HC Deb 31 May 1916 vol 82 c2702
69. Mr. E. HARVEY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the physical effects of the punishment known as crucifixion and the possibility of a fatal result on men who have weak hearts or are suffering from internal maladies, the Army Council will take steps to see that this form of punishment is definitely forbidden in future?


I am assured that there is no necessity for such instructions.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this punishment does sometimes occur in spite of the wishes of the high command, and that the consequences have been very serious; and does he not consider that it will be of very great service to the Army if general instructions are given preventing such punishment?


I will look into that, and if I am informed officially that there is need for such instructions I will see they are given.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the circulation through the country of reports from French soldiers with regard to this barbarous punishment. Why should British soldiers be subject to such humiliation in foreign countries?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that cases have occurred in which men have had their hands handcuffed together, and held up above their heads like that—(indicates)—tied to a post for forty minutes on end, and sometimes longer? Will he see that that is stopped?


I am not aware that that kind of punishment has been used.