HC Deb 31 July 1924 vol 176 cc2227-8
32. Duchess of ATHOLL

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the fact that it is customary to exhibit a wax effigy of, and relics appertaining to, men and women who have suffered capital punishment; whether the concurrence of the Home Office is given for such exhibition; and, if so, whether any steps can be taken to prevent them in future?


Such exhibitions do not require my right hon. Friend's concurrence, and he does not see his way to propose any legislation for the purpose of prohibiting them.

Duchess of ATHOLL

Does the hon. Gentleman not consider that such exhibitions must be very painful to the feelings of the relatives of those who suffer the extreme penalty, and tend to excite a morbid and an unhealthy curiosity in the minds of the public?


I am inclined to agree with the Noble Lady, but the difficulty is the question of how it is to be dealt with. I would rather prefer to see happening in this connection what happened in the Crumbles case, namely, that public opinion should become strong enough to prevent these things.


As this is really a question of public morals, is not the Home Office the only Department that can possibly deal with the matter?


Yes, but we have no power to deal with it at the present moment, and it is a question of seeking powers.


If the Home Office sanctions capital punishment, how can they refuse to give sanction to exhibitions of this kind?