HL Deb 12 March 1896 vol 38 cc717-8

THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HALSBURY) moved the Second Reading of this Bill, which had been prepared, he said, on the recommendation of a great number of magistrates and chairmen of quarter sessions, who felt that children of a tender age were not the proper subjects of long imprisonment. The Bill only enlarged the power of inflicting a whipping where the magistrates thought it desirable, in substitution of or in addition to imprisonment. It was urged that "in addition to" should be omitted. ["Hear, hear!"] The object aimed at was to inflict a whipping for graver offences by youthful persons and not send them to gaol.


cordially supported the Bill, and would like to see it extended to those persons who committed aggravated assaults upon women and children, who were inadequately punished by a sentence of imprisonment. He thought a whipping would be far more deterrent than imprisonment, and he hoped some day this class of offenders would be included in some Bill similar to the present one.


thought the object of the Bill was an excellent one, but he felt some doubt as to the words "in addition to," which seemed to run counter to the object in view. As to aggravated offences, he thought they should not be dealt with by summary jurisdiction.


speaking for the Society of Chairmen of Quarter Sessions, said they had signed a requisition in favour of such a Bill as this passing into law. He agreed with the noble Earl that the object to be sought was to avoid sending children to gaol. These children generally were neglected by idle or drunken parents, and under the Bill the authorities would only be doing what a proper parent would do. He should like to see "in addition to" struck out. ["Hear, hear!"]


considered that the object of the Bill would be defeated if these words were retained.

Read 2a (according to Order), and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.