Corporal Punishment (Proposed Legislation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Nyasaland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough 12:00 am, 9th April 1959

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why he has agreed to proposed legislation by the Government of Nyasaland for further restrictions on African activities and heavier penalties, including the flogging of children.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

The Bills to which the hon. Gentleman refers have not yet been passed by the Legislative Council in Nyasaland; until they are, it does not fall to me to consider them. As regards provisions for corporal punishment for children, I refer to my reply to the hon. Member's Question on 7th April.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

When the time comes for the Minister to consider the Bills, may I ask him to bear in mind that they repudiate all the principles of British justice? There are three Bills. Is it not the case that the first makes a punishable offence a possible offence and not an actual offence? Is it not the case that the second Bill—

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Order. This is really an abuse of the right to ask supplementary questions. We have had a lot of it today. Hon. Members have been seizing the opportunity to make speeches. I wish the hon. Member would ask a question.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

Mr. Speaker, I am submitting to the right hon. Gentleman— [HON. MEMBERS: " Speech."] I am asking a question of the right hon. Gentleman about legislation which repudiates the principles of British justice. I shall be content if I may deal with only the third point. [Interruption.] I suggest that I am putting a point to you, Mr. Speaker — [ZION. MEMBERS: " No."] — and that I am only asking a question. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the third of those measures makes a child of seven, who is guilty of an offence other than one punishable by death, liable to six rattan cane strokes and a child of 12 liable to twelve strokes, whether this can be done in public, and whether not even a medical officer need be present?

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

There is no legislation as yet on which I can possibly comment. When that legislation has been received, I shall make up my mind about what I shall do.