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Domestic CP - April 1963

Corpun file 22448


Daily Express, London, 30 April 1963

I was spanked says peer's wife

Express Staff Reporter

Click to enlarge

SOMETIMES "a short, sharp beating is an excellent thing" for a child, the Countess of Dartmouth, better known as Lady Lewisham, said yesterday.

She was speaking from experience, for her novelist mother, Barbara Cartland, believed in the value of "six of the best" in bringing up her family.

And the countess admitted at the Royal Society of Health Congress in Eastbourne yesterday that she did not escape the punishment -- meted out by mother with a slipper, she said.

Such nonsense

The countess, President of the Family Health and Welfare Section, told the Congress: " An awful lot of nonsense is talked about corporal punishment. People who even mention a cane are called sadists and it is fashionable to cloak old-fashioned naughtiness in clever talk about 'disturbed behaviour patterns'."

Later Mrs. Cartland, who is also the mother of two sons, said at her Hatfield home: "Yes. I always used to beat my children -- until the day when my younger son hit back.

"My daughter was quite right when she talked about a 'short, sharp beating.' It's quite the best remedy for naughtiness.

"When she was a little girl I gave her many a slap for being unpunctual, for untidiness, and for reading late in bed.

"She didn't resent it a bit and it certainly paid off. It always ended up with her saying 'I'm sorry, Mummy,' and we were all good friends."

But Miss Cartland disagreed with her daughter on one point -- "I always hit the children with my hand -- never with a slipper," she said.

Two sons

Lady Dartmouth has two sons, aged 13 and 12. And she hands out punishment to both of them, she said last night when she returned to London.

"I usually hit them with a man's bedroom slipper otherwise I hurt my hands," she said.

"But," she went on, "I mustn't give away family secrets by telling you why I hit them.

"I don't know whether they resent it or not. I am not concerned. They must learn to have respect.

"American children are terribly unpleasant because their parents think they'll be disturbed by a slap -- what nonsense."

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