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Judicial CP - January 1955

Sunday Pictorial, London, 16 January 1955

'Stop flogging our call-up boys'

By "Pictorial" Reporter

SHOULD young British soldiers, serving abroad under the National Service Act, be caned when they break the local Civil Law?

In Britain we do not allow flogging. But if a soldier goes abroad he can be punished by a code we have outlawed. Protests against this flogging will soon be made in Parliament.

A group of Blackpool war veterans have protested to Sir Winston Churchill.

They say the fact that our men are flogged in Asiatic countries, and that the floggers are often Chinese, makes it all the worse.

'Monstrous,' Says M.P.

The Blackpool branch of the Royal Pioneer Corps Association says that the canings must stop. Colonel Marcus Lipton, M.P., Mrs. Bessie Braddock, M.P., and Mr. Fenner Brockway, M.P., have promised to give support.

Colonel Lipton said last night:

"I think it is monstrous that young men from our country should be sent to the other side of the world to serve their Queen and there become victims of a monstrous and barbarous code which public opinion in their homeland will not tolerate.

"What we will not do to youth at home we must not do to our youth abroad."

Mr. L.N. Tomlinson, chairman of the Blackpool R.P.C.A., wrote a letter of protest to the Sunday Pictorial last week.

The Colonial Secretary, in a letter to this Association, says the Government is NOT in favour of caning anyone in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The letter adds that men have "received corporal punishment in accordance with sentences passed by the Civil Courts."

A Colonial Office spokesman assured me that the number of offences punishable by caning in Hong Kong has been reduced. Further reductions are hoped for.

Twelve Strokes

Sentences on British soldiers recorded by the Blackpool Association include: Twelve strokes and three years; ten strokes and two years; eight strokes and three years; four strokes and six days.

The last sentence was not carried out.

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