HC Deb 14 August 1901 vol 99 cc832-4

As amended, considered.

New Clause— The committees for any two or more distinct lunatic asylums may agree to unite in providing and maintaining a laboratory for pathological research in connection with insanity and nervous diseases, and may defray the expenses incurred in pursuance of an agreement under this section by contributions from the funds at their disposal for the maintenance of their respective asylums."—(Mr. Wyndham.)

Brought up and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be now read a second time."

MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)

said he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not press this clause.


said he would be sorry not to press it. He had brought it forward at the instance of an important deputation of the representatives of the officers of the Irish asylums. The scientific reputation of the Irish lunatic asylums deservedly stood high, and he would be sorry that anything should be done to lower it.


said he trusted that this Amendment would not be lost. He felt confident that the vast majority of the Irish Members were in favour of it. It simply put the Irish local bodies in the same position as the English and Scotch local bodies.


said he was in favour of the new clause, although he could see that there was a great deal to be said on the other side. He, however, wished to propose an Amendment on the clause that after the word "may," in the first line, there be inserted "with the consent of the county council." That would give the county councils the most ample power to check undue extravagance. If the clause were read a second time, he would move that Amendment.

MR. O'DOHERTY (Donegal, N.)

said that the asylum committees were appointed by the county councils, and if the committees spent the money of the ratepayers recklessly in providing these pathological laboratories they could be checked by the county councils.


said the hon. Gentleman was quite mistaken in saying that the county councils had any control over the asylum committees. He had good reason to oppose the Amendment, coming as it did at the last moment, when he was under the impression that it was not to be moved. From his own experience he could say that the expenses in connection with lunacy had increased in his own county 30 per cent. during the last few years and were still growing, and the burdens were getting so high that they were becoming intolerable. The right hon. Gentleman would not be keeping faith with the House if he allowed this sort of thing to go on, and he trusted that he would not press his Amendment.

DR. THOMPSON (Monaghan, N.)

thought it was necessary for two or three lunatic asylums to join together to establish a laboratory for pathological research in connection with insanity and nervous diseases, and therefore he supported the Amendment of the Chief Secretary.


thought that every public board in Ireland would oppose this Amendment. Young men would be anxious to get these appointments, and the result would be that they would be learning their business while getting a salary all the time. What he advocated was the power to erect laboratories in the several colleges so as to avoid sending their young doctors over to England and Scotland or abroad to study insanity and nervous diseases.


thought the right hon. Gentleman would be wise to stand by the Amendment. His own feeling was in favour of it, and, so far as he could make out, the opinion of his colleagues, with the exception of his hon. friend the Member for Mid Tyrone, was almost unanimously in favour of it.

New clause read a second time.

Amendment made to the proposed new clause— By inserting after the word 'may,' in line 1, the words with the consent of the councils of the counties affected.'"—(Mr. T. M. Healy.)

Clause, as amended, added.