§ MR. BRIGHT (Oldham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that at the county of London sessions, the magistrates have recently been compelled to discharge several female habitual drunkards who would have been committed to homes had there been any accommodation to receive them; whether this situation has arisen through the failure of the County Council to provide such accommodation; and whether he proposes to take any, and, if any, what, action in the matter.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
I am sorry to say that magistrates in London have recently had many such cases before them. In my Answer to a Question put to me by my hon. friend the Member for Lincoln, circulated with the Votes on the 18th February, I set out at some length the causes which have given rise to this situation. I have appointed a Committee, of which the hon. Baronet the Member for the Chippenham division is Chairman, "to inquire into the operation of the law relating to inebriates and to their detention in reformatories and retreats, and to report what amendments in the law and in its administration are desirable," and I hope the Committee will be able at an early date to suggest a solution of the difficulties which are rendering the Inebriates Act of 1898 practically inoperative so far as London women are concerned.