§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to a book entitled "Scarlet and Steel," written by Mr. E. Livingston Prescott, which alleges that corporal punishment is administered in military prisons; whether such corporal punishment has been administered since the passing of the Army Act 1881, for the abolition of flogging in the Army; and, if so, did it form part of the sentences of the courts martial; and, if not, by what authority were the prisoners flogged; and, whether he has any objection to give a Return of the cases of corporal punishment inflicted in military prisons, Home and Foreign, since 1881?
§ MR. J. A. PEASE (Northumberland, Tyneside)
asked whether it was not a 1621 fact that the Return previously presented to Parliament showed that the number of prisoners flogged in military gaols exceeded, in proportion, the number of prisoners flogged in the civil convict establishments throughout the country.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I am afraid I cannot give the hon. Member for Tyneside the comparison, but in 1895, out of 4,361 prisoners, five received corporal punishment. My attention has not been drawn to the book referred, to, which is, I understand, a romance and not a statement of facts. The discipline of military prisons is carried out under the supervision of the Home Office. In all military and civil prisons there is, under stringent restrictions, provisions for corporal punishment in case of serious prison offences. The regulations for military prisons are presented to this House under the 133rd section of the Army Act; and all cases of corporal punishment are recorded in the annual report of the Inspector-General, which is presented to Parliament. A Return, showing the number of prisoners flogged in military prisons at home during the last six years was presented on the 25th inst.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he would grant a Return of the prisoners flogged in military prisons abroad?
§ MR. LIONEL HOLLAND (Tower Hamlets, Bow and Bromley)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the book referred to was written by a lady who had had no experience of military prisons.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
asked whether these floggings always took place in the presence of the Governor?