§ (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any Act a person shall not, if the required con- 2290 ditions are complied with, be liable to any penalty for receiving to board, lodging, or taking charge of for a period not exceeding six months, whether for payment or not, any person suffering from mental disorder which is incipient in character and of recent origin, but not being a person who is a person certified as a lunatic under the Lunacy Acts, 1890 to 1911, or in respect of whom an order is in force under the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913:
§ Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any person who has been received into any institution, home or house under this section to be detained therein if he delivers to the superintendent or other person, by whatever name called, having the charge of the institution, home or house, or sends by post to the Minister, forty-eight hours' notice in writing that he desires to leave.
§ (2) The required conditions for the purposes of this section are as follows:—
- (a) The institution, home, or house in which the person is received must be approved for the purposes of this section- by the Minister:
- (b) No such person shall be received into the institution, home or house except with his previous consent in writing and except on a recommendation in writing by one duly qualified medical practitioner to the effect that that person is reasonably likely to benefit by treatment therein:
- (c) The superintendent or other person, by whatever name called, having charge of the institution, home or house, shall on the demand of any person having authority to inspect the institution, home or house, produce all such written consents and recommendations as aforesaid:
- (d) The reception under this section of any person into the' institution, home or house, shall be reported within twenty-four hours of such reception to the Minister by the superintendent or other person aforesaid, and a copy of the written consent and recommendations shall be enclosed with the report:
- (e) No institution, home, or house, shall be approved by the Minister unless the superintendent or other person, by whatever name called, having charge thereof undertakes to reside in the house:
- (f) In the case where the institution, home, or house approved by the Minister is under the control of two or more persons, and if any of such persons dies leaving the other surviving, and one of the survivors gives a written undertaking to reside on the premises the condition imposed in subsection (e) of this section shall be deemed to have been complied with:
- (g) No material alteration or addition shall be made to any institution, home, or house approved by the Minister for the purposes prescribed in this section without the previous consent in writing of the Minister:
- (h) In the event of a breach of any of the conditions in this section contained, the approval of the Minister of any institution, home, or house may be withdrawn without prejudice to the liability of any person to be proceeded against for an offence under any Act.
§ (3) Any institution, home, or house approved by the Minister under this section shall be periodically inspected by officers appointed for that purpose by the Minister.
§ (4) The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of carrying this section into effect, and a copy of any regulations so made shall be posted in the institution, home or house, and a copy shall be handed to each inmate on admission. A draft of any such regulations shall be laid before each House of Parliament for not less than twenty-one days on which such House is sitting, and the regulations shall not be made until both Houses by resolution have approved the draft, nor, if any modifications are agreed to by both Houses, otherwise than as so modified.
§ (5) If any person acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any regulations made by the Minister under this section, or detains any person or otherwise acts in contravention of the provisions of this section, he shall be liable on summary, conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
§ (6) Nothing in this Act shall affect any power exercisable with respect to lunatics by the Lord Chancellor or the Commissioners in Lunacy or by the Judge or Masters in Lunacy.
§ Mr. MYERS
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
This Clause will not answer the purpose intended. The Minister, on the Second Reading, said that this Clause was rendered necessary by the fact that 45,000 cases of shell shock and mental disorder had to be provided for. The pressure on the lunatic asylums of the country has been very great for some time. Many of our discharged soldiers who were mentally afflicted have found their way into these institutions. The condition of many of these men is such as does not justify them being kept there, but we cannot accept what is provided in this Clause as a reasonable alternative. The proposal is to set up a number of voluntary institutions by individuals or voluntary associations which may take in these cases of mental disorder for treatment, and which institutes may be run for private profit. There are many defects in the Clause. Sub-section (2, b) says that no person shall be received into an institution except with his previous consent in writing. 2292 The Clause deals with cases of mental disorder, and when an individual is in that condition he is not always able to act in such a fashion that any value can be attached to any signature which he attaches to any document. Obviously that is a very loose proceeding. When the men get into these homes or institutions there is no responsibility whatever provided in this Clause on behalf of the State. These men were promised a good deal more than is offered to them under this Clause. They were told that the disability they suffered from as a result of their service to the country would be recognised, and the best that could be given to them would be given to restore them to a normal condition. This provision is not even a half-way house in that direction. It is nothing more than an apology for the promise made to deal with these men. In our view, the only sound way to deal with cases of this character is for the State to take the complete responsibility of giving these men the treatment they need. Keep them out of the recognised lunatic asylums by all means, endeavour to set up some type of intermediary institutions, hostels or the like, which would approximate to their domestic surroundings, and where some form of industry could be instituted. There are such places in the country at the present time. That principle ought to be extended. There is not a line or sub-section of this particular Clause which admits a farthing of financial responsibility on the part of the State. They say: "Some other persons may undertake this responsibility. We give them no backing, no support in any direction whatever. We throw over these forty-five thousand victims of shell shock to the tender mercies of private enterprise to exploit them for their own gain and benefit. "These men are entitled to a good deal more, and to the best the State can do for them. As the Minister said— it was the only thing said in support of this Clause—it was a cheap and convenient method of dealing with these cases. If this limited proposal is the result of a proposal to effect some economy in these cases, it is nothing less than a scandal that any measure of economy should be attempted in this direction which would cause anything less than simple justice for these men. This Clause is quite inadequate. It will not achieve its purpose, and even if it does, 2293 it is not a fraction of what these men are entitled to. It is a very small contribution of what we ought to offer in this direction, and so we say the inadequacy of the whole measure stands condemned. We think the Clause ought to be deleted and something better put in its place.
§ Mr. ROBERT RICHARDSON
I beg to second the Amendment. We can see no safeguards for these homes. We ought to put something in their place, something entirely under the control of the people and for the people. What will happen is that the poor soldier will be driven into a home where he will be in terrible dread of being exploited by the people who are running these places. We want something better as a safeguard.
§ Earl WINTERTON
On a point of Order, would the way you put the question preclude a manuscript Amendment of my hon. Friend to insert after the last "a" in line 34, "registered hostel or"?
