HC Deb 21 March 1923 vol 161 cc2580-1W
Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty in how many cases birching has been administered in the Royal Navy during the last year; whether it is still only given for certain offences; what these offences are; and whether it is proposed to abolish this form of punishment?


There were no cases of birching in 1922, and none have been reported in the present year. As I have already stated in this House, birching can be inflicted only by sentence of court martial for unnatural crime, and the Admiralty consider that it is preferable, as a deterrent, to imprisonment or dismissal from the Service as being less likely to make habitual criminals of ratings not fully adult.