HC Deb 15 August 1887 vol 319 cc470-1

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether it is the case that the Northern Lunacy District is the only lunacy district in Scotland where there are no wards provided for private patients, either in the district asylum or in some other institution within the district; whether it is the case that patients have to be enrolled as paupers before admission to the Northern District Asylum (at Dunain), even though their curators should be able and willing to pay for their maintenance; whether the Commissioners of Lunacy for Scotland have, in their last Report, pronounced this usage to be illegal; whether they are prepared to press the Northern District Lunacy Board to supply accommodation for private patients; and, whether there are any, and, if so, what, burghs in the Northern Lunacy District unrepresented on the District Board of Lunacy, and the reason why they have no representatives on the Board?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

There is no lunacy district known as the Northern Lunacy District. Shetland, Orkney, and Caithness each form a separate distinct, and their pauper lunatics are housed in Montrose or Edinburgh asylums. Sutherland, Ross, Cromarty, and Inverness form one district, and have a district asylum at Inverness. District asylums are provided by assessment only for paupers; but if there is spare accommodation in them, this may legally be used for private patients. The usage of housing patients as paupers, whose maintenance is privately paid for, was declared by the Lunacy Board in their Report to be illegal. There are seven Royal asylums in Scotland where such lunatics can be received at low rates of board. The burghs of Fortrose, Tain, Dornoch, and Cromarty have no separate representation on the Board of their district, owing to the small amount of their valuation.