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Borstal Institutions (Dietary Punishment)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now make a statement with regard to dietary punishment in Borstal institutions.

As my hon. Friend will be aware, the difficulty in this matter is to provide a satisfactory alternative to dietary punishment for enforcing discipline on recalcitrant and refractory lads. I am anxious to find an alternative, and I have certain proposals in view for this purpose, but before they can be finally settled consultation with various authorities is necessary and this has not yet been completed. For this reason, I am not yet in a position to make an announcement about these proposals, but I will do so as soon as possible.

While I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer and have no desire to embarrass him, may I ask if he is aware that I first raised this matter nearly a year ago in an Adjournment Debate, and asked a Question again six months ago; and can he give any indication how far his inquiries have reached?

I think I can say that I am approaching the position where I shall be able to announce a decision.

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House how dietary punishment affects the people in Jarrow, who have returned a Labour candidate?