HC Deb 02 July 1928 vol 219 cc949-50
10. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Palestine Government has rejected the demand of the Palestine Labour Federation for the abolition of flogging in the Palestine prisons and for the special treatment of political offenders?


I have not received the text of the communication addressed to the Palestine Government by the General Federation of Jewish Labour, which is no doubt what the right hon. and gallant Member refers to, nor the terms of the Palestine Government's reply. If the Federation has demaded that all flogging for prison offences shall be abolished, the reason why this has not been acceded to is, I think, obvious, for the power to inflict flogging as a punishment for certain prison offences is generally recognised as necessary in order to maintain discipline in prisons.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the punishment of flogging in prisons has recently been abandoned even in Turkey, and should not we follow suit in Palestine and abolish this form of torture? In the second place, would the right hon. Gentle man deal with the second part of the question as to the special treatment of political offenders? Is he aware that recently there has been a sort of heresy hunt in Palestine against Communists, and will he stop this sort of action by the Palestine Government?


I am not aware that there has been anything in the nature of a Communist hunt, but I think the general opinion is that for offences of violence committed in prison against prison discipline the punishment of flogging is necessary.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Will the right hon. Gentleman issue instructions that the punishment of flogging is only to be inflicted for the same offences as in this country, namely, grave personal assault?


I will look into that matter.