7 JULY 1939, Page 7

The Criminal Justice Bill The postponement of the final stages

of the Criminal Justice Bill until after the Summer Recess is a matter of the greatest regret. If the delay is due, as it may well be, solely to time-table considerations and the paramount importance of the defence programme, it must be accepted without further comment. But it is difficult altogether to reject the suspicion that it is not unwelcome to several members of the Cabinet. The proposed abolition of flogging has aroused a hornets' nest, and in general the whole tenor of the measure is a little advanced for the average Conservative. The robust preference for the " cat " of certain members of the supposedly gentler sex and the open regret expressed by several judges at the prospect of losing the power to order it have doubtless caused heart- burnings. The arguments against flogging, so admirably summarised in a recent article by Sir Chartres Biron in these columns, remain overwhelmingly strong, and nothing can be more welcome than the information that the Govern- ment has no intention of abandoning the Bill.