§ Colonel L. WILSON
The objection was that this Clause was inadequate, and therefore ought not to be put into the Bill. This Clause was discussed at considerable length in Committee upstairs. As my hon. Friend said, the main reason for this Clause is to provide some home or institution where these shell-shock soldiers can go, where there is a hope of successful treatment for them, and where there is complete dissociation from the machinery of the Lunacy Act. If my hon. Friends will look at the safeguards in the Clause itself they will see that in every possible way these men, or those who enter into these institutions, homes or houses, are safeguarded as far as is possible to safeguard them. I cannot understand, like my hon. Friend who moved to leave out this Clause, that these homes or institutions will not be available for the men for whom they are primarily and principally intended. It might be possible to go a great deal further than we have gone on this particular Clause. It would only have been possible to go further by the expenditure either by the State or by the local authorities of a very large sum of money for the estab- 2294 lishment and maintenance of special homes for this particular object. I do not believe that such expenditure would be acceded to by this House. Therefore, while safeguarding, as we have safeguarded, the interests of those who will be received in these homes, we believe that by this Clause we are making available for these cases, for which it is most essential something should be done as soon as possible, these institutions which we hope will provide that successful treatment for these men who, as my hon. Friend has said, deserved well of the State, and perhaps deserved even better than we have been able to provide for them. I hope my hon. Friend will not press for the Clause to be deleted. Although it may not go as far as he and others would wish, I am convinced it will be of the greatest benefit to these men.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I find myself in strange company at times on this Bill, and I hope the hon. Member (Mr. Myers) will not be surprised that I heartily support him on this Amendment. This is a most extraordinary Clause, absolutely intended, according to the Front Bench, only to apply to soldiers who served in the war. It goes far farther than that and is a distinctly dangerous Clause to put in. The lunacy law in this country has been built up over a great number of years and the greatest care has been taken to prevent anything like unlicensed houses for lunatics. What does this Clause do'? It allows certain people who are absolutely not under the control of the Lunacy Act to receive lunatics. If you are receiving a person who is not a lunatic there is no need for this Clause at all. There is nothing to prevent anyone taking an eccentric person into their house and keeping him there as a boarder. Some day my hon. Friend will take me in when I need it and he will not be committing an offence under the" Lunacy Acts. If the man is a lunatic then this Clause comes in and does away with the salutary restrictions laid down at present that nobody shall keep a person who is a lunatic for reward or otherwise, except under certain conditions laid down. This Clause repeals those restrictions and lays down that in certain cases you are to have institutions kept for reward which are not under the Lunacy Commissioners, who are fully cognisant of this work. They need most carefully watching. I 2295 have seen a good deal of the working of the Lunacy Act and I certainly say that gross cases of injustice have occurred under it. It is a very easy way of disposing of people to get them shut up and keep them there on the ground that they are lunatics. The Lunacy Commissioners have experience of this work. Here you are setting up a new body who are to look after these institutions for reward. These men who set up these institutions are not to be responsible to the Lunacy Commissioners, but to the Ministry of Health who have had no, or very little, experience of lunacy. They have no great idea of keeping their lunatics under proper control and therefore we need the people to look after this sort of work.
There is no reason why you should transfer these powers at all. You talk about the restrictions and safeguards of this particular Clause. The hon. Member put it perfectly plainly. You have a man who ex hypothesi is insane. Starting with that assumption, he is asked to sign a document. Is that document of any value when he does sign it? When he gets in, is he to know he has the power of getting out? Is any notice to be put up in the institution which will let him know? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I am told that has been put in. If he is kept by a person for reward it is obviously his object to keep him as long as possible. I will support every possible safeguard to this Clause, but I do ask that before the House at twenty minutes to one in the morning embarks on an alteration of the Lunacy Laws the Government if they cannot see their way to adjourn it, will give it rather more consideration than we can give it at this time. Before you launch out into this difficult and complicated matter of lunatic administration I, at all events, liberate my soul by putting in a protest. Probably hon. Members have had a large number of letters protesting against this Clause. I protest against dealing in an omnibus Bill of this kind with things like the Lunacy Acts. This presents rather strongly the advantages of the Coalition Government. If we had an Opposition this sort of thing would not be allowed to go on. There would be a massacre of the innocents before long of some of these departmental Bills. I have seen the working of these Acts, and know the importance of these safeguards and the vital 2296 importance of not shoving through legislation of this kind in the middle of the night, setting up these institutions to be kept by a doctor, giving him these powers for the first time. If the House chooses, it can do this, but I ask it to reject this Clause altogether, and let the Government bring in a new Bill dealing with the Lunacy Laws. Then I will sit up all night if necessary.
I hope the Government will listen to the appeal of my hon. and learned Friend for Cambridge (Mr. Ilawiinson), and really consider what they are going to do at this stage of the Bill. We have now reached the beginning of the contentious Clauses of this Bill. This is a Clause which some of us went into the Lobby on the Second Reading of the Bill to defeat, and I really think that in a small House, at a quarter to one in the morning, to discuss a question of far-reaching importance—this and the next Clause- is unworthy of this House and unworthy of the Government. I hope very shortly, the Chair will accept a motion to adjourn the Debate, so that we may discuss these far-reaching matters in a proper way. All the more do I urge that in view of the reply of my hon. and gallant Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping to this Amendment. It really was to my mind a most extraordinary reply. He seems to think that this Clause deals with the shell-shock soldier. So, I believe, does the hon. Member who moved the Amendment to leave out the Clause. It is quite clear on the face of it that no shell-shock soldier will come under the operation of this Clause. It is limited to persons suffering from mental disorder which is incipient in character and of recent origin. The Armistice is more than two years old, and practically all these shell-shock cases are being dealt with in special neurasthenic hospitals under the Ministry of Pensions, and will remain under the Ministry of Pensions until they are cured. I do not believe that they will come within the purview of this Clause in any sort of way. What you are legislating for here, I am quite sure, are cases of an entirely different type. You are legislating for the type of person who may or may not become a lunatic, who is in the incipient stages of mental deficiency. There are many of these cases, especially among young persons. There are, too, the cases of adolescent insanity.
2297 Delirium tremens is another typical class of case. I do not believe the shell-shock soldier is going to be touched in any way by this Clause. Yet that was the whole burden of my hon. and gallant Friend's speech. It is the Ministry of Pensions' duty especially to look after these. It is not the duty of the Ministry of Health. An efficient service has been built up, and they have got specialists for these shell-shock cases.
