Mr. L. MALONE:11.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state the number of birchings inflicted during 1921 in the Royal Navy, the number of canings, and the maximum number of strokes now allowed for a birching sentence; if it is carried out in the presence of other persons; and whether naval cadets are subject to the same punishment?
The conditions and restrictions under which birching is now permitted in the Royal Navy were given in my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull on 15th June last. The punishment was inflicted on three offenders only in 1921, by the ship's police of a naval establishment, in the presence of the executive officer and a medical officer only. The maximum number of strokes is 24. As regards caning, this punishment may be ordered summarily by the Captain, up to a maximum of 12 strokes, for certain serious offences by boy ratings. Caning is not carried out publicly. It is regretted it is not possible to say how often it was carried out in 1921. Caning (but not birching) is also an authorised punishment for naval cadets.