§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State 727 for the Home Department how many convicts at the recent Assizes at Cardiff were sentenced to the punishment of flogging, what was the total number of lashes inflicted, and what was the greatest number of lashes inflicted on one individual; whether any, and, if so, which, of the cases in which at these Assizes prisoners were sentenced to be flogged were considered by the Home Secretary with a view to the remission or reduction of the penalty of the lash; whether the fact that these sentences of flogging had been passed came to his knowledge before the floggings were inflicted; and, if so, what steps, if any, did he take, having regard to the moral degradation produced and pain inflicted by such punishment, to satisfy himself of its absolute necessity in the interests of justice and for the preservation of social order.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
Fourteen men were convicted of robbery with violence at the recent Assizes at Cardiff, and sentenced to corporal punishment, in addition to terms of penal servitude or imprisonment. The corporal punishment was twelve strokes with the cat in ten of the cases, fifteen strokes in three, and six strokes in one. Some of these cases were brought to my notice by the hon. Member at the time, and I obtained particulars of the punishments ordered, but, as I then informed him, the sentences were passed by humane; and careful Judges, and I saw no reason for interference. Three of the men petitioned, and their petitions were considered before the infliction of the punishment, but they disclosed no ground for interference. An outbreak of these crimes of robbery with violence had recently taken place at Cardiff. The records of the prisoners showed that all but two of them had been previously convicted, several of them many times, and that ordinary sentences of imprisonment had failed to check their criminal tendencies.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
There were only three out of fourteen who petitioned. Was it not the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to consider every case?
§ MR. MACLEAN (Bath)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since the infliction of these sentences there has not been a single case of robbery with violence in this district?