asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention had been called to the flogging of boys recently administered in the Sheffield Children's Court, and also to the words used recently in the West Ham Children's Court by Mr. Gillespie (the magistrate), in which he declared his intention to use the birch-rod as often as possible; and whether, in view of such action and statement, he would consider the advisability of introducing legislation to forbid such practices?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
I find on inquiry that of the 876 boys dealt with in the Sheffield City Police Court since 1st January last only 71, or about 8 per cent., have been ordered to be birched. I understand that Mr. Gillespie merely expressed his intention of availing himself in suitable cases of the discretion vested in him by Statute. I am not prepared to introduce any legislation upon the subject.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
Can the right hon. Gentleman state what proportion those 71 flogging orders bear to the total number of cases brought before the magistrates in which floggings could have been ordered?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of circularising magistrates, and suggesting that they should themselves be present when floggings are inflicted on boys?