HC Deb 28 May 1903 vol 123 cc106-7
MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a magistrate has power to order a constable to inflict or witness any birching order not carried out under any legal sentence, or to direct a birching, not under a legal sentence, to be carried out within the precincts of the court; and will he say whether the rods for such unofficial birchings are supplied at the public expense, and whe her any fee is paid and, if so, from what source to the person who inflicts the punishment.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Alters-Douglas.) I do not think I can add anything of substance to the Answer which I gave the hon. Member on the 26th March last,† unless he desired to draw my attention to some particular case into which inquiry ought to be made. I can only say that birchings such as those to which I understand the hon. Member to refer are not carried out in pursuance of any order of a magistrate, though no doubt sometimes at his suggestion. They are matters of arrangement between the parent and the person who inflicts the punishment, and I have no cognisance of the details of any such arrangement.