Virginia-born Viscountess Astor, M.P. for Plymouth, has never allowed her Conservative Party affiliations to interfere with her penchant for reform. One of her pet hates is Demon Rum; another is flogging, a practice still legal in the British Navy and British prisons. Unruly sailors are rarely flogged now, but stern judges sometimes order the lash as punishment for particularly brutal civil crimes.

Lady Astor rose last week before a conference of 3,000 women Conservatives, to speak in favor of a Government-sponsored bill abolishing criminal floggings. She found to her surprise that not...

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