HC Deb 15 April 1930 vol 237 cc2710-1

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the case of Roy Duguid, aged 11, who was given six strokes with a leather strap on 4th December, 1929, at Stepps Public School, Glasgow, for running about a classroom, as a result of which the child was found sick and feverish and removed on 19th December to the Royal Infirmary suffering from infantile paralysis; whether the child was medically examined; whether an independent authority inquired into the case before the punishment was inflicted; and what steps does he propose to take to prevent such punishment in future?


From a report regarding this case which I have received from the education authority, I learn that court proceedings followed a complaint by the parent, and that at the Glasgow Sheriff Court, on Thursday, the 3rd instant, the headmaster was found not guilty of the charge libelled. The boy had undergone routine medical examination in his appropriate age group in 1923 and again in 1927. The answer to the third part of the question is in the negative. As to the fourth part, the regulation of punishments is for the administration of the education authority.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of safeguarding children against these violent punishments, by medical examination in exactly the same way as the lowest type of criminal is protected at the present time?


I have. already explained that this boy was twice examined in his group. He was examined in 1923 and in 1927, and during those examinations nothing of a serious character was discovered, nor, indeed, was anything discovered wrong with him other than a slight enlargement of the tonsils.


Was there a medical examination before the punishment was given?