HC Deb 24 February 1938 vol 332 cc534-5
52. Mr. Kennedy

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that heavy sentences of penal servitude, with hard labour and 20 and 15 strokes of the cat, were imposed on two men convicted at the Central Criminal Court, London, on 18th February, on charges of conspiring to steal, robbery, and assault; whether he will consider remitting the latter part of the sentences; and whether he can state approximately the date on which the committee now reviewing the question of corporal punishment is likely to report?

55. Mr. Ridley

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to a recent case at the Central Criminal Court in which two men were sentenced, in addition to penal servitude, to 20 strokes and 15 strokes of the cat, respectively; and whether he will take any steps to prevent the carrying out of that part of the sentences?

Mr. Lloyd

If this suggestion is based on general objections to sentences of corporal punishment, such general objections would not justify my right hon. Friend in recommending interference with sentences imposed by a court of law in the exercise of powers conferred on the courts by Parliament. If the suggestion is that there are some special grounds in these two cases for the exercise of the Prerogative of Mercy, any representations on this point should be made to my right hon. Friend in writing. As regards the last part of the question by the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Kennedy) the report of the Departmental Committee has now been submitted to my right hon. Friend, but until he has had time to consider it, it is not possible to make any statement as to the date of its publication.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

In view of the cowardly attack on an inoffensive citizen, will the hon. Gentleman see that the criminals receive the punishment they richly deserve?

Mr. Ridley

Do not the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend think that this is a barbaric and sadistic form of punishment?