HC Deb 17 June 1920 vol 130 cc1488-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in the Straits Settlements, the old penal code still exists under which a man, having been banished from the Colony, is sentenced to penal servitude for life if he should return; whether there have been several of such sentences recently; whether the judge passing them called attention to the fact that he had no option in the matter; and whether it is time that such a penal code was revised?

Colonel WILSON

Under the Straits Settlements Banishment Ordinance men who return from banishment may either be forthwith removed from the Colony or proceeded against under a Section of the Penal Code which provides for penal servitude for life. A proposal to curtail the term of imprisonment was brought forward by the Government of the Colony in 1914 and dropped owing to the unanimous opposition of the members of the Legislative Council. As a matter of practice such sentences have been reviewed every three years by the Governor. I have no information as to the sentences to which the hon. Member refers, but inquiry will be made.