§ 58. Mr. Gallacher
asked the Home Secretary whether he will make inquiries into the allegation by Mrs. Evans, of Acton, that her son was ill-treated at a Home Office approved school; whether he is satisfied that eight strokes with a cane is not too severe treatment for a boy who tries to leave such a school; and whether he will make a statement on the use of corporal punishment in approved schools?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
The use of corporal punishment in approved schools is closely limited and regulated by Home Office rules, but it is considered that it would be a mistake to prohibit this form of punishment for the offence of absconding. The alternative of controlling escapes by a system of locked doors and high walls would be open to far greater objection. The boy in question is nearly 17. As regards the suggestions that the boy had been ill-treated in the school, I understand that the mother has, since the court proceedings, visited the school and expressed herself as so well satisfied that she promised to bring the boy back before the date fixed by the court.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Does the right hon. Gentleman justify the use of a cane on, a lad? Is he aware that I have had experience, and that it cannot be justified in any way?
§ Mr. Morrison
I do not think I had better enter into whether the hon. Member was justified in being caned.