HC Deb 19 July 1904 vol 138 cc420-1
MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will explain why one of the Privy Council rules for the regulation of lunatic asylums in Ireland prescribes as one of the qualifications for the office of assistant resident medical officer that he shall be unmarried, in view of the fact that no such condition is prescribed in the case of the resident medical superintendent; and whether, if such a condition is not prescribed by any asylum committee of management which may make new rules, the Lord-Lieutenant will insist upon its inclusion amongst such rules.


The rule prohibiting a married man from being appointed to the position of assistant medical officer of a district lunatic asylum is of universal application throughout the United Kingdom. It is embodied in an Order of the Lord-Lieutenant in Council dated 28th April, 1898. The object of the rule is to secure for the position the services of men who are more likely to devote their whole attention to learning the special duties of their office. A resident medical superintendent must be a man of experience and must have served as assistant medical officer for at least five years. The rule has been adopted by every asylum committee in Ireland which has drawn up regulations, save the Ballinasloe Asylum Committee. A departure from the rule will not be sanctioned in the case of that asylum.


How many asylum committees have drawn up rules? Is it not a fact that only one has?


I do not think so, but I should like notice of the Question.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)

Is there anything to prevent an officer who is unmarried, when appointed, from getting married the day after his appointment?


Perhaps the hon. Member will give me notice of that. My view is that in Ireland, and throughout the United Kingdom as well as throughout Europe, the assistant resident medical officer is expected to be an unmarried man.