If you are going to hand these cases over to the Ministry of Health from the Ministry of Pensions, you will be doing no good to the shell-shock soldier. My reply, to the hon. Member who moved this Amendment in dealing with these cases is that the last thing you want to do is to horde them into a State institution. That is the very last place in which you should put this sort of people—a state-built and a state-maintained institution. The one chance for curing these people is to get them into the quietest possible and most normal home. How are you going to get that? I am not opposing his suggestion on the ground of economy. If we are to cure these people, I would willingly spend money to cure them. But directly you get county councils building institutions for the reception of these people, by whatever name you call the institution, they are in fact lunatic asylums. The patients may not be certified lunatics; you may have a notice put up in the corridor to say that they may go out when they like, yet the atmosphere of the institution will be upon them. I am quite sure that the way of dealing with these people properly is to secure a limited—a strictly limited—number of houses—seaside boarding-houses preferably—with the most grandmotherly landladies you can get, properly certified by the Ministry of Health. These are the sort of places where these poor people should be able to go. If they are treated as normal human beings, living in a normal house and a normal life there is a chance for "the incipient cases of recent origin." Once you get them into the atmosphere of the institution, once you get them on to the slope that leads to lunacy, then all chance of curing that kind of case, or of holding it back, is gone. I do earnestly ask the House, if they are going to deal with this matter to-night, not to follow the wishes of the hon. Gentleman who has moved this Amendment and the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Trevel- 2298 yan Thomson) but will narrow this Clause down to a certain number of carefully inspected and protected private houses and will introduce, if necessary, still further safeguards to ensure that these houses have nothing to do with lunacy and nothing to do with the Lunacy Acts, and in no way connected with them. That is your only chance of doing anything effective or useful for these people. If this class of person is associated, as it is already associated in many people's minds, with the Lunacy Acts, the whole object of the Clause is defeated. I earnestly hope, therefore, that m any Amendments which are considered we shall give a certain amount of attention to this in Committee but everybody knows what happens in committee upstairs, with only a handful of members present, hon. Members will carefully examine this Clause and ensure that all possible safeguards are inserted so that these poor people in their incipient stage are not subjected to any ill-treatment and not allowed to go on the slippery slope which leads to lunacy.
Prom whatever view we may regard this Clause, I think that there will be general agreement as to its inadequacy in dealing with this question. The hon. and gallant Member who spoke last (Mr Ormsby Gore) agrees that in its present form, it is not sufficiently comprehensive and that it is not sufficiently adequate as regards the safeguards which everyone would like to see inserted. It has been suggested that the shell-shock ex-soldiers are adequately dealt with by the Ministry of Pensions. I do not think that that is the opinion of the ex-soldiers themselves, nor is it the opinion of those who look after their interests indirectly The Minister of Health has told us that this is a step in the direction of assisting the ex-service man I have in my hand a letter which I received only to-day from one of their organisations, and they say that there are in it over 2,000 ex-service men, practically neurasthenic cases, waiting for proper attention. That does not look as though there were adequate accommodation or adequate treatment for these cases. They also say that, under the provisions of the Ministry of Pensions, a number of the cases are dealt with in asylums, which is, as I think most hon. Members will agree, a quite improper method of dealing with these merely borderland cases. We shall probably all 2299 agree that we ought, whether for soldiers or civilians, to do all that it is possible to do for cases in an incipient stage of mental disorder from whatever cause it is due. These cases should be treated quite apart from lunatic asylums.
This Clause, at present, is totally inadequate to deal with the problem before us. In Committee upstairs we were told that the following Clause and this Clause hung together; that Clause 9 could not be made effective unless we had Clause 8. Some of us voted for Clause 8 because we hoped that Clause 9 would be made effective in dealing with these particular cases. When we came to Clause 9 we were told that we had discussed the matter long enough on Clause 8, and, instead of increasing the provisions under Clause 9, they were cut down and curtailed. I have an Amendment on the Paper which I understand is going to be ruled out of order because it is not possible, on Report, to make any provision whereby even a rate charge can be provided for. Therefore I submit that Clause 8, as it stands, is a quite inadequate way of dealing with this huge problem. The ex-Service man is not being dealt with adequately by the Ministry of Pensions. The Clause does not provide a single extra home; it makes no provision for such a home. It only provides that private individuals shall be able to start homes and shall be absolved from all penalties at present incurred if they take in such cases. What does that really mean? We are told that there are sufficient safeguards, but some of us maintain that if this Clause goes through and if this immunity from the Lunacy Acts is passed, there may be set up all over the country a large number of small houses, taking four, five or six cases, to make a living out of these people. Is it satisfactory that the State should seek to allow a profit to be made out of these people? It is repugnant that the shell-shock soldier should be at the mercy of someone seeking to make private profit out of him. We are, told that there are safeguards, but what safeguards can you possibly have if you have a large number of these small homes, possibly running into hundreds, under this Bill, set up throughout the country? Can you imagine any system of inspection adequate, and, if you can, what a huge system of inspection would be required. We heard a 2300 good deal in Committee about safeguards. There are certain paper safeguards, as the last speaker said, but these safeguards are totally inadequate. Therefore, I submit that it would be better, in the interests of all the sufferers, whether civilian or ex-Service men, that the whole Clause 8 should be dropped in order that a more comprehensive and complete scheme should be brought forward next Session. I would remind the House that this is no new problem. The Minister of Health himself and two other hon. Members were part of a deputation that waited on the then President of the Local Government Board—Mr. Herbert Samuel as he then was—and urged on him in July, 1914, that this question of incipient mental disorder should be dealt with by the State in a comprehensive way, and that the local authorities should establish homes and hospitals for the care of those affected with such mental disorder. The then President of the Local Government Board received the deputation in a sympathetic manner, and it is rather regrettable that six years afterwards one of the deputation should be fathering such an inadequate measure as the one which he now puts before us. I think he himself realises that he is only attempting to touch the fringe of the question. I submit again that it would be better to leave this alone entirely in order to gee a more comprehensive and more effective scheme of dealing with this matter in the next Session.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
I must confess that I find myself in considerable difficulty over this Clause. I originally moved, in Committee, to leave out the Clause, but was partly convinced as the result of a private conversation with experts of the Ministry of Health, and I withdrew my Amendment. But, on looking at the Clause again and after the large amount of correspondence I have received on the subject, and after hearing the speeches from both sides of the House, I am bound to say that I find myself in a good deal of doubt as to whether I ought to vote for this Clause, or whether the House ought to delete it. At this late hour one does not want to tire the House, but to deal with this subject adequately one has to deal with the questions of the insane, the partially sane, and the sane. My hon. and learned 2301 Friend (Mr. Rawlinson), who objected to this Clause, will agree with me as a lawyer that one of the oldest distinctions which the judicature and the legislature have drawn is the distinction between the sane and the insane. The judicature and the legislature have always said, "We refuse to be told by the local authorities that a person is not quite sane or insane. In order to protect the interests of the subject he must be certain either sane or insane." The reason for that is that directly a man is certified insane he loses all his rights and becomes in the same position as a prisoner. Therefore, the judicature has drawn a clear distinction. It says: "The state we cannot admit so far as the law is concerned is that there are two classes—the sane person and the person who is neither sane nor insane, the borderland cases." The Government, in bringing forward this Clause, so far as we can gather from what has been said in this House and in Committee upstairs, is seeking to deal with those cases of incipient insanity which they think cannot be adequately or properly dealt with under existing circumstances. There are obviously two very important questions arising. If the position taken up by the experts in these matters was that after all these years we have been suffering from a lack of proper institutions to deal with those who are on the border, then the law of lunacy should be amended in order to deal with the position that has arisen. If it is a fact that there has been gradually growing up this difficulty of dealing with these things, this is not the Bill in which it should be dealt with. It should be d3alt with by an amendment of the lunacy Acts, which are a most important part of our judicial and legislative system. It is part of the right hon. Gentleman's contention that we want to be able to deal with the shell-shock soldiers. On that point I want to put some very close questions to the right hon. Gentleman, because, as was pointed out by the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, if the object is to deal with the shell-shock soldier, how are you to benefit him by the Clause as it stands? How is he to be able to go into these institutions for payment? I do not see how the ordinary soldier, the ordinary artizan, is to do it. The authority really responsible if a man has shell-shock is the Ministry of Pensions. It is the duty of the 2302 Ministry of Pensions to provide for him. I think no one can deny that it is not the duty of the Ministry of Health. This is typical of the way of this Government. We are dealing with this Clause at one o'clock in the morning, and there is no representative of the Ministry of Pensions present on the front bench, so that anyone who wishes to obtain information from the Ministry of Pensions cannot do it. I said upstairs in Committee, and I repeat it, the attitude which the Ministry of Pensions has taken up on this matter is very important. It may be urged that it is offensive on my part to suggest that the right hon. Gentleman would bring in a Bill affecting, as this Clause does affect, the interests of another department without consulting that department, but my experience of this Government is that they have done the whole of their work in that way. Every Bill is a departmental Bill, and has no reference to any other office of State.
