HC Deb 25 November 1909 vol 13 cc359-60
Captain DON ELAN (for Mr. J. C. Flynn)

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty what practice is adopted by the Admiralty authorities in respect to lunatic seamen discharged from the Royal Navy; if it is the custom to send these men to their relatives or to the workhouses of their native districts; if so, is the practice sanctioned by naval medical officers; and do the Admiralty authorities propose to continue the practice of deducting from the pension or other allowance given to discharged lunatic seamen now maintained in Irish lunatic asylums the capitation grant paid by the State towards the maintenance and transferring the amount of such grant to the relief of the Vote for the Admiralty?

The CIVIL LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. Lambert)

The procedure of the Admiralty is governed by the Lunacy Acts, 1890–1891, and by the provisions of the Army Act, Section 91, made applicable to the naval service by Section 3 of the Naval Enlistment Act, 1884. Dangerous lunatics are committed to an asylum, those entitled to pensions for life being admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital, Yarmouth. Non-dangerous lunatics are sent to Yarmouth or to the union of the parish to which it appears from the declaration made on entry and from other information that they are chargeable, unless their relations or friends are willing to take charge of them and the Admiralty are satisfied that proper oare will be taken of them. In the latter case the Admiralry act on the advice of the naval medical authorities. With regard to the last part of the question, the reduction of the pension by the amount of the grant received by the asylum authorities from the local taxation account in aid of the pensioner's maintenance is made in accordance with the provisions of Section 7, Clause 2, of the Superannuation Act of 1887, and the Admiralty has no option in the matter.


May I ask whether it is not a fact that when naval pensioners are transferred to Irish lunatic asylums or workhouses, the total cost of their maintenance is thrown on the local rates or the local taxation account in Ireland?


The Admiralty have no option in the matter. They are bound by legislation.


Are these old men who have served under the British flag sent to Irish workhouses as an inducement to more Irishmen to join the Navy?