§ MR. W. J. CORBET
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he has noticed the following statement in the last Report of the Lunacy Commissioners:—The large annual addition to the number of insane persons under care has produced in some quarters an impression that insanity itself is much on the increase. On examination, however, of the figures now under consideration, it will be found that the increase is almost entirely due' to accumulation of chronic cases, so that the community at large would not appear more liable than formerly to be attacked with insanity;whether this accumulation of chronic cases has been used by the Commissioners for a series of years to account for the continuous increase of numbers; whether the registered insane in the United Kingdom, including Ireland and Scotland, have nearly doubled within a comparatively brief period, being in 1862 55,525 as against 103,660 at the date of the last Returns; and, whether, in view of the great increase of numbers, as shown by these figures, and of the emphasis laid by the Commissioners on—The imperative necessity of making the accommodation for such accumulated cases keep pace with the requirements,and considering the unsatisfactory state of the Lunacy Laws generally, he will consent to the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the whole subject of lunacy and lunatic asylums before further legislation is carried out?
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER,
in reply, said, the Secretary of State bad not had his attention specially drawn to the point raised by the hon. Member, and had not yet been able to ascertain whether the increase of chronic eases had been used in the manner suggested. The Lord Chancellor was about to introduce into the House of Lords a Bill to amend the Lunacy Laws. The matter had been so fully gone into by a previous Committee that it was not necessary now to appoint another one.