HC Deb 12 April 1934 vol 288 c468
14. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the evidence given at Knaresborough Petty Sessions in a recent case when three youths, Young, aged 18 years, Howland, 19 years, and Buck, 18 years, were charged with torturing a sparrow by plucking it when alive; and whether, in view of the fact that the court had no power to inflict flogging as a part of the punishment and that similar cases have occurred before, he will say what action, if any, he proposes to take in regard to the existing scales of punishment for cases of brutality?


This case had not previously been brought to my notice. As I have already indicated, I do not propose to initiate legislation to increase the penalties which may be imposed for this class of offence.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is another instance in which magistrates have expressed regret that they cannot inflict bodily punishment? Also, does he think that a fine of £5, which only touches the pocket of these youths, is an equal deterrent to the rod, which touches their bodies?

Viscountess ASTOR

Has it not been found by all those who have been looking to child psychology that to beat a child often makes him more brutal?

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

This child was 19.