Oral Answers to Questions — Corporal Punishment

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1952.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton 12:00 am, 24th July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals to restore flogging he is now considering.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

The matter is under constant review, but I must not be taken as assenting to the proposition that the case for restoring corporal punishment either for the offences for which it could formerly be awarded or for a wider range of offences has been established or that this controversial matter in one requiring an urgent solution.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Can the Home Secretary either explain or amplify a statement made recently by the Lord Chancellor which seemed to suggest that this matter is under active consideration, thus leading to the assumption that the Government might be changing their mind in the near future?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I stand by the first words of my answer, that the matter is under constant review. The question of dealing with crime must be under constant review. I think the remainder of my answer showed a proper approach.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr

When is this constant and active review likely to lead to results, especially in view of the growing wave of bestial crimes, which are mounting up every day?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

My hon. and gallant Friend makes that statement, but for the good name of the country as a whole it ought to be made clear that the figures of the crimes previously punishable by corporal punishment have not risen but have steadily declined.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

While appreciating that this and similar problems are bound to be under constant consideration, may I ask whether the Home Secretary is aware that enlightened opinion throughout the country hopes that he will be able to continue the present system, the results of which show a constant improvement?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I have taken all points into consideration. I think I have fairly expressed the opinion of the House.