HC Deb 29 May 1956 vol 553 cc176-97 This Act shall not apply in any case in which the offender is convicted of murder committed in the furtherance of an offence against section forty-eight of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.—[Sir V. Raikes.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Sir Victor Raikes (Liverpool, Garston)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The object of the proposed new Clause is to maintain the death penalty for murder in furtherance of the crime of rape. It will be agreed that that offence is a vile one. There is a tendency to assume that that type of crime is merely due to an irresistible impulse which no one could restrain, but it has taken place, although not on a large number of occasions, as the result of violent lust, which could have been controlled by the ordinary self-control which it is vitally necessary that a civilised State should maintain.

There has been an increase in rape and other sexual offences year by year, but not an increase in murder in that type of case. [Interruption.] I ask hon. Members to bear with me. This is a matter which very much interests women, who know full well the danger in the lonely places in every great city of attack by lustful young men, and that it has grown year by year, even since the war.

Let me take Liverpool, of which I am one of the representatives. We have had cases of rape before the courts in Liverpool—[Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite are entertained at the moment. They will be less entertained a little later, when they hear from the women of their constituencies. We can leave it to them. I am entitled to put forward my arguments and to expect a courteous hearing from the other side, until I become over-provocative, which I may become before I finish my speech.

During the last two years, cases of rape have risen in Liverpool from 19 to 29 per year, but there have been no attendant cases of murder. As a matter of fact, in 1955 there was only one murder in Liverpool. During the same period there has been an increase in other sexual attacks on women from 223 to 240, a considerable increase, while murder was on the decline. There are places in Liverpool which are safe for no woman at night, but we have not had the ultimate offence of murder after the sexual attack.

There have been various cases of execution for that type of offence in the five years covered by the Observer's report, but very few cases where the death penalty has been exacted for that type of offence. During the five years there have been only seven cases in which the death penalty has been used; but it has been in reserve. The nation has known that it has been in reserve for that particularly filthy type of case during that period.

10.45 p.m.

Supposing that this vilest of all offences were removed from the sphere of capital punishment, it would be very easy for an increase in that type of murder to take place, perhaps in only one or two years. That would not be reflected in the sort of statistics in which hon. Members are so interested, but the degree of extra suffering, not only perhaps for a few victims but for their families as well, would be a degree of suffering for which Parliament itself would be responsible if a Clause of this sort were not inserted in the Bill, at least to ameliorate the Measure.

No one knows how many persons today convicted of rape would, in fact, escape if they silenced the lips of perhaps the only person who could give evidence against them, because it is a crime where so often no one except the victim, if alive. can tell what has happened, Although, quite frankly, I am not basing this merely on the question of deterrence, but am going to say a word on the other aspect, on deterrence alone I am convinced that the knowledge that after that offence, or in furtherance of that offence if the final act of killing is committed, there could be the death penalty, must in some cases, at any rate, prevent the committing of the final act which, at the same time, would make it easier for the murderer to escape without being caught. The death penalty, in my view, is a unique deterrent.

Mr. Paget

Would the hon. Member make one point clear? If, as he seemed to describe, the person is killed afterwards in order to conceal the crime, how can that come within the Clause, because it would not be done "in furtherance" of the crime?

Sir V. Raikes

Although "in furtherance" of the act would cover anything, so far as one can judge what took place at the actual time when those two persons were together, if it would help the hon. and learned Member to support the new Clause and to make it clear—although I think it is clear enough at present—I would invite him, if necessary on Report stage, to add the words, "or immediately after the commission of any such offence," but I fear that by so doing I would not tempt the hon. and learned Member to join me.

I am inclined to think that, broadly speaking, the words "in furtherance" are good enough to deal with any part of the particular incident from the beginning until the time the victim is left by the person who has committed the crime. It may amuse the hon. and learned Member very much, he is very easily amused. I would not do as he did the other day, cast a slur on a long dead policeman by saying that he had apparently tried to frame an innocent man of murder.

I shall not speak for long, as other hon. Members feel strongly on the subject, but there are two other aspects on which I should like to say a word. Respect of the law is very vital if we are to maintain civilisation. No crime creates as great bitterness and emotion among relatives as the rape and murder of a woman, or, even more, of a young child.

