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PENALTY QUESTION DETERRENTS INSUFFICIENT? Parliamentary Reporter WELLINGTON, this day. Mr. Speaker was emphatic that a question asked by Mr. Algie (Nat., Remuera), in association with other Opposition members, in the House of Representatives yesterday concerning the abolition of capital punishment was in order when it was queried by Mr. McCombs (Govt, Lyttelton), who raised a point of order on the ground that the first part of the question contained an expression of opinion, contrary to Standing Orders.

The text of the question to the Minister of Justice, .Mr. Mason, was: "Having regard to the distressing frequency wfth which the crime of murder is being committed in this Dominion, and in view of the fact that women and young children are too often the victims of these horrible outrages, (1) Has the Government, since the abolition of the provision for capital punishment, taken any positive and constructive steps f?/ o protection of human life? (2) If so, what is the precise nature of the action thus taken? (3) If the answer to the first question is in the negative is the Government entirely satisfied that the existing deterrents are sufficiently effective for all practical and reasonable purposes?"

Immediately Mr. McCombs raised a point of order Mr. Bodkin (Nat Central Otago) joined issue with him There was a .big difference, Mr' Bodkm submitted, between an expression of opinion and a fact that was well known, and which was capable of proof by statistics. In this case it was not a matter of opinion.

"As a matter of fact I passed the question," said The Speaker Mr Schramm. "I rule that the question can be put." "

There were fewer cases of the type referred to m the question than in the past, commented the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Parry.

"No expression of opinion," quickly retorted Mr. Algie, amid laughter.

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Bibliographic details

GRIME OF MURDER, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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GRIME OF MURDER Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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