2 JUNE 1939, Page 6

The vehemence of the Conservative women (better, per- haps, ladies)

whose insistence, at a recent conference, on the retention of flogging in our penal code was so eloquent and so impassioned, is apparently infectious. Or perhaps that is doing Mr. F. 0. Langley, the magistrate at Old Street, an injustice ; his inborn convictions probably need no external stimulus. What they are is sufficiently indicated by his address from the bench a few days ago to a youth of 17 charged with stealing a bicycle. " I should like," he is reported to have observed, " to take you outside and thrash you until you could not stand, and then thrash you again for making such a ghastly fool of yourself." The stress of frustrated desire provokes sympathy—but hardly admiration.

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