Supposing the Bill is passed in its present form, we may have a situation in certain cases in which an infuriated father or an infuriated mother, where an arrest has not yet been made but there is grave suspicion, and where they know that even when an arrest is made there will be no capital punishment, being tempted to take the law into their own hands.

In this type of case the family have to put up with a good deal of unpleasantness. They have to listen to defence arguments that a lustful young brute may have murdered the child but it was not his own fault; it was because he fell down the kitchen stairs when a child or because his mother had a bad dream just before he was born, or because his father had a bad experience during the war. They have to put up with all that, and if, in addition, they have to face the fact that this lustful young brute will live at the expense of the ratepayers and will not pay the penalty of his crime, there will be even greater bitterness than at present in such cases.

Can we seriously argue that it would be an advantage to the community today if Heath, Christie or White ways were still alive and being kept by the people of this country for an interminable period? Quite apart from such cases, which have been published in the Press, there have been plenty of other similar cases. I will not detail them; hon. Members either know them or are aware of the type of case to which I refer—the case of a child of 11 who, in 1950, was raped and strangled, the case of the murder of a child of five in 1953. These are horrible pictures which break through the bestial gloom of a past age. These are cases which, in my view, are kept in check by the fact that until now this country has taken the view that, even beyond the deterrent effect of capital punishment, certain crimes are so grave that it is the duty of the State to deal with them by the ultimate penalty.

I would remind the Committee of the suggested reasons given in the Report of the Royal Commission for the restoration of capital punishment in New Zealand. It is suggested that this was the result of a number of notorious sex murders which took place during the period of abolition. Are we in this Committee to wait to see whether we get outbursts of that type of murder, after the abolition of capital punishment, before we restore the penalty? If we are, I venture to say that the Committee is unworthy of its great past.

I remind the Committee that we have argued practically everything so far on the question of deterrence. It is my view that the death penalty, as a deterrent, plays a part in that type of murder. But I agree, beyond that, very largely with the words quoted in the Report of Lord Justice Denning, when he said: The ultimate justification of any punishment is not that it is a deterrent, but that it is the emphatic denunciation by the community of a crime: and from this point of view, there are some murders which, in the present state of public opinion, demand the most emphatic denunciation of all, namely, the death penalty. I maintain that the particular type of crime with which we are dealing in this new Clause is in that particular category. I say this in all sincerity. The Committee may turn it down, but if it does it will be doing so against the view of a large majority of the people of the country. It will be turning it down against the overwhelming majority of the women of the United Kingdom, who, above all, have the right to ask for protection and defence by this House against the type of crime which is most of all a crime against women and children.

If this new Clause were carried, it would at least do something to check the fear of those who will say that without such a Clause the Bill will be a charter for murder.

Sir Beverley Baxter (Southgate)

My hon. Friend the Member for Garston (Sir V. Raikes) made his speech with great sincerity, and on all sides of the Committee we respect that. But I think he bears out one of the arguments which we who are abolitionists have put: that it is the retentionists who try to deal with this matter on an emotional basis, while we are trying to deal with it on a realistic one. He described the horror of murder and rape combined, and nobody with any common sense or sensitivity would think of denying that.

But may I just put this to my hon. Friend? There would be a trial at the old Bailey of a man guilty of this heinous crime of rape and murder; the sentence would he hanging, and it would be carried out. But, simultaneously, there might be a murder by a poisoner, cruel beyond words. But that murderer, according to my hon. Friend, would not be dealt with in the same manner.

We cannot carry this Bill on a tariff of murders. What we are doing here is trying and judging, in this Committee, the death penalty, and whether it shall be retained or not. All these other arguments which come from sincerity and emotionalism, cannot be allowed to interfere with that.

This honourable House must decide whether or not the death penalty shall go. We must not make exceptions, with the possible exception of treason, which we may have to grant, and also the exception for Northern Ireland, which we have granted—but that was for political reasons. I am not very enthusiastic about it, but it is not the tariff which my hon. Friend is offering to us. I think that we should reject this new Clause.

