HC Deb 30 April 1885 vol 297 cc1104-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to several cases recently reported, in which workhouse authorities refused to receive, even temporarily and pending inquiry, wandering insane persons for whom reception orders were duly made by police magistrates; whether, in consequence of such refusal, these unfortunate lunatics had to be kept for a considerable time in the police cells, where no proper accommodation exists, at great inconvenience to the police and serious risk to themselves; whether the Lunacy Commissioners have taken any notice of these cases, or offered any suggestion as to the best method of dealing with them; and, whether he will give peremptory orders in the proper quarter to arrange for the immediate reception of insane persons presented under the order of a police magistrate, until they can be examined and their cases properly dealt with?


in reply, said, that he had answered a Question on that subject put to him the other day; and he had then stated that, in his opinion, the proper place for these unfortunate persons was neither a police cell nor a prison, but in a workhouse. But great difficulties had been raised by workhouse authorities in regard to the subject; and he, therefore, would propose in the Lunacy Bill now before the House of Lords to introduce some clause to clear up the matter.