§ 31. Mr. RENDALL
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War the names of the clearing houses to which soldiers of the rank and file when disabled by nerve strain are sent on arrival from the front, and the names of the military hospitals specially adapted for the treatment of un-certifiable cases of mental strain; how many of these border-line cases are at present in each one of these institutions, indicating at the same time for what purpose the institution was used previous to being commandeered; and in how many instances these uncertifiable cases have been put in charge of medical officers now 492 gazetted officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps who, up to the time when the institutions were commandeered, belonged to the asylum service and who still retain that status in addition to their military status?
§ Mr. TENNANT
The clearing houses are the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, and the 4th London (T.F.) General Hospital, Denmark Hill. These cases are sent to various military hospitals throughout the country and special neurological sections have been established in connection with the twenty-three (T.F.) General Hospitals so as to bring the patients under the observation of the eminent neurologists at these centres. It is not possible with any degree of accuracy to give the numbers of what my hon. Friend calls "border-line cases." The Red Cross Military Hospital, Maghull, and the Springfield War Hospital were taken over as military hospitals through the Board of Control, and the superintendents of these institutions were appointed to the charge of the military hospitals when they were taken over. For the time they are purely military medical officers.
§ Mr. RENDALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman give me now, or in a short time, the number of soldiers in these hospitals?
§ 39. Mr. RENDALL
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the new military hospital shortly to be opened at Napsbury has been known for years as a county lunatic asylum; whether its lunacy staff of medical officers are to be retained to take charge of nerve-shattered soldiers without any appeal or judicial investigation; and whether he will consider the possibility, as an alternative, of treating transiently acute cases of nerve shock in the same way as delirious cases are treated on medical lines in ordinary hospitals, and so save both the injured soldiers and their families from the opprobium associated with having been treated in a lunatic asylum?
§ Mr. TENNANT
The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative; but I am unaware what appeal or judicial investigation is contemplated by my hon. Friend: the cases of nerve shock to which the word "transient" may be applicable will be sent to military hospitals. I can assure my hon. Friend that 493 neither the desire nor the intention is lacking in my military medical advisers to save the soldiers and their families from the opprobium associated with having been treated in a lunatic asylum.
§ Sir W. BYLES
Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to save them from opprobium by depriving them of the safeguard which the Lunacy Act gives them?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I have explained the position more than once. At present it is that a soldier who is so unfortunate as to be deprived of his balance and is incurable, is certified not by the body that certifies cases of the civil population but by a board of military authority, and if it is discovered that he is incurable, of course he goes into an asylum.