HC Deb 07 April 1856 vol 141 cc622-3

brought up the Report of the Committee of Supply. Several Votes were agreed to.

On the Vote of £161,595, for the maintenance of Prisoners in county gaols, reformatory institutions, lunatic asylums, and the removal of convicts.


said, that last year, when he mentioned the subject, the Home Secretary stated that he would give it his consideration, and see whether some more adequate provision for the treatment and maintenance of criminal lunatics could not be made than that which existed in the Hospital of Bethlem. He had not, however, been able to discover any intention on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to make such provision, although the matter was one of great importance to the country at large; and the treatment of criminal lunatics demanded the earnest attention of Government, inasmuch as they were now dispersed throughout the various county pauper lunatic asylums, and were not subjected to any restraint or confinement different from that adopted in the case of ordinary lunatics. The consequence was that they possessed facilities for escaping from these places; whilst, if further restrictions were applied to them, the effect was unfavourable to the other lunatics confined in the asylum. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman was able to give him an assurance that the attention of the Government had been directed to this subject.


fully admitted the necessity of making better provision for the custody of the class of persons to whom the hon. Gentleman referred. He was in correspondence with the Lunacy Commissioners on the subject, and he hoped that arrangements might in a short time be made for effecting this object. He was not at present in a position to submit any plan to the House, but it was possible that he might be able to do so before the close of the Session.

Resolutions agreed to.