HC Deb 28 February 1946 vol 419 cc2088-9
23. Captain Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will set up a committee to investigate and report on cases in which flogging is administered.

Mr. Ede

The whole subject of corporal punishment was considered by a Departmental Committee, which reported in 1938. As at present advised, I see no occasion to set up another committee to investigate this matter.

Captain Noel-Baker

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is strong feeling in the country that this form of punishment is not an effective deterrent? Further, is he aware that many people recognise that an individual act of brutality cannot be answered by an act of organised brutality on the part of the State? So far as lies within his power, will he limit the administering of flogging?

Mr. Ede

The earlier part of what my hon. and gallant Friend has said bears out the findings and recommendations of the Departmental Committee. As to the latter part, when such cases are submitted to me I do have regard to the necessary considerations, but I would remind him that even the Criminal Justice Bill of 1938 allowed the continuance of the practice of flogging people who assaulted warders in prison.