§ MR. MUNDELLA
said, he wished to know whether this Bill, which was the third Order on the Paper, would be taken that night? Perhaps the Home Secretary would state whether it was his intention to move that the Order be discharged?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, that the House would allow him to state that before the Government brought in this Bill they took pains to obtain accurate information both in England and Scotland from stipendiary magistrates, chief constables, and others. A mass of evidence thus obtained was laid upon the Table, and a Bill was brought in by the Government. He did not think this was a question which should be dealt with by what might be called panic legislation. He was neither surprised nor sorry to find that there was a disinclination to go back to personal flogging, unless it was proved to be absolutely necessary; but, at the same time, 55 by watching carefully the sentences passed throughout the country, he was fully convinced that the bringing forward of this subject had had the effect of making magistrates impose heavier sentences for brutal assaults than before. The Government, therefore, decided before going on with the Bill to renew the inquiry as to the necessity for it. That inquiry would be made in the Recess, and the matter, if necessary, would be brought forward in another year.