Mr. Cyril Osborne (Louth)

I do wish that my hon. Friend (Sir B. Baxter) would say in the House what he has said so many times when I have seen him trying to influence votes on this important subject. I think it should be said in open Committee. The alternative to hanging, in his opinion, was that a man should be sent to prison for life. I asked him to define "life", and he said "To rot, and rot, and rot." I have asked my hon. Friend to say this in the House, so that it could go on the record. [HON. MEMBERS: "When?"] What is wrong with that?

Mr. Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale)

Do I understand that the hon. Member is quoting from a private conversation?

Hon. Members


11.0 p.m.

Sir B. Baxter

My hon. Friend mentioned that he was going to do this. He warned me.

Mr. Osborne

It is quite in order, because I allege, with a great deal of conviction, that this Bill and this Clause are being carried by votes largely—

Mr. Bevan

On a point of order. The hon. Member's statement has not been made in the House or in Committee, and the hon. Member disgraces himself by mentioning it.

The Deputy-Chairman

I have nothing to do with an hon. Member's opinions.

Mr. Paget

This Committee depends on the fact that hon. Members can talk freely together without fear of being quoted. That honourable understanding makes a community of this Committee. If that understanding is to be abused this way of life here will be impossible.

The Deputy-Chairman

That is not a point of order. Every hon Member is responsible for the statements which he makes in the Committee.

Mr. Osborne

May I say this? I have not taken part in this debate, and I am entitled to state this. I have discussed this matter with my hon. Friend on many occasions, and I told him—

Mr. Bevan

It is not in order, in my opinion, for an hon. Member to answer an argument which has not been addressed to this Committee.

Mr. Osborne

May I put it this way? I have had many years of friendship with my hon. Friend. I am entitled to ask him this.

Mr. Bevan

In my respectful submission, Sir Rhys, it is not possible for you to listen to an argument in reply to a statement not made to the Committee.

The Deputy-Chairman

I am not responsible for any statement which an hon. Member makes. He is responsible for any statement which he makes to the House or the Committee, provided that the statement he makes is in order according to the procedure of the House. The content of the statement is another matter.

Mr. S. Silverman

I respectfully submit that the remarks of the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) are out of order on another ground. Whatever may be the merits, ethically or under the Standing Orders, of the course of the hon. Member, the argument which he seeks to propound is a general one: It is what might be called a Second Reading argument, and is not relevant to the new Clause before the Committee.

The Deputy-Chairman

That is a relevant objection. The hon. Member's argument has not been relevant to this new Clause.

Mr. Osborne

The last thing I wish to do—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down."] I shall not be silent for you.

The Deputy-Chairman

Order. The hon. Member must address his remarks to the Chair.

Mr. Osborne

The last thing I wish to do is to transgress your Ruling, Sir Rhys, or the traditions of the Committee; but my hon. Friend told me tonight that he intended to make this statement. I listened to him, and as far as I am aware the statement was not made.

The Deputy-Chairman

The Question before the Committee is whether this new Clause should be given a Second Reading.

Mr. Rees-Davies

This issue of rape is similar to that introduced earlier regarding children. It can to some extent be attacked by the argument of the hon. Member for Southgate (Sir B. Baxter) that this exclusion must involve another; but there are one or two classes of offence which are so outrageous and affect the public conscience to such a degree that if the death penalty is abolished, and there are half a dozen such crimes in the next year, we will start these debates again.

Let us get one thing quite clear about these particular exclusions. The majority of us are trying to effect a difficult compromise, and those of us trying to do that are met from both sides of the Committee by the unflinching abolitionists—represented by the promoters of this Bill—and, let us be quite fair, by the equally unflinching group of hon. Members who take the exactly opposite view. So some of us have put down Amendments seeking to exclude certain classes of offences, and the matter with which we are concerned at the moment is a retributive one; for let us never forget that if a man commits murder and rape at the same time, public conscience will be so revolted that we shall find we are in the same position as New Zealand found herself and have to go back to the death penalty.