To return to the question of the shell-shock soldier, it was only partly threshed out upstairs. This Clause as it stands is not going to help that man at all. How is a man going to be able to afford to pay? There are, up and down the country, a very great many of these men, and it is undesirable that they should go into a regular lunatic asylum. But because a serious state of affairs exists, because as an aftermath of the War there is a number of soldiers suffering from shell-shock, a number of incipient mental cases, that is no reason for dealing with them in a wrong way. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman regrets the use of the words "cheap and easy," which, I think, were the words he used. The impression which the right hon. Gentleman gave us in Committee upstairs was that this was the simplest way of dealing with the question. I have grave doubts. This is a breach of the spirit of the lunacy laws. For the first time in our history you are creating a fresh class which the Legislature has always refused to recognise. Secondly, I do not think you are dealing with the shell-shock soldier in the way you should. Under this Clause as it stands you will not be able to deal with that man, because he will not be able to afford to go into these institutions. These are my reasons against the Clause. As a result of Amendments we secured in Committee, the chances of abuses are not very great. My objection now is not so much on the 2303 ground of abuse, but because I believe the Clause will not secure what it intends to carry out. As a protest against the absence of the Minister of Pensions, who ought to be present on a Debate of this kind, I feel it my duty to ask leave to move that this Debate be now adjourned.
§ Captain ELLIOT
It is a little difficult for a Scottish Member to intervene on a motion to adjourn the debate on a clause of a bill relating to England, but unless we can proceed to discuss this most important clause now it seems to me that there is a great passibility that the whole thing may be shelved. The clause had a good deal of debate in Committee, and there has been a great deal of correspondence on the matter. Although the hour is advanced it cannot be said that the intellectual abilities of the noble Earl have been in any way weakened or impaired by the late hour at which the discussion has arrived, and on general grounds it is important that we should come to a decision one way or another on this important point in time to permit the Bill to go to another place. When finished in this House the Bill has still to go to another place, and unless they get the requisite time there this measure may be lost, and the important reforms embodied in it may be lost not only for the next few weeks, but for many months to come. On these grounds I would respectfully ask that the debate be not adjourned.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I regret that my Noble "Friend has thought fit to move the adjournment of the debate because we must have regard at this stage of the session to the other work which Parliament has to clear up, and also to the fact, which my hon. and gallant Friend who has just spoken showed clearly, that unless we can make progress with this Bill and with others rapidly we shall find ourselves probably not able to deal with the subject not only now, but perhaps for a long time to come. I am not in a position at present to debate the merits of the proposal, but I should like to have an opportunity to reply to what my hon. Friend said. I would remind the House of the fact that this clause was the subject of discussion for a whole day and 2304 part of another day in Committee upstairs, and certainly it was thoroughly threshed out. After all, all of us who have been in this House for any length of time know very well that ten minutes past one o'clock used to be thought very early. It is not very long since it was the habitual practice of this House. [HON. MEMBERS: "We did not have Standing Committees."] Anyhow the Minister of Health is prepared to go on.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Would the right hon. Gentleman allow me to make one suggestion. I am willing to withdraw my motion which was merely to call attention to the absence of the Minister of Pensions if the right hon. Gentleman will now obtain the services of a representative of that department, which has got two Members who should be on the front bench.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I must honestly con fess I have no idea where these representatives are. I have made inquiries and I hope they will be produced, but I must say that the whole of this matter has been discussed in great detail with the Ministry of Health. If I were permitted to reply to the point that has been raised by my hon. Friends, I would say that they are over anxious. This clause is not—
§ Dr. ADDISON
I was trying to reply to the point of the Noble Earl, but I hope he will take my assurance that the subject has been well discussed with the Minister of Pensions.
§ Lieut.-Colonel RAW
I would urge the House not to listen to the suggestion of the Noble Earl to adjourn this discussion. In my opinion this is one of the most important clauses in the Bill. The whole of this very important matter was fully discussed in Committee, and, as far as I could see, it was unanimously agreed in Committee that such a Clause was abso- 2305 lutely necessary. I would remind the House that this Clause does not affect shell shock cases.
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
Before this motion to adjourn the debate is withdrawn, I think we should get some indication from the Minister in charge of the Bill as to how late he is going to keep us discussing these controversial clauses. If my Noble Friend were to withdraw his motion for the adjournment would the Minister accept a motion for the adjournment after we have threshed out this Clause. The House may be willing to sit to discuss this very important Clause, as I agree it is. We ought to discuss it at considerable length. I urge him to assure us that if the Motion for the adjournment is withdrawn he will accept the Motion for the adjournment at the end of this Clause before we embark upon the still more controversial Clause dealing with poor-law hospitals. Let him assure us that we will not discuss in the recesses of the night a far-reaching Clause dealing with the law and with whole categories of persons with only the representatives of the Ministry of Health. There is a clear case here from the speed of the representative of the Ministry of Shipping that the representative of the Ministry of Pensions should have been here to reply to the charge made against that Ministry by the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), and no representative of the Ministry of Pensions is here. It was just the same upstairs on this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman was left to paddle his own canoe. Nobody came to help him. The Government do not care two-pence about the Bill, and the only thing to do is to share the view of the Government about the remaining Clauses of the Bill and adjourn the Debate. If the Government do not proceed any further with the Bill, but take the Bill as they have got it—the first seven Clauses—to another place, they can deal with the rest of it in another session.
