Youths (Caning)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Richard Glyn Mr Richard Glyn , North Dorset 12:00 am, 24th November 1960

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases courts have ordered youths aged under 17 years of age to be caned for offences involving violence not associated with robbery in the last 50 years.

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

Courts in England and Wales did not have power to order caning, and statistics are not available in sufficient detail to enable me to say how often birching was ordered before 1948 for offences of the kind my hon. Friend describes.

Photo of Mr Richard Glyn Mr Richard Glyn , North Dorset

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the fact that the courts have never had power to order caning for this type of offence would mean that for courts to be given power to cane young thugs who had broken their probation would be a new experiment in penology and not a return to any system which has been tried and failed?

Photo of Mr Dennis Vosper Mr Dennis Vosper , Runcorn

I understand that my hon. Friend is one of those who have proposed a debate on the Committee stage of a Bill which is before the House, and I think we had better wait for that debate.