HC Deb 07 May 1894 vol 24 cc460-1
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the Special Report of the Inspectors of Lunatics in Ireland, whether he is aware that in several of the Reports supplied by the Resident Medical Superintendents of asylums the use of inferior tea is mentioned as one of the sources of the causation of insanity; whether his attention has been called to the Report from No. 16 district, in which it is stated that the tea used is simply a decoction of tannin; whether any steps can be taken to protect the public from such an injurious article; and whether it would be convenient to give a list of the contract prices for tea supplied to the different district asylums in Ireland for the years 1893 and 1894?


I am aware of the statements referred to in the first and second paragraphs, though I may add that many of the Resident Medical Superintendents attribute the deleterious influence of tea, not to its quality, but to the method of preparation adopted. With regard to the second paragraph, the purchaser of adulterated tea may, at his own expense, proceed summarily against the seller for the penalty prescribed by the Adulteration of Food Act, or the prosecution may be brought under the direction of the Local Authority. I believe, however, that very little adulterated tea is sold in Ireland, and that as a rule the poorer classes purchase teas which are comparatively high priced but strong. Regarding the concluding paragraph, the information referred to can, if desired, be obtained, but it will take some time to collect it.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

asked how many of the cases of lunacy were due to whisky?


said, he could not say how many were due to its deleterious influences.