There have been three cases of rape which are recorded on page 321 of the Report of the Royal Commission; they are cases 15, I6, and 35, and they occurred between 1931 and 1951. They are examples chosen by the Royal Commission, and the first is a case where two soldiers took a girl into a field, jointly raped her, and then murdered her. Both were found guilty of murder, and both were found to have raped her before she was killed. Both of them were executed. There is another case, number 35, which concerns a labourer who took a little girl of nine years—I emphasise, "of nine years"—into a field, and raped her. He was executed.

Is there any hon. Member here tonight who really believes that if such a thing as that happened in his constituency there would not be the most appalling hue and cry for the death penalty? The hon. Member who knows best about this is my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate, because he is one of the leading abolitionists. That is important, because at Southgate in 1948 there was a most violent murder and there was a unanimous demand for the retention of the death penalty. Everyone knew that there was this terrible hue and cry, and I must say, in passing, that one should have high regard for my hon. Friend's courage in withstanding the onslaught and holding to his views. For my part, I pay warm tribute to him. But we have to be realists.

Sir B. Baxter

I have reason to believe that the majority opinion in my constituency is against my attitude to this Bill; but, with the full knowledge it has, my constituency three weeks ago conferred on me the freedom of the borough. I assume, then, that it also conferred on me freedom to express my views as I think best in the House of Commons.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Certainly. I was for that specific reason paying tribute to my hon. Friend's courage in expressing his view, and I should like to think that my own constituency would act similarly when one felt so strongly about a certain subject. But there is a matter of degree, and most of us are not leading abolitionists or leading retentionists, most of us are the ordinary rank and file who are seeking to achieve something without making any great amount of trouble one way or the other. Some of us think that we can achieve our result by reforms of one sort or another; but there is a borderline. That being so, on this particular issue of rape there were those two cases which I have given which led to executions, and those have been cases where the men have been found to be perfectly sane. A soldier rapes a woman. He may have a little drink inside him, but he is perfectly sane. In most cases there is no plea of insanity or even of diminished responsibility.

Then there is the other case—case 16. In that case there was a reprieve. There was no death penalty. In that case a man, with the encouragement of the woman, had taken her off for the purpose of sexual intercourse in a field, and in the middle of the sexual intercourse she had started to scream. She happened to have a particularly tender throat. There was medical evidence to that effect. He strangled her. The defence was one of inadvertence. It was found that he had strangled her in the course of the physical act, and in those circumstances he was reprieved.

We know that in cases where there may be circumstances of provocation the execution does not take place. But we are concerned with the man who deliberately rapes a woman and in the course of rape kills her. I maintain that we must pay some real regard to the question of human values. The sanctitty of human life is at the root of this argument. If one is an out-and-out abolitionist, well and good. But if one believes that cases from treason to murders, where one is in the face of the enemy in time of war, to the case of the double murderers and triple murderers—

The Deputy-Chairman

This proposed Clause is limited to rape.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I am afraid that you misunderstand the point, Sir Rhys.

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Member must restrain his comments.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I cannot explain this point unless I draw attention to the other matters by way of illustration. I am saying that this is one of the matters where the sanctity of human life is the principle. I am drawing attention to the fact that there are other cases such as those involving treason in the Armed Forces, the mass murderer and the murderer of police officers acting in the execution of their duty. There are about five. If it is desired and intended to abolish the death penalty, then, if it must be abolished, retain it for those few cases where it does not contradict the public conscience so enormously as this class does. If we exclude rape and one or two other classes of murder, we shall not get the hue and cry arising on the death penalty. Otherwise, as sure as anything can be said in the House, if the death penalty is abolished the probabilities are that we shall have the most tremendous hue and cry from the public during three or four causes célèbres in the next year.

One of the arguments put forward by those who favour abolition is that the death penalty creates an unhealthy atmosphere, too much publicity, too much in the Sunday newspapers, too many articles on "How so and so killed the girl". But if we have a violent murder in circumstances such as rape, we shall have that hue and cry. There will be all the bigger hue and cry if a person does not suffer the death penalty, because the fathers and relatives will write and ask why the man has not swung for the offence. Instead of getting that type of unfortunate sensationalism in one way, we shall get it from the angle to which my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate referred. This sensationalism will still be created, which is one of the unfortunate aspects of a murder trial.

