HC Deb 02 December 1958 vol 596 cc1024-5
50. Sir T. Moore

asked the Prime Minister whether the statement, spare the rod and spoil the child, by the Secretary of State for the Home Department at a recent meeting in Chelsea, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend was referring to the use of corporal punishment by parents or teachers, as enjoined by the Book of Proverbs.

Sir T. Moore

If that is so, and, of course, I accept the Prime Minister's statement, will he please say why the Government persist in preventing that same rod being used by the law in appropriate circumstances and at appropriate times?

The Prime Minister

I said that my right hon. Friend was referring to parents and teachers. He might, of course, have harked back to an earlier Butler, who wrote: Love is a boy, by poets styled; Then spare the rod, and spoil the child.

Mr. M. Stewart

Since the Prime Minister referred to the advice given in the Book of Proverbs by King Solomon, could he tell us why, if King Solomon knew so much about how to bring up children, his own son was such a thoroughly bad character?

The Prime Minister

I think the hon. Gentleman has taken a rather narrow view. He has selected one child from what, I understand, was a much wider company.