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Crimes Of Violence (Corporal Punishment)

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 27 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider introducing corporal punishment for crimes of violence.

The arguments for and against corporal punishment were exhaustively considered by the Departmental Committee which reported in 1938, and were fully debated in the Criminal Justice Bill, 1948, which abolished it as a judicial penalty. The number of crimes of violence for which corporal punishment could be awarded before 1948 has varied little over the years 1947 to 1951. This does not support the view that reconsideration of this controversial question is urgently required.

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the people who commit these offences do not pay any heed to the injury and pain they inflict of their victims, and does not he think that a dose of their own medicine would act as a deterrent to those who strike down innocent women and children who get in their way while they are committing their crimes?

The point I was trying to make was that when this House has come to a decision on a very controversial matter of this kind, we ought to have a chance of appreciating the results of that decison before we go into the matter again.