It is for that reason that my hon. Friend puts down this Clause. It is a fair criticism to say that it is not the only one he would like to see succeed, but nevertheless it is one that is limited to a clear field. It is a case which does not arise merely in the course of a sexual offence, or even merely in the course of an indecent assault. It is one which probably would occur in perhaps only one in two or three hundred murders, but this would stop us having that violent reaction of feeling which might otherwise arise unless this sort of Clause can be conceded. It is for those reasons that I support my hon. Friend's new Clause.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. S. Silverman

I am afraid that the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) gave away the case for this Clause. He said that the proper way to approach the matter was not to advocate total abolition or total retention. He thought that the proper way to deal with he matter was to abolish the death penalty for most murders but to keep it for a few types of murder where a special case could be made.

That may be a very logical and intelligible argument, but it is the argument which we had last February on the Motion which was then moved and to which an Amendment was then moved, and the House of Commons decisively rejected it. It was exactly the same argument as we had on the Motion for the Second Reading of this Bill, when there was an Amendment to almost precisely the same effect, and the House of Commons decisively rejected it. When we were engaged earlier in the Committee stage with Clause 1—where this matter I should have thought, more properly belonged than it does where we are dealing with new Clauses—we dealt with a whole series of exceptions, many of which were defended, and very eloquently and, in some cases, almost persuasively defended, by exactly the same argument—and, with one exception, the Committee rejected them.

The one exception which the Committee accepted was really very illustrative of the Committee's mood, and was almost in line, paradoxically enough, with the attitude which the House of Commons has adopted throughout this whole controversy, because the Committee—paradoxically, as I have said—accepted the Amendment retaining the death penalty for the one type of murder which, so far as one knows, has never been committed either in an abolitionist or in a retentionist country.

The reasons that the House itself and the Committee have rejected this argument that there is some sort of acceptable, workable, equitable half-way house that we would be wise to accept are to be found set out in great detail in the Royal Commission's Report, and, indeed, have been canvassed in this controversy for more than 50 years—I think almost for 90 years. It is the unanimous conclusion of those who have examined it that this proposal, which is attempting to find an acceptable compromise, is inequitable, unworkable and, in the last resort, immoral.

In support of that view, I am able to claim in aid the Government's advice, the Home Secretary's advice, the advice of the Leader of the House, even though they are against the view that the death penalty ought to be abolished and would prefer to retain it altogether. In those circumstances, at this time of day to come with one particular exception and to say, "Although we have rejected all the others, the case for this is exactly the same as the case for those which we have rejected, but let us stultify ourselves—

Sir V. Raikes

That is quite untrue.

Mr. Silverman

I do not want to keep the Committee long, but one can go through the whole series of Amendments we debated when discussing Clause I and find that in every single instance the argument was, "This is so exceptional, so brutal, so atrocious, so different a kind of murder; this is the kind of murder for which the public will not accept any other penalty than the death penalty." What the hon. Member is inviting the Committee to do is to stultify itself in that, having rejected the argument about calculated murder, premeditated murder, the murder of children, the murder of policemen, and the murder of warders, we should accept the death penalty in this case, and in a form which is manifestly not capable of doing what the hon. Member wishes to do.

The Amendment says: This Act shall not apply in any case in which the offender is convicted of murder committed in the furtherance of an offence against section forty-eight of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861. The offence against Section 48 is rape, and murder cannot be committed in furtherance of rape. It may be committed afterwards. I do not want to take a technical point of that kind because I quite appreciate that there is an argument the other way, and even if there were some verbal infelicity in the drafting it would be easy enough to correct it.

What I do say is that the case for the Amendment can rest—as the hon. Member quite frankly and fairly rested it— only upon the argument that there should be some exception, and for the Committee to accept it now would be stultifying everything that has been done since last February. I therefore ask the Committee to reject the Amendment. I do not know whether it is presumptuous on my part to say this, but there was to be an endeavour to complete the Committee stage tonight, and as we have less than forty minutes left, I would ask the Committee whether it is not ready to come to a decision now.

