HC Deb 11 February 1904 vol 129 cc1035-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Treasury have refused to pay for the maintenance of patients in the district lunatic asylums in Ireland committed under the orders of the Secretary of State for War and the First Lord of the Admiralty; that this refusal has been decided upon in defiance of the express words of a statute passed in the first year of the reign of His present Majesty and of a circular issued from the Irish Lunacy Office, Dublin Castle, in the early part of the year 1902; and that the circular referred to was followed by another contradicting it; and, if so, will he state who is responsible for this change; and whether he will take step to have thy law as stated in the Act, and defined by the first circular, carried out.


The earlier of the two circulars was issued in error. The revised circular of May, 1903, was issued by direction of the Irish Government acting upon the advice of the law officers. The latter circular was to the effect that lunatic sailors and soldiers who have committed no crime, but are sent to asylums by the Admiralty or War Office under special statutory authority, are not to be treated as criminal lunatics and, therefore, not to be maintained at the cost of the Exchequer. They are not so maintained in England, and the Government does not think it can be contended they should be in Ireland.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state by whose advice this circular was issued?

[No answer was returned].