Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Services Supplementary Estimates, 1924–25. – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1925.

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Photo of Colonel Sir Joseph Nall Colonel Sir Joseph Nall , Manchester Hulme

I hope the Home Secretary will not be influenced in his administration of penal laws by some of the ultra-sentimental suggestions that have been made to-night. Undoubtedly, there are many persons to whom a good flogging is the only punishment that they really understand, and where the Home Secretary is advised that the cases are increasing in which punishment of that kind can be administered in the public interest, I hope he will not hesitate in the matter. The case referred to by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) shows, I think, that we are in danger of making prison life too easy for those who are addicted to it. Prison life ought to be such that those who are committed to it have not the slightest inclination to go back to it once they are free; and there is to-day an unfortunate tendency to encourage a certain class of individual who, on liberation from a teem of imprisonment, is only too pleased to think that a further term may soon be awarded to him. Therefore, prison administration should be so maintained as to avoid those inducements in the form of sentimental treatment of wrongdoers, so that our prison population is not encouraged to increase, but will be kept within limits. I am sorry that the Home Secretary, in his reply, felt that he could not accept this Motion, because there is a strong feeling in many quarters that legislation on the lines indicated would be of advantage. At any rate, we have his assurance that the matter has his keen attention, and, knowing him as we do, I think we can very well, on this occasion, leave the matter in his hands. I only hope he will not be swayed by sloppy, sentimental humbug, and that he will administer the criminal and penal laws in the most rigid manner possible.