Mr. Neave

I hope the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) will allow me to say something about this point, because it is a matter of very great importance. I do not subscribe to his view that because a certain class of murder has never been committed we should not, therefore, consider the question whether or not we should abolish the death penalty. The argument of those like my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) who has spoken in favour of Amendments to apply the death penalty to certain classes of crime, is that we are concerned with public security. As my hon. Friend the Member for Garston (Sir V. Raikes) rightly said. the question is whether we can prevent such crimes in future.

Therefore, I do not think it was really right for—of all people—my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Sir B. Baxter) to say that we were being emotional about the matter. We are concerned with the question of public security. Surely that is a very important matter for us to consider. It is in that context that we should consider my hon. Friend's Amendment. I thought that he put his case extraordinarily well, and I am certain that he impressed the Committee. I do not think he was being emotional when he said that women would listen to what he had to say because, quite clearly, we are here considering a type of murder which may occur—although fortunately, as my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Thanet said, it does not often occur—and which is of a particularly brutal and unpleasant character.

It may be that the day will come when the law of murder will be reformed, and we shall not be concerned with certain classes of murder where it is quite obvious that the injury done was not intended. It may well be that the House, at some other time, will consider the law of murder in such a way as to make it clear that murder is committed when some kind of violence is intended, and not otherwise. Rape is usually associated with violence. For that reason, surely my hon. Friend was right to put down this Clause and to endeavour to persuade the Committee that they ought to take the view that, as other hon. Members on this side of the Committee have attempted to persuade the Committee, there are certain types of crime to which the death penalty should be applied. That is the point, and that is very different from what the hon. Gentleman says—

Mr. David Weitzman (Stoke Newington and Hackney, North)

How does the imposition of the death penalty prevent the commission of the crime of rape?

Mr. Neave

The point about this Amendment, which was made by my hon. Friend, is that it is in furtherance of the crime of rape. There is no dispute about that. We have endeavoured to persuade the Committee that when people commit burglary or housebreaking or any type of violent crime, and in the course of committing that crime they commit murder, the death penalty should apply. Surely that is the point in this case. If a person commits a felony, and that felony is rape, and in the course of that felony he murders someone, either by putting his hand over the girl's mouth, or something like that, and he does it when he knows his intention is to commit violence, then the death penalty should apply.

Mr. Weitzman

May I put my question again to the hon. Member? I do not think he understood it. How does the imposition of the death penalty prevent the commission of the crime of rape?

Mr. Neave

That is not the point. It never has been the point, and I do not think the hon. and learned Member understands me.

The point of this Amendment has been clearly made, and the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, who is a knowledgeable person about these matters, knows perfectly well that the point we are making in this case is that where a murder is committed in the furtherance of the felony of rape, then, if the Home Secretary is satisfied, the death penalty should apply.

Mr. S. Silverman

The hon. Gentleman must not drag me into the argument. I have never been able to follow the point at all. I should have thought that if the crime of murder had been committed the crime of rape was no longer possible.

Mr. Neave

I am not now so certain as I was that the hon. Gentleman knows the law. Surely the law is that if in the furtherance of the crime of rape violence is committed and that results in someone's death, that is murder? It may be a question of constructive malice. It may be that the law of murder will be reformed in the future, but the hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well what is the law today and what we are referring to. I am surprised that the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) did not understand what I was talking about.

Sir B. Baxter

My hon. Friend has had great experience of the courts. Would he care to deal with the one point I raised; that at the Old Bailey at the same time there might be the trial of a rapist murderer and the trial of a cold-blooded poisoner. Can my hon. Friend foresee the possibility of one sentence for the rapist and a lesser sentence for the cold-blooded poisoner? Can he visualise that?

Mr. Neave

Surely such cases should be treated on their merits and considered by the judge and jury. We are dealing with the felony of rape and whether, if the felony of rape is carried out and murder results, the death penalty should apply and—

Mr. Paget

Surely that is not the point here. I can see perfectly well that one could murder the lady's husband in the furtherance of an intention to rape her, but the person whom one could not murder with the intention of the furtherance of the offence of rape is the person whom one rapes. One cannot do something in furtherance of something which has already been done.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Neave

From the hon. and learned Gentleman's experience in the criminal courts he must surely know what nonsense he is now talking. If while in the act of committing a felony involving violence, for example, rape, a person kills, without intending to kill, that may be murder at the present time. The hon. Gentleman knows that perfectly well. If it is committed in furtherance of rape, that may be murder.

