HC Deb 15 April 1918 vol 105 cc43-4

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the recent decision in the Court of King's Bench. (Ireland) in the case of the King (Kennelly and others) v. C. S. Brown, Local Government auditor, limiting the cases which may be sent to the extern hospitals to bonâ fide inmates of the workhouses, and precluding a board of guardians from sending to such hospitals poor persons admitted to the workhouse hospital and ordinarily entitled to free medical attendance; whether he has received any resolutions from boards of guardians in Ireland requesting an amendment of 25 and 26 Vic., Section 7, with a view to enabling the unions on the recommendation of a medical officer to send any poor person, whether an inmate of the workhouse or not, to an extern hospital for special treatment; and can he state whether it is intended to introduce legislation for this purpose at an early data?


The resolutions referred to have been received. As I stated in a written reply to the hon. Member for West Donegal on the 12th April, sanitary authorities have full power, under Section 155 of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, to make arrangements for the care of the sick inhabitants of their districts. The Local Government Board have recently issued circulars calling attention to this provision, and I am sending copies to the hon. Member.


Is the result of that decision that the law will be put back as it was before this case was decided?


I cannot say anything about that.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, owing to the decision of the Local Government Board and the Courts, poor people in many districts in Ireland are now placed under the possibility of not getting special treatment in a case of great emergency?


I have been in communication with Sir Henry Robinson, Vice-President of the Local Government Board, with the result that the circulars to which I have referred have been sent out. His belief is that they will meet the case.