HC Deb 20 March 1879 vol 244 cc1309-10

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is true, as stated in West Indian newspapers, that a Criminal Code is being passed for Jamaica in which flogging is provided as a punishment for libel, whether "wilful" or "negligent;" and, if so, whether this provision was introduced with the knowledge or sanction of Her Majesty's Government, and what course he proposes to pursue in the matter?


Sir, a draft Criminal Code was prepared in this country for Jamaica in 1877, by the direction of my Predecessor in office, and a copy of it was presented to Parliament in August of that year. It was also sent out to Jamaica for consideration there by the Colonial Legislature. It contains a provision for whip- ping as a punishment for intentional libel, if the libel impute an infamous crime, but not for negligent libel, nor for intentional libel except in the case specified. It is now under discussion by the Legislature of Jamaica; and when that discussion is concluded it will be returned here, with any amendments that may be made, for my consideration and decision, when this and other points will, of course, come before me. But no part of it will be put into force until it has received the assent of the Secretary of State.