15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 2

The Caning of Girls Recent correspondence in The ■S`pectator has

provoked many expressions of astonishment that the caning of girls by masters in publicly supported and controlled schools should be permissible at all. It quite definitely and decidedly should not be, but the Board of Education, as the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board stated in an answer in the House of Commons last' week, is resolved to leave the matter to the discretion of the local authorities. There seems little justification for such a course. The question is not one to be variously decided in accordance with varying local conditions. That girls should be liable to be caned by men is a uniformly good thing or a uniformly bad thing, and most people will hold strongly that, for reasons that have been adequately set forth in our columns, it is a bad thing, and that no local authority should be left free to sanction it. Few do—but even those few should be checked.. This is not a question of corporal punishment generally, on which we have no intention of dogmatizing. It is not even a question of the caning of girls by mistresses. But the caning of girls by masters is quite another matter. The most impassioned evangelist -of sex equality is hardly likely to take the field as an advocate of that. At least it is 'to be hoped not.