§ Dr. ADDISON
My hon. and gallant Friend made a suggestion, and I have made enquiries as to the business requiring to be carried through in the immediate future, and it appears that if the suggestion of my hon. Friend were adopted and we brought the discussion to a close at the end of this Clause that the 2306 only way to deal effectively with the re maining business of the House would be to begin Clause 9 at eleven o'clock to-morrow night. As far as I am concerned, I do not mind a bit, but after all this is not an unusual time for Parliament. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Well, it is in these luxurious days, but it is not as compared to the habits of the old days.
§ Dr. ADDISON
Those Governments were not so subject to criticism. They were not more reasonable than the Governments of the present time. If the Members are willing to sit to-morrow night and go on with the rest I am not going to object, but I think we made up our minds and came here prepared to sit, and that is the best course to take.
§ Mr. T. WILSON
I would like to suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he accepts the Motion for the Adjournment. He will save the time of the Government and House. He will get the other items on the Order Paper without very much argument, and have a better opportunity to-morrow of discussing the Clause. It will also give the right hon. Gentleman and the Government an opportunity of considering whether they could not amend this Clause to meet the approval of the Members by an Amendment in another place. Arguments have been used which should carry some weight with the Government in inducing them to further consider this Clause.
§ Major HAMILTON
The Motion for Adjournment is quite definitely on one point. The House has heard the speech of the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) attacking this Clause and the Ministry of Pensions. The Minister assured the House that he sent for the Minister of Pensions and his representative. He has not arrived yet, and I have not seen anyone leave the front bench. I am credibly informed he is within the precincts of the House. The Minister says he has sent for him, but I have seen no one go. This is a vital matter. Here we are sitting at half-past one and there is a Standing Committee on an important Bill to-morrow on which many Members have to serve, and all this discussion would have been saved if the Minister of Pensions or his repre- 2307 sentative had come in to explain the questions which have been put and the attack made on him. I shall support this Motion simply and solely because the Minister, twenty minutes ago, assured us he was sending for the Minister of Pensions. As fas as I could watch no one has gone for him and no one has tried to bring him here to answer the questions of the House.
§ Mr. REMER
I should like to add my protest. It seems to me there is a very controversial question in this particular Clause, and a position has arisen in this Bill which ought really to be considered at a later date. It is almost impossible for Members of the House to take the intelligent interest in this Clause which they ought to take if they take the time of the House in this way. I support the
§ Question again proposed "That the words proposed to be left out to the word2308
§ Motion for the Adjournment. I protest against taking an important matter like this at half-past one in the morning. I see no reason why it should not be leftover till to-morrow or another day. Even if we have to sit on Christmas Day I do not think a matter like this ought to be rushed through the House of Commons without proper consideration. I think we ought to enter an emphatic protest against the Government trying to rush through all this legislation without mature consideration. Members of the House are privileged in many ways. I object to this kind of legislation being put through without'the faintest chance of dealing with it in a proper and adequate way
§ Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 18; Noes, 104.2307
|Division No. 392.]||AYES.||[1.25 a.m.|
|Atkey, A. R.||Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Remer, J. R.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Holmes, J. Stanley||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Coote, William (Tyrone, South)||Lorden, John William||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Raffan. Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Earl Winterton and Mr. Ormsby Gore.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Neal, Arthur|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Parker, James|
|Amery, Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Goff, Sir R. Park||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gregory, Holman||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Grundy, T. W.||Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Hailwood, Augustine||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Roundeil, Colonel R. F.|
|Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland||Hayday, Arthur||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Blane, T. A.||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith||Hirst, G. H.||Scott A. M. (Glasgow Bridgeton)|
|Broad Thomas Tucker||Hope James F. (Sheffield Central)||Seddon J. A.|
|Bruton Sir James||Hotchkin Captain Stafford Vere||Sexton James|
|Carr W. Theodore||Jones Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Casey T. W.||Kellaway Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||I Shaw Thomas (Preston)|
|Chilcott Lieut.-Com. Harry W.||Kidd James||Shaw William T. (Forfar)|
|Coats Sir Stuart||Law Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow C.)||Sitch Charles H.|
|Cockerill Brigadier-General G. K.||Lindsay William Arthur||Smith W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lort-William, J.||Stanley Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Coote Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Lynn R. J.||Sugden W. H.|
|Craig Colonel Sir J. (Down Mid)||M' Lean Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Sutherland Sir William|
|Davidson J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Maclean Neil (Glasgow Govan)||Thomson T. (Middlesbrough West)|
|Davies A. (Lancaster Clitheroe)||Manville Edward||Waterson A. E.|
|Davies Thomas (Cirencester)||Mills John Edmund||Whitla Sir William|
|Edge Captain William||Mitchell William Lane||Williamson Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Edwards C (Monmouth Bedwellty)||Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wilson Daniel M. (Down West)|
|Elliot Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Morden Colonel H. Grant||Wilson Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Eyres-Monsell Commander B. M.||Morgan Major D. Watts||Wise Frederick|
|Fildes Henry||Morrison-Bell Major A. C.||Wood Sir H. K. (Woolwich West)|
|Forrest Walter||Murray C. D. (Edinburgh)|
|Foxcroft Captain Charles Talbot||Murray John (Leeds West)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fraser Major Sir Keith||Myers Thomas||Lord Edmund Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.|
§ person '['a person shall not'] stand part of the Bill."2309
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
I do not want to keep the House much longer over this as we have got some twelve Clauses more before we go to bed. But an appeal has been made from one or two sides for medical opinion on this Clause and I should like to point out one or two things. I think the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge was alarmed over the Lunacy Laws and that has been suggested from other sides. Many Members feel that the Lunacy Law is being tampered with. The fact is this. The Lunacy Law-is absolutely clear cut as the result of experience but experience has shown that there has been a fringe going through the door of the Lunacy Acts which has not been dealt with. This Clause simply proposes to deal with that fringe. It is seen by everyone that that fringe of lunacy cannot be dealt with by the Lunacy Laws and by the lunacy systems. It must be dealt with entirely separately. That is no new discovery. The whole of modern treatment is in that direction. I have here a report by the Medico-Psychological Association dated 1918 and it deals with all the different points summoned up in this Bill. Amongst these is that the early symptoms of disorder often occur long before certification is possible and medical opinion is that we must deal with this point apart from the compulsory or penal Clauses of the Lunacy Laws as they are called from the social point of view. They ought to be treated as mental disorders and that is what this Bill proposes to do. What is far and away the best way for treating these cases was explained by the hon. and gallant Member for Stafford (Mr. Ormsby-Gore). It is the treatment of these people in private houses in family life. There are many of the people who wish to be treated in that kind of way and I appeal to hon. Members themselves. Perhaps they can imagine in their own families cases of individuals who through accident or illness are hovering on the fringe. Many of these cases instead of being once and for all labelled as lunatics are curable and will be cured. Meanwhile this is the kind of treatment we want for them. We want them to go into a private house but we want these homes to be properly under guidance and under control. The proposals of this Bill are grossly inadequate. They hardly touch the real poor—the real working classes as we used to understand them. But my friends in this Association say we have 2310 made a good beginning. I hope it is not the view as expressed in the opening speech made for the rejection of this Clause that it is intended to provide a number of vast institutions. That is not required. We want to have this small arrangement to enable the experiment to be made. A physician with whom I have been in correspondence has written "I agree that Clause 10 (that is now Clause 8) is now a very workable start for us. I hope it will go through now all right.
