HC Deb 09 March 1949 vol 462 c1191
65. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will issue instructions abolishing corporal punishment in the Navy.

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. John Dugdale)

The only form of corporal punishment which is awarded in the Navy is the caning of boys under 18. This may only be inflicted for a limited number of offences and on the order of the boy's commanding officer. It is not intended to make any change in this practice.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that our Navy is the only navy in the world where this practice is continued, and will he set up a committee to inquire how all the other navies manage without it?

Mr. Dugdale

I will do nothing of the kind. I would ask the hon. Gentleman, if he wants to concern himself with this subject, to cast his eyes upon the public schools where there is considerably more caning than there is in the Navy.

Mr. Hughes

Does that mean that the educational methods in the public schools are now approved of by the Government Front Bench?

Mr. Dugdale

I have just said that perhaps the public schools would be a more fruitful source for the hon. Gentleman's inquiries than the Royal Navy.

Captain Crookshank

The hon. Gentleman will remember that public schoolboys are frequently caned for calling other people nasty names.