asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether corporal punishment by means of a birch which has been pickled in brine and hardened to the consistency of wire is still inflicted on ratings under 18 years of age; and whether, if this be so, he will consider the advisability of reverting to the pre-War rule of prohibiting this form of punishment?
I would refer the hon. Member to the very full reply given on this subject to the hon. Member for Ealing on the 26th June. The punishment can be inflicted only by sentence of court-martial for unnatural crime, and is used extremely seldom. The Admiralty consider that the present very restricted practice is salutary.