§ Captain ELLIOT
There is one important point I will put to the House. This is not an untried experiment. This is a system which has been in operation for the last 54 years in Scotland. The fact is that in Scotland the position has been in a way very much more advanced than anything that is suggested in this Bill. The private case can be consigned to a private residence not exceeding six months on one medical certificate under Section 13 of the Lunacy Law of 1866. It has been found in practice to have worked so well in Scotland that very many cases of people who could afford it have been sent from England to take advantage of this temporary residence where they were not certified as lunatics and had a chance if they recovered of going back into normal life without the asylum stigma being placed upon them. I suggest that that is a very pertinent point in discussing this Clause. As far as I can see from a very careful reading of the Debates upstairs in Committee the point was scarcely mentioned. To the question that has been asked by the Noble Lord (Earl Winterton) are we suffering from a lack of institutions suitable for treating private cases I say we are suffering from surely a lack of institutions and the case is evident from the fact that cases are sent from England to Scotland where we have this very treatment which under this Clause will be made available for them in England. I put it to the House that a thing which has been working for fifty-four years in Scotland without as far as I know any kind of abuse having been reported is a very strong prima facie case for it being extended to England. Then the Noble Lord said that in that case we were altering the law of lunacy and his third point which was the most important was that the Miscellaneous Provisions Bill was not the place to deal with it. But I put it to the House that with the safeguards put into the 2311 Bill the place has to be inspected the regulations to be posted in the House and a copy of them handed to the patient on his admission and that he can leave the House at any date on forty-eight hours' notice — I submit to the House that an experiment which has been tried for over half a century—
§ Earl WINTERTON
May I say that so far as I am concerned I take no objection to the safeguards which I think are adequate? The point I would like you to answer of what has gone on in Scotland is this. Have these institutions in Scotland dealt with the class of patient which the Minister wishes to deal with under this Clause the poorer class of the population who cannot afford it?
§ Captain ELLIOT
The people are undoubtedly better off than the poorer classes. But in the cases to which the Minister is referring the case of the soldier under the Ministry of Pensions there will be funds available for the treatment of these cases. At any rate this is making a start towards the treatment of the poorer class of the population and I submit that when you have this Clause so carefully safeguarded as it is it is not a strain upon the custom of the House or the country to ask the House to consider it and pass it even at this late hour of the night.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
I accept most thoroughly the medical view that there is a necessity or at any rate a very great need for some place to which such patients may be taken where they will distinctly understand that they are not in a lunatic asylum or what is called in modern language a mental hospital. If this is our object in this Clause then a time when we all ought to be in dreamland is not altogether an unsuitable time to discuss it. These unfortunate people are to be kept free from any taint of lunacy or of lunatic asylums, and are to be received into these places which are to be permitted to take in persons suffering from mental disorder and are to be permitted to detain those persons until they give 48 hours' notice to leave.
§ Dr. ADDISON
No; they can walk out at any time they like; 48 hours' notice has only to be given in respect of the Minister of Health.
§ Mr. HERBERT
Then I will put it in another way that nothing in this Section shall authorise a person to be detained if he does something. I presume that therefore he is authorised to be detained if he does not do that something. That seems to me to be the common-sense view. In addition there has to be a recommendation signed by the duly qualified medical practitioner. The place into which he has to go is to be periodically inspected by officials of the Ministry of Health but the state of the inmates has not to be inspected. This home mental hospital or lunatic asylum is to be controlled by regulations that have to be posted up and a copy supplied to the inmates. If a man were suffering from incipient mental disorder and there was some danger of his getting worse if he were put in what is officially known as a lunatic asylum or mental hospital I should think that he would have the very finest possible chance of coming to the conclusion that that was the way he was being treated. The only difference I can see between these places and between mental hospitals or lunatic asylums is that there is no provision whatever for the inspection of these unfortunate patients or any supervision of their property or their rights. In fact they can be treated as lunatics for the time, at any rate without the slightest possible chance, if they are incapable of managing their own affairs of having their own affairs and property attended to in a proper way. Surely it comes to this. So far as I can read it the whole object of the medical fraternity is not likely to be attained by this particular Clause. The object which the Lunacy Laws have always had, to prevent these unfortunate people from being made the victims of designing scoundrels, is to be done away with, once and for all. Therefore I oppose this Clause as strongly as possible and I hope that other hon. Members will do the same.
§ Mr. SEXTON
If any evidence was required in support of the extension of the Lunacy Laws not only to the working classes but to all classes it is the spectacle of members of this House at ten minutes to two in the morning discussing this matter.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I confess that I cannot quite understand how the hon. Member for Lanark (Captain Elliot) and the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Eawlinson) can both of them say that people who go into these homes are in any sense to be treated as lunatics. That point was very present to many of us in the Standing Committee and it was emphasised over and over again that if you are going to avoid any question of compulsion you j must give the patient who is to be an inmate of one of these homes all the protection that the Lunacy Acts can provide. Inasmuch as these people can go in when they like and at their own consent and come out when they like it seems to me that every element of compulsion is absent and that there is no analogy whatsoever between patients in these homes and inmates in an ordinary asylum.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
What I pointed out was that the only thing that this Clause does is to make a thing legal which is now illegal. The illegal thing at present is that you must not take into a house for reward a person who is insane. The only thing that this Clause does is to say that notwithstanding the provisions of another Act you shall be allowed to take in certain people who are insane subject to these restrictions. Ex-hypothesi you are only dealing with persons who are insane. If a person is not insane there is no need for this Clause for there is nothing to prevent a person taking in another person who is not insane.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I was perfectly per fectly aware of that point and Section 315 I think it is of the Lunacy Act deals with it. That point was present to all of us when we discussed this on Committee. But what I do not understand is this why a system that has worked with admirable results "in Scotland for something like 50 years—
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I cannot understand why if this Clause is going to set up something similar to those institutions which have served their purpose so well in Scotland we should not at any rate give an opportunity to the afflicted people if they wish to go into these homes. There is no element of compulsion what- 2314 so ever. If there had been the slightest-element of compulsion introduced I should have voted against this Clause in Committee and should have opposed it by every means in my power. There was an Amendment moved in Committee by the hon. and gallant Member for Waver-tree Lt.-Col. Raw which did carry some element of compulsion but that Amendment was negatived and the question of compulsion was withdrawn from the Bill. Therefore I entirely dispute the assertion that the situation here created is in any way analagous to those contemplated by the Lunacy Act. I should like to say however that it does seem to me that we are at this time nearly two o'clock in the morning discussing just about the most serious thing which this House has been called upon to discuss this Session. This is a question of great importance and we have had six or seven hon Members who are fully qualified to speak who are all agreed on the fundamental solemnity of the question and that is the only question on which they are agreed. The hon. Member for Middlesbrough Mr. T. Thomson thinks that certain methods should be adopted in dealing with this matter. The hon. Member for Spen Valley Mr. Myers who spoke if I may say so with the" greatest animation and eloquence in Committee on this subject thinks that we ought to refuse to pass the Clause at all. Other hon. Members take different views. While all are agreed on the importance and seriousness of the subject no two speakers have agreed as to the method and manner in which to deal with it. Therefore once again I do protest against being called upon to give a vote which I for my part shall record with the deepest possible sense of responsibility at this time of the morning and on a subject so serious.
