§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Brace)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
This is a Bill to make further provision for the application of the Asylums Officers Superannuation Act, 1909, to officers in certified institutions for defectives, and to provide for the aggregation of service in asylums and in such institutions. The Bill is intended to remedy certain defects in those Sections of the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, which provide for the superannuation of officers in certain institutions managed by local authorities, the chief defect being that Section 45 of the English Act of 1913 does not make provision for the aggregation of services for pensions when any officer is transferred from an asylum to a certified institution or vice versa. This is a real hardship, and it is a pressing public necessity that something should be done to deal with the problem. It is urgently necessary to rectify this defect, because of the difficulty of providing a nucleus of trained officers or trained staffs for the new institutions for defectives unless experienced officers can be drawn from the asylums. Under the law as it stands, if officers move from an asylum to a certified institution, they start, as regards his or her pension as if they had no experience or no service 1742 whatsoever. It was very natural that an officer would not be disposed to be transferred from an asylum to an institution, which would mean the loss of his or her accrued pension rights, and this Bill is simply a measure for the aggregation of the pensions so that the transfer may be made quite easily and that we shall have a nucleus for the new institutions that are being and will be established to staff them in a proper way. I therefore hope the House will give us the Bill without any delay.
§ Mr. WATT
I do not for a moment oppose the Second Reading of the Bill as I think it is a very valuable measure, and that the House will do its duty if it thanks the right hon. Gentleman and the Home Office for having brought it in. I know that officers who are removed to certified institutions from asylums have a marked grievance in suffering as they have done from that transfer. As the right hon. Gentleman has indicated they were reluctant to be transferred to certified institutions and the patients in the certified institutions suffered. I therefore congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his Bill, but I would not have risen to say that alone. I desire to ask him if he is able to explain to me whether under Clause 2, Sub-section (2), a change is made in Section 36 of the Mental Deficiency Act (Scotland), 1913? I have been unable to take the opportunity of turning up that Act to see what Section 36 enacts, but I rely upon the right hon. Gentleman having that information, although perhaps he is not very conversant with the law of Scotland. But still I think he may be able to state whether this Bill cancels Section 36 of that Act. I think the House ought not to pass any measure until it knows clearly what its effect may be.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow.—[Lord E. Talbot.]