Mr. Paget

Nobody disputes that if the intention is to rape and the person kills it may be murder, but it is not "murder in furtherance of rape".

Mr. Neave

The interventions of the hon. and learned Gentleman mean absolutely nothing at all. If murder is committed in the commission of the crime of rape and the judge and jury are satisfield it is a murder which has been committed, it is the contention of some of us on this side of the Committee that the death penalty should apply.

I support the proposed new Clause moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Garston. It may well be that the law requires some attention in these respects, but I do not in the least agree with some of the interventions that have been made in regard to that matter. The point here is one of public safety, and it is the duty of Parliament to have regard to the possibility that murder may be committed in these circumstances. The proposed Clause goes to the very root of the matter.

My hon. Friend the Member for Southgate says that it is a matter of all or none; that it is abolition or nothing, whatever the type of crime. There could be no more foolish or dangerous an attack upon public safety than to take away the penalties for this type of sexual crime. Hon. Gentlemen must remember that the public are very much alarmed at the number of sexual crimes committed. Because of that, we should support the proposed Clause and include it in the Bill.

Mr. Godfrey Lagden (Hornchurch)


The Chairman

I think the Committee are ready to come to a decision. We have had nearly an hour on this new Clause.

Mr. Lagden

I did not intend to speak in this debate at all. I have not taken part in any of the debates on this Bill, but having listened with some regret to arguments that have been put to the Committee on this new Clause, I must say something at this stage.

It is most alarming to me that this Committee of the House of Commons should be looking upon the crime of rape SO casually. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] It is dreadful that hon. Members who are in favour of abolition should at every opportunity say that we who are against abolition should not introduce emotion into this matter.

I ask them to look at emotion from another angle. What sort of emotion is in the heart of a mother or a father who finds a daughter lying on a table in a police station dead through rape? That type of emotion must not be forgotten. We owe it to the women of this country to see that they are protected. If we totally disregard this new Clause the time will come when women will not be able to walk home in safety. I should like the Committee to pause for a moment and to realise the type of lout that lies in wait for women. Those of us who have been engaged over a long period in welfare work know—it can be ascertained through the courts and other sources—that undoubtedly in many cases that type of individual is rotten with venereal disease.

Mr. Harold Lever (Manchester, Cheetham)

On a point of order, Sir Charles. Is this speech addressed to the new Clause or the general question of liability to rape of women when walking home? Is the hon. Member in order in addressing an argument on the general evils of rape on this new Clause?

The Chairman

I thought the new Clause was related to that subject.

Mr. Lever

As I read it, the new Clause would mean that murder committed in furtherance of rape would involve the death penalty, not that rape should suffer a severer penalty. Is not the argument of the hon. Member solely related to the evils of rape at present, not to murders committed in furtherance of rape, whatever that may be?

Division No. 195.] AYES [11.39 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.
Aitken, W. T. Crouch, R. F. Henderson, John (Cathoart)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Cunningham, Knox Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)
Arbuthnot, John Currie, G. B. H. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Armstrong, C. W. Dance, J. C. G. Howard, Hon. Grevll[...]e (St. Ives)
Ashton, H. Deedes, W. F. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Banks, Col. C. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hughes-Young, M. H. C.
Barber, Anthony Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Hurd, A. R.
Barlow, Sir John Drayson, G. B. Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)
Barter, John du Cann, E. D. L. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Bidgood, J. C. Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Bishop, F. P. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Black, C. W. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Kaberry, D.
Bossom, Sir A. C. Fisher, Nigel Kimball, M.
Boyd, T. C. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Lagden, G. W.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Fraser, Sir Ian (M'ombe & Lonsdale) Leburn, W. G.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col, W. H. Gibson-Watt, D. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Glover, D. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
Bryan, P. Graham, Sir Fergus Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Logan, D. G.
Butler, Rt. Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden) Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Lucas, P. B. (Brenttord & Chiswick)
Channon, H. Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. McKibbin, A. J.
Chichester-Clark, R. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) McLaughlin, Mrs. P.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)
Cole, Norman Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Marlowe, A. A. H.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Marshall, Douglas
The Chairman

I thought the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Lagden) was in order.