§ Major ENTWISTLE
I do not want to speak on the merits of the Clause. I am not satisfied with the reasons of several hon. Members who profess to regard the safeguards as satisfactory. I am moving an Amendment or two later on which I think are necessary for the safeguards to be made sufficient but it is because I fear that those Amendments will not be accepted that I shall probably vote against this Clause. I merely rose for the purpose of clearing up the answer which the Minister of Health gave to the 2315 hon. Member opposite Mr. D. Herbert with regard to the nature of the detention under this Clause. I am not at all satisfied with the explanation. As I read it the Clause repeals Section 315 of the Lunacy Act to the extent of making it legal to receive patients for profit who are covered by that Sectioin. Detention is authorised by the Section subject to this one safeguard:Provided that nothing in this Section shall authorise any person received into any institution home or house under this Section shall be detained therein if he delivers to the superintendent or other person by whatever name called having the charge of the institution home or house or sends by post to the Minister forty-eight hours' notice in writing that he desires to leave.That forty-eight hours' notice in writing governs the delivery to the superintendent as well as the sending by post.
§ Major ENTWISTLE
It means that because what is the object to the verb "delivers" in this Sub-section'?
§ Dr. ADDISON
He delivers "to the superintendent or other person"—"or "—that point has been made clear. A patient has the right to go out at any time; he can walk out the moment he hands in his notice.
§ Major ENTWISTLE
There is no other word as object of the verb "delivers" except "forty-eight hours' notice" and the hon. and gallant Member has just stated what the object of the Bill was. It was proposed that this "forty-eight hours' notice" was to govern "delivers" and "the superintendent." Therefore when the right hon. Gentleman says that is his intention some words might be inserted to carry out what is the intention of this Section.
§ 2.0 A.M.
§ Lieut.-Colonel RAW
I will not detain the House for more than two minutes. As one who has been attending many thousands of certified lunatics in and out of asylums I think perhaps I might inform the House of the real meaning of this Clause. I should like to do so for two reasons first of all to prevent mental diseases becoming hopeless and incurable 2316 and secondly to prevent these cases from going into the lunatic asylums. I contend that this Clause has no reference whatever to the Lunacy Acts. The whole object of the Clause is to treat mental disorder exactly as you would treat any other disease the human body is subject to. There is no form of compulsion whatever and the object of the 48 hours' detention is that if a person undergoing treatment in one of these institutions or homes suddenly became suicidal or homicidal it would be obviously unsafe to allow him to walk out and in these special cases 48 hours' notice should be given so that his friends might be communicated with and he might be taken away. The 48 hours' detention is simply to protect the man himself or the community from a possible murder. I do impress upon the House the great importance of giving everybody a chance who is attacked as any of us might be at any time with incipient mental disorder to get well. The only alternative as the law at present stands is that any person suffering from incipient mental disorder must go into a lunatic asylum. A rich person can fit up his house as a private lunatic asylum with nurses and doctors but the poor cannot do that. Any of the poorer classes who are attacked with incipient mental disorder have no alternative but to be certified and put into an asylum. We all know that in the case of a person who is certified as a lunatic there is the very greatest difficulty in getting employment again in any capacity whatever and the object of this Clause is to try and first of all cure insanity in the earlier stages to prevent it becoming incurable and to prevent the stigma of being certified a lunatic falling on a person who has unfortunately been attacked with incipient mental disorder. I assure the House there is no possible suggestion of compulsion either as to going into institutions or of detention when a man gets there. He can walk out at any time. The 48 hours' detention and it was my own Amendment will only operate in the case of a man who becomes suicidal or homicidal whom it would be foolish to allow to walk out.
§ Lieut.-Colonel RAW
That was the intention of the Committee. The Lunacy 2317 Acts are not in any way concerned in this Clause. The persons affected by the Clause are outside the Lunacy Acts. If a person became really organically insane he would be removed from his home and certified. I impress on the House the great importance of passing this reform which will be of enormous benefit to the community.
§ Major HAMILTON
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give us an answer on this last point. I have listened with the greatest interest to the hon. and gallant Gentleman behind me (Lieut.-Colonel Haw). He understands this Clause in one sense but when the right hon. Gentleman interrupted my hon. Friend he obviously did not understand even the reading of the Clause as printed. What we want is some definite assurance that when this Amendment to leave out the whole of the Clause has been disposed of an Amendment will be moved to make it clear that the principle of the Bill is intended to be as explained by my hon. and gallant Friend. That is that no one is to be detained for over an hour if the medical officer considers that a man is capable of looking after himself and is not a danger to the community. While if the medical officer considers that a man is not capable of looking after himself then he can only be detained for 48 hours. If the right hon. Gentleman will give an assurance on that point he will remove a very great objection.
