HC Deb 08 May 1947 vol 437 cc784-5
11. Mr. E. P. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases of robbery with violence since 1st January, 1947, punishment by flogging has been ordered.

Mr. Ede

In 10 cases between 1st January and 31st March, 1947.

Mr. Smith

But does not criminal history show that the ruffians who engage in this form of lawlessness are extremely tender about their own skins; and will the right hon. Gentleman do whatever may lie in his power to popularise this simple but salutary deterrent?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. I should imagine there is no more controversial matter connected with the administration of my Department than the efficacy of flogging.

Mr. McGovern

Is the Home Secretary aware that a large number of these forms of violence with arms are committed by men who have deserted from the Forces; and would not the most practical thing be for the Government to consider granting an amnesty to these men, in order to get them away from these evil conditions?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. I am not convinced myself that that would be the most efficacious way of dealing with the matter.

Mr. Hogg

The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the figure of To in his original answer. What was the total number of convictions of which the figure of 10 was a proportion?

Mr. Ede

I would ask the hon. Member to give me notice of that.

Mr. John Paton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Select Committee on Corporal Punishment, after examining a mass of evidence on this subject, came to the conclusion that flogging was futile as a deterrent to these crimes; and in his forthcoming Criminal Justice Bill will he take steps to abolish this barbarous punishment?

Mr. Ede

The statement of my hon. Friend with regard to the report of that committee is accurate I must ask the House to await the Bill.

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