§ SIR W. WEDDERBURN (Banffshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the attention of the Secretary of State for India has been drawn to a Circular, dated 15th September last, issued by the Government of the North-West Provinces, urging 766 Magistrates to exercise greater stringency in their procedure and punishments, especially in the matter of whipping, and advising that whipping should ordinarily he awarded in cases of theft, unless the offender is an old or weakly man, and that male juvenile offenders should, as a rule, he punished by whipping, by prolonged detention in a reformatory, or in exceptional cases by a long term of imprisonment; and whether the Secretary of State will direct these instructions to be withdrawn or modified?
§ MR. S. BUXTON
The Secretary of State had not seen a copy of the Circular referred to, which is not of such a kind us to require his previous sanction, until after my hon. Friend's question had appeared on the Paper. In the absence of any explanation from the Local Government or the Government of India, he is unable to pronounce an opinion; but he has telegraphed to India, and will be prepared to state the result in due course.