asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that the Clause in the Vagrant Act of 1824 dealing with the flogging of vagrants has never been extended to Scotland or Ireland and that the amending Bill of 1898 proposed to abolish flogging, and that although the proposal was passed in this House it was rejected in the House of Lords; and, if so, whether he will suspend all floggings under the Vagrant Act until the Government can pass a formal measure for their repeal?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I am aware that an Amendment to the Vagrancy Bill of 1898 was carried in this House, the effect of which would have been to abolish whipping under the Vagrancy Acts, and that it was struck out in the House of Lords. As to the third part of the question, I am advised that the course suggested would be a violation of those provisions of the Bill of Rights, which forbid "the suspending of or dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without the consent of Parliament," and would therefore be illegal and unconstitutional.