HC Deb 08 August 1884 vol 292 cc263-4

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the Government have received a Report from the Superintendent of Prisons in the Mauritius; whether he states that over 500 floggings in the gaols there have been inflicted in cases which did not justify such a punishment; and, what steps the Government intend to take to prevent cruelty of this description?


Sir, the exact words of Mr. Kennedy, the new Superintendent, with reference to cases of flogging, are— Not one of these prisoners would have been, subjected to the same treatment in England, unless some of the more serious of the crimes were so often repeated as to make the man be deemed incorrigible; and there is no proof that this was the case in any one instance. Her Majesty's Government has already taken stops to prevent this excessive use of the lash in future by giving specific instructions to the contrary, by enactments amending the present regulations; by the appointment of a superintendent and staff conversant with the English prison system; and, above all, by pressing on the building of a new prison, in which discipline can be maintained without recurrence of these severe punishments. I am happy to say that their exertions have been attended with a considerable amount of success, and that there has already been a great decrease in the year ending last June in the number of prison punishments.