HC Deb 09 August 1888 vol 330 c80
MR. ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrew's, &c.)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been directed to the case of Charles Smith, an old man, of weak intellect and infirm health, who was turned out of his dwelling-house in the parish of Monimail, in Fife, in May, 1887, and who was then, and still is, refused any parish relief except within the workhouse; whether the said Charles Smith has since lived in a cave in the earth without fire or protection for five months; whether he has been prevented by the Board of Supervision from bringing his case before the ordinary Courts; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to limit the authority of the Board of Supervision to prohibit inquiry in such cases by the ordinary tribunals?

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

The man in question, though of weak intellect, is not a suitable person for confinement as a lunatic, and is able to take care of himself. He is a nuisance to the neighbourhood, being very abusive with his tongue. The case was fully considered and not thought suitable for ordinary outdoor relief. The Board of Supervision has no power to prohibit inquiry; but it has a responsibility to decide whether the relief offered is adequate, which in this case it undoubtedly is.