One other thing I should like him to tell us something about. Is it not a fact that a man suffering from shell shock or neurasthenia cannot be properly treated in these small isolated homes? I have been on the committee of management of a shell shock home for ex-soldiers and the medical officers assure me that they must have special treatment and there is only a limited number of specialists in the country who understand this mental condition and can give the correct treatment for shell shock. If that is so I hope we are not to have ex-service men sent away to these isolated homes to suffer from this horrible malady for years when they might be improved by being put into proper institutions which the Ministry of Pensions now have.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I need not add to what I have already said as to the importance of this subject. The point raised is that under the Clause which 2318 comes next hospitals and other institutions will then be free to take this class of case once they are taken over just as they can take any other class of ailment. That is the greatest possible improvement. I agree that a considerable number of these neurasthenic cases are best treated in quiet homes. Clearly those who have to do with the recommendation of the class of treatment must be responsible for the kind of advice they give. The Member for Lanark (Capt. Elliot) told us that this scheme had been in operation very successfully in Scotland for a number of years. It applies not only to war cases but during the War it was used particularly for the treatment of these mental disorders and the evidence became overwhelming as to the necessity for encouraging this class of treatment. There is the greatest necessity for these men not being labelled lunatics. A large number who go into lunatic asylums recover in a few weeks' time. With regard to the point as to 48 hours' notice; that is the maximum time which detention may be made except in the cases mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend and the regulations provided for in paragraph 4 which have to be laid on the table of the House and approved by the House will set down the conditions clearly. This simply prescribes the maximum amount of detention.
§ Major HAMILTON
Could not the right hon. Gentleman insert some such words as these "if fit to leave or if not so fit if he delivers forty-eight hours' notice." My right hon. Friend assures us he can walk out at a moment's notice and then this promise would be in the Act.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I will give that suggestion careful consideration. That is the maximum limit in cases where it is necessary in the interests of the person that some due notice should be secured. Forty-eight hours is the minimum time in which a letter could be sent to the Minister of Health and a reply sent to the person in charge of the home. I think hon. Members who have studied the law are satisfied with the safeguards. They are as stringent as we can really make them.
I would like to ask a question in reference to the paragraph (2 b) as to whether any provision would be made in cases where it would 2319 be impossible to get the consent of the patient in writing. I happen to have had rather a pathetic experience of cases where it would be in order for them to be treated in the way provided in the Bill, but where it would be absolutely impossible for them to give their consent in writing either to going into the place or of their wish to leave.
§ Dr. ADDISON
That point was discussed at great length upstairs. I agree that the consent in writing will greatly limit the number of persons who can be taken in. We all know these cases in which it would be quite impossible to get
§ Earl WINTERTON
On a point of Order. Am I entitled to move the manuscript Amendment handed in by my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford in Subsection (1) after the word "a" ["a person shall not"] to insert the words "every registered hospital or"?
§ any certificate of consent but I think we all feel it is better to make this experiment. It is not a complete system; we have got to find our way to deal with the matter properly. It is better that the experiment should be a small one and free from scandal rather than it should be wider and open to all kinds of abuses. It is for this reason that the Committee after long discussion adhered to this expression "consent in writing."
§ Question put "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'person' ['a person shall not'] stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes 88; Noes 24.2319
|Division No. 393.]||AYES.||[2.15 a.m.|
|Addison Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Fremantle Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Ormsby-Gore Captain Hon. W.|
|Allen Lieut.-Colonel William James||Ganzonl Captain Francis John C.||Parker James|
|Amery Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Gibbs Colonel George Abraham||Pease Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Archer-Shee Lieut. Colonel Martin||Goff Sir R. Park||Pollock Sir Ernest M.|
|Baird Sir John Lawrence||Green Joseph F. (Leicester W.)||Raw Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Baldwin Rt. Hon. Stanley||Greenwood William (Stockport)||Remer J. R.|
|Balfour George (Hampstead)||Gregory Holman||Roberts Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Barlow Sir Montague||Hailwood Augustine||Robinson Sir T. (Lanes Stretford)|
|Barton Sir William (Oldham)||Hamilton Major C. G. C.||Roundell Colonel R. F.|
|Betterton Henry B.||Harmsworth C. B. (Bedford Luton)||Sanders Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Blades Capt. Sir George Rowland||Hilder Lieut.-Colonel Frank||j Scott A. M. (Glasgow Bridgeton)|
|Boscawen Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Hope James F. (Sheffield Central)||Shaw Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Broad Thomas Tucker||Hopkins John W. W.||Shaw William T. (Forfar)|
|Bruton Sir James||Hotchkin Captain Stafford Vere||Stanley Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Carr W. Theodore||Jones Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||j Stephenson Lieut.-Colonel H.K.|
|Casey T. W.||Kellaway Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Sugden W. H.|
|Chilcot Lieut.-Com. Harry W.||Kidd James||Sutherland Sir William|
|Coats Sir Stuart||Law Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow C.)||Ward-Jackson Major C. L.|
|Cockerill Brigadier-General G. K.||Lindsay William Arthur||Whitla Sir William|
|Coote Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Lorden John William||Williams Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Coote William (Tyrone South)||Lort-Williams J.||Williamson Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Courthope Major George L.||Lynn R. J.||Wilson Daniel M. (Down West)|
|Craig Colonel Sir J. (Down Mid)||M' Lean Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Wilson Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Davidson J. C.C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Manville -Edward||Winterton Major Earl|
|Davies Thomas (Cirencester)||Mitchell William Lane||Wise Frederick|
|Elliot Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wood Sir H K. (Woolwich West)|
|Eyres-Monsell Commander B. M.||Morrison-Bell Major A. C.|
|Fildes Henry||Murray C. D. (Edinburgh)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Forrest Walter||Murray John (Leeds West)||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley ward.|
|Foxcroft Captain Charles Talbot||Neal Arthur|
|Fraser Major Sir Keith||Newman Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Adamson Rt. Hon. William:||Hirst G. H.||Sexton James|
|Bell James (Lancaster Ormskirk)||Holmes J. Stanley||Sitch Charles H.|
|Davies A. (Lancaster Clitheroe)||Maclean Neil (Glasgow Govan)||Smith W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Edwards C. (Monmouth Bedwellty)||Mills John Edmund||Thomson T. (Middlesbrough West)|
|Entwistle Major C F.||Morgan Major D. Watts||Waterson A. E.|
|Grundy T. W.||Myers Thomas|
|Hall F. (York W.R. Normanton)||Raffan Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hayday Arthur||Rawlinson John Frederick Peel||Mr. Thomas Shaw and Mr. Tyson Wilson.|
|Herbert Dennis (Hertford Watford)||Royce William Stapleton|
§ Paper nor has he taken the trouble to be here and I do not know why I should call it.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I do not wish to controvert your ruling but it is really an important Amendment and my hon. Friend asked me if I would move it.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If it is an important Amendment it would have been desirable to have seen it on the Paper.
§ Mr. HOPKINS
I do not propose to move the Amendment standing in my name. I think the ground is amply covered.
§ Colonel L. WILSON
I beg to move in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "forty-eight hours'" ["forty-eight hours' notice in writing."]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The more important it is makes it the more necessary that it should appear on the Paper.
§ Colonel WILSON
There will be a further Amendment providing that except that persons who in the opinion of the Superintendent or other person aforesaid is not in a fit state to leave may be detained for a period not exceeding forty-eight hours from the date of the notice. This will make it quite clear and will meet the wishes of several hon. Members who have spoken quite recently on