7 NOVEMBER 1952, Page 14

Siu,—The Old Testament, being the keystone of _both the New

Testa- ment and the Koran, and thus forming the basis of the moral law of the greater part of mankind, should be worth consulting with regard to the ethics of flogging that is now causing controversy. The Old Testament law in this respect states:- " And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee." (25 Deuteronomy 2/3.)

Flogging, according to that much reverenced authority, is therefore a permissible punishment, provided that the severity of its application is limited. This seems to provide a perfectly reasonable and adequate solution to the present-problem; and when it is considered that that same authority devised the Ten Commandments, the infallibility and equity of which have never yet been disputed, it seems we should not go far wrong in keeping to its ruling in the present instance. When a people cries out for just retribution against its criminals, according to that time-honoured law, by what superior authority is this then to be