Mr. Lagden

Thank you, Sir Charles, I, too, think it is in order. I think that the women of this country, the women from the constituencies of those who will flock into the Lobby to do away with the death penalty, will say this when there is a further outbreak of rape, "You are the people who are putting our mothers, our wives and our sisters in this position." Surely as they go into the Lobby tonight they will carry with them the responsibility for the further increase there will be in rape and death by rape.

As I was about to say when I was interrupted on an unnecessary point of order by the hon. Member for Cheetham (Mr. H. Lever), people who engage in this crime of rape are as often as not rotten with venereal disease. Often they are rotten mentally as a result, and we lose nothing at all when we lose them from the society in which we try to live decently.

I do not want to detain the Committee and to be accused of filibustering, but I ask this question: what sort of an animal, including the human, animal, is it that, through prejudice, refuses to protect its female? That is what hon. Members are doing tonight.

Question put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes, 124, Noes, 166.

Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Renton, D. L. M. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Ridsdale, J. E. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Moore, Sir Thomas Roberts, Sir Peter (Healey) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Nabarro, G. D. N. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.) Vane, W. M. F.
Oakshott, H. D. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Vosper, D. F.
Osborne, C. Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Soames, Capt. C. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Partridge, E. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Pitt, Miss E. M. Steward, SirWilliam (Woolwich, W.) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Pott, H. P. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Studholme, H. G. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington) Woollam, John Victor
Redmayne, M. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rees-Davies, W. R. Thompson, LL-Cdr.R.(Croydon, S.) Sir Victor Raikes and Mr. Neave.
Albu, A. H. Gurden, Harold Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hale, Leslie Palmer, A. M. F.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Hannan, W. Pargiter, G. A.
Astor, Hon. J. J. Hastings, S. Parker, J.
Awbery, S. S. Hayman, F. H. Parkin, B. T.
Baird, J. Holt, A. F. Pitman, I. J.
Balfour, A. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Plummer, Sir Leslie
Baxter, Sir Beverley Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Popplewell, E.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Hughes, Emrya (S. Ayrshire) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Senn, Hon. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.) Hunter, A. E. Probert, A. R.
Benson, G. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pryde, D. J.
Beswick, F. Irving, S. (Dartford) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Randall, H. E.
Blackburn, F. Jeger, George (Goole) Redhead, E. C.
Blyton, W. R. Jeger, Mrs.Lena (Holbn & St.Pncs,S.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Boardman, H. Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Ross, William
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech(Wakefield) Hoyle, C.
Brockway, A. F. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Short, E. W.
Burke, W. A. Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Champion, A. J. Joseph, Sir Keith Skeffington, A. M.
Chetwynd, G. R. Keegan, D. Stater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Coilick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Kenyon, C. Snow, J. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Kershaw, J. A. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Crossman, R. H. S. King, Dr. H. M. Stones, W. (Consett)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Kirk, P. M. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lawson, G. M. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Ledger, R. J. Swingler, S. T.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Sylvester, G. O.
Deer, G. Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lewis, Arthur Teeling, W.
Delargy, H. J. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Dodds, N. N. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) MacColl, J. E. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Dye, S. McGhee, H. G. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McGovern, J. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) McInnes, J. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Edwards, Robert (Bliston) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Vickers, Miss J. H.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Madden, Martin Warbey, W. N.
Fernyhough, E. Mahon, Simon Weitzman, D.
Finch, H. J. Mann, Mrs. Jean West, D. G.
Forman, J. C. Mathew, R. Wheeldon, W. E.
Fort, R. Maude, Angus White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mikardo, Ian Wigg, George
Garner-Evans, E. H. Mitchison, G. R. Wilkins, W. A.
Gibson, C. W. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Willey, Frederick
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Gower, H. R. Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Green, A. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Greenwood, Anthony Oliver, G. H. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Oram, A. E. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Grey, C. F. Oswald, T. Zilliacus, K.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Paget, R. T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grimond, J. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Mr. K. Robinson and Mr. Hyde.
The Chairman

I understand that the next Clause is not going to be moved.

Forward to