HC Deb 17 May 1906 vol 157 cc646-7
MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

On behalf of the hon. Member for East Wicklow, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the secretaries and accountants of the public lunatic asylums in England, Scotland, and Wales are directly responsible to their several committees of management for the due performance of their duties, or to the resident medical superintendent; and if ho alone is responsible to the committee and exercises, complete control over these officers under his committee.


There are no secretaries or accountants in public asylums in England and Wales. The officers who deal with the supply and distribution of stores, the keeping of certain books and documents, and of the accounts of receipt and expenditure, are (1) the clerk and steward, the two offices being almost invariably held by the same person; and (2) an outside independent auditor. The former being resident is visually subordinate and immediately responsible to the medical superintendent, who has paramount authority in the asylum subject to the supreme control of the committee of management, statutorily called the visiting committee; the latter is responsible, and reports to the visiting committee alone. The clerk of the asylum is entrusted by statute with the keeping of accounts, books, and documents, in respect of which he is therefore directly responsible to the visiting committee. As regards Scotland, clerks and treasurers of district lunacy boards are naturally solely responsible to these boards.