HC Deb 07 June 1962 vol 661 cc638-9
18. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Central African Office) for what offences sentences of caning, in addition to imprisonment, can be inflicted in Northern Rhodesia.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I will, with permission, circulate the list of these offences in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not time that this power to inflict sentences of caning on Africans in addition to imprisonment was withdrawn, particularly as the carrying out of the sentence is a matter for the Federal Government? Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore review this matter and introduce a more enlightened policy?

Mr. Butler

In general the prisons are controlled by the Federal Government, but certain district prisons are controlled by the Northern Rhodesian Court. In general this is a matter for the Northern Rhodesian Legislature.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how often the power to order caning has been used during any convenient recent period? Will he examine this question again, both as the Home Secretary of this country and as the person responsible for Central African affairs?

Mr. Butler

Of course, I will watch this, and I should be glad to give an answer to that question if it were tabled.

Following is the information: Sentences of caning in addition to imprisonment are regulated by Section 27 of the Penal Code which in effect provides that such sentences may be awarded for burglary, housebreaking, theft, rape, attempted rape, indecent assaults on females, defilement of girls under sixteen years, attempted defilement of girls under sixteen years, defilement of idiots or imbeciles, procuration, procuring the defilement of women by threats or fraud or administering drugs, indecent assault on boys, disabling in order to commit felony or misdemeanour, acts intended to cause grievous harm or prevent arrest, inflicting grievous harm, maliciously administering poison with intent to harm, wounding and similar acts, assault causing actual bodily harm, assaults punishable with five years' imprisonment, robbery, attempted robbery, assault with intent to steal, demanding property with menaces with intent to steal, being found armed, etc., with intent to commit felony. Section 27 further provides for the award of sentence of caning and imprisonment where a person under twenty-one years is convicted for any offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of or exceeding three months except where such imprisonment may be awarded only on non-payment of fine or upon insufficient distress. This latter provision must be read with Section 70 of the Juveniles Ordinance the effect of which is that the double punishment can only be awarded to juveniles above the age of sixteen. Under the Native Courts Ordinance and the Barotse Native Courts Ordinance the native courts have similar powers.
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