HC Deb 30 March 1886 vol 304 cc255-6
MR. MORGAN HOWARD (Camberwell, Dulwich)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, What are the grounds upon which it is proposed to discharge from the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum four criminal lunatics (Strain, Wilson, Longman, and Jarvis) with a view to converting them into pauper lunatics; whether, in the absence of contribution from the Treasury towards their maintenance, the effect of such discharge will be to transfer from the Crown to the county, at the expense of the latter, the cost of maintenance of these criminal lunatics; and, whether it is in the contemplation of the Treasury to contribute towards the maintenance of these persons until the expiration of their respective sentences?


In reply to the hon. and learned Member, I beg to say that, having satisfied myself that the four men—Strain, Wilson, Longman, and Jarvis—ought not properly any longer to be treated as criminal lunatics in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, I ordered their discharge, in the exercise of a discretion which has been vested in the Secretary of State by the Act of 1884. The effect of their discharge will be, as the hon. and learned Member's Question infers, to throw the cost of their maintenance on to the local funds. There will be no Treasury contribution, as there are no sentences to expire, none of these persons having been convicted, but having all become lunatic before they were tried.