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Judicial CP - March 1946

Corpun file 24317 at


The Times, London, 22 March 1946, p.8

House of Commons

Thursday, March 21



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On the motion for the adjournment Mr. BENSON (Chesterfield, Lab.) raised the question of the reintroduction of flogging in Trinidad. He said that Britain was the only country in Europe to retain corporal punishment, and that the British Empire was the only Colonial Empire which still found it necessary to flog natives.

Mr. CREECH JONES, Under-Secretary for the Colonies (Shipley, Lab.), said that a request was made to the Secretary of State soon after taking office to authorize legislation to reintroduce flogging in Trinidad. Naturally he was most reluctant to do so, and referred the matter back to Trinidad. The authorities there almost unanimously recommended that the situation was such that some such action as they had asked for was imperative. With the greatest hesitation and reluctance the Secretary of State agreed that such legislation as was complained of should be introduced. But he suggested that the legislation should be for a period of two years and that reports should be furnished at the end of six months and that if no action had been taken by the end of 18 months he should then have an opportunity to bring the whole question under review.

-- The House adjourned at 13 minutes before 10 o'clock.

Corpun file 24316 at


The Times, London, 27 March 1946, p.5

Flogging in Trinidad

To the Editor of The Times

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Sir, -- Mr. Creech Jones has stated that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has authorized the reintroduction of flogging in Trinidad. In February, 1938, the late Lord Olivier informed the House of Lords in emphatic terms that the West Indian Negro regards flogging as a degrading and disgusting punishment, but Mr. Creech Jones has no doubt borne it in mind that a few days later he received an assurance from Mr. C.S. Taylor, member for Eastbourne, that many of the Trinidad natives prefer corporal punishment to the delay caused by waiting for a court of justice and any ultimate imprisonment!

The 1937 Riots Commission made the -- to my mind -- outrageous recommendation that the stealing of vegetables should be punished by flogging. I, on the contrary, advocated the total abolition of corporal punishment and I understand that my successor, Sir Hubert Young, brought this about. I know nothing of present-day conditions in Trinidad, but I venture to ask the authorities: Are they in fact so utterly void of alternatives that they must perforce fall back upon this retrograde step which they now propose?

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
MURCHISON FLETCHER, formerly Governor of Trinidad.
5, Chartfield Avenue, S.W.15, March 23.

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