright, Colonel Montgomery, Sir G.
Cave, rt. hon. S. Morgan, O.
Chatterton, H. E. Morris, rt. hon. M.
Clinton, Lord E. P. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Clive, Capt. hon. G. W. Neville-Grenville, R.
Cole, hon. H. Nicholson, W.
Cole, hon. J. L. North, Colonel
Curzon, Viscount O'Neill, E.
Dickson, Major A. G. Paget, R. H.
Dimsdale, R. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Peel, rt. hon. General
Du Cane, C. Powell, F. S.
Dyott, Colonel R. Repton, G. W. J.
Earle, R. A. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Eckersley, N. Robertson, P. F.
Edwards, Sir H. Rolt, Sir J.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Russell, Sir C.
Egerton, E. C. Schreiber, C.
Egerton, hon. W. Selwyn, C. J.
Fane, Colonel J. W. Severne, J. E.
Fergusson, Sir J. Seymour, G. H.
Floyer, J. Simonds, W. B.
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. Smith, A.
Garth, R. Smollett, P. B.
Gilpin, Colonel Stanley, Lord
Goldney, G. Stanley, hon. F.
Gore, J. R. O. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir W.
Hamilton, Lord C. Stopford, S. G.
Harvey, R. B. Surtees, H. E.
Hay, Sir J. C. D. Sykes, C.
Herbert, hon. Col. P. Tottenham, Lt.-Col. C.G.
Hervey, Lord A. H. C. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Hildyard, T. B. T. Vance, J.
Hodgson, W. N. Vandeleur, Colonel
Hogg, Lieut.-Col. J. M. Verner, E. W.
Hood, Sir A. A. Walker, Major G. G.
Hunt, G. W. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Karslake, Sir J. B. Walrond, J. W.
Karslake, E. K. Whitmore, H.
Kavanagh, A. Williams, F. M.
Kendall, N. Wyndham, hon. P.
King, J. K. Wyvill, M.
King, J. G.
Kingscote, Colonel TELLERS.
Knox, hon. Major S. Taylor, Colonel
Lennox, Lord H. G. Noel, hon. G. J.
Lindsay, hon. Col, C.
Akroyd, E. Childers, H. C.E.
Amberley, Viscount Cogan, rt. hon. W. H.F.
Ayrton, A. S. Craufurd, E. H.J.
Baines, E. Crossley, Sir F.
Barclay, A. C. Dalglish, R.
Barnes, T. Denman, hon. G.
Beaumont, H. F. Dillwyn, L. L.
Blake, J. A. Eaton, H. W.
Blennerhasset, Sir R. Edwards, C.
Brady, J. Eykyn, R.
Bright, Sir C. T. Fawcett, H.
Briscoe, J. I. Fordyce, W. D.
Bromley, W. D. Forster, C.
Bryan, G. L. Forster, W. E.
Butler, C. S. Gaskell, J. M.
Buxton, C. Gavin, Major
Calthorpe, hn. F.H.W.G. Gilpin, C.
Candlish, J. Glyn, G. G.
Chambers, M. Graham, W.
Greville-Nugent, Col. Pelham, Lord
Gridley, Captain H.G. Potter, E.
Grosvenor, Capt. R. W. Potter, T. B.
Hadfield, G. Power, Sir J.
Hankey, T. Pugh, D.
Harris, J. D. Rearden, D. J.
Hartley, J. Russell, Sir W.
Hayter, Captain A. D. Scholefield, W.
Henderson, J. Scott, Sir W.
Herbert, H. A. Seely, C.
Holden, I. Seymour, H. D.
Howard, hon. C.W. G. Sheridan, H. B.
Hughes, T. Sherriff, A. C.
Jervis, Major Simeon, Sir J.
Lawson, rt. hon. J. A. Smith, J. B.
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. Stock, O.
Leeman, G. Stuart, Col. Crichton-
Lefevre, G. J. S. Stucley, Sir G. S.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Sullivan, E.
Lusk, A. Synan, E. J.
MacEvoy, E. Taylor, P. A.
M'Laren, D. Torrens, W.T.M'C.
Marsh, M. H. Trevelyan, G. O.
Merry, J. Vanderbyl, P.
Mill, J. S. Vivian, Capt. hn. J.C.W.
Mitchell, T. A. Waring, C.
Monk, C. J. Warner, E.
Murphy, N. D. Watkin, E. W.
Neate, C. Whitbread, S.
O'Beirne, J. L. White, J.
O'Brien, Sir P. Williamson, Sir H.
O'Conor Don, The Wyld, J.
O'Donoghue, The Young, R.
Oliphant, L.
Osborne, R. B. TELLERS.
Pease, J. W. Otway, A. J.
Peel, A. W. Anson, Major

Bill read a second time, and committed for Friday, 5th April.