HC Deb 18 June 1883 vol 280 cc780-1

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether there is any truth in the rumour that it is intended to transfer the control of lunatic asylums in Ireland to the Local Government Board; if he could explain the reason of this change; and, whether legislation is required for this purpose?


Sir, it is the intention of the Government to make the transfer referred to, should Parliament consent, and a Bill for the purpose has already been introduced into "another place "—Lunatic Poor (Ireland) Bill. I shall be glad to explain fully the reasons for which the change is considered desirable when the Bill reaches this House. But I am bound to say that, in the present state of Business, and having regard to the other Irish measures before the House, it is extremely doubtful whether the Bill can be carried to maturity.


I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman, If the public asylums of Ireland are not in a high state of efficiency; if they have been brought to that state under the direction of the present Inspectors; and, if it is not a fact that the present Department is worked at half the expense proportionately of the English and Scotch Departments; and, if so, what can be the public necessity under the circumstances for the great change that has been decided upon?


This Question is like a second reading speech against the Bill, and I should be glad to answer it at the proper time. If the hon. Member will put these Questions on the Paper, I will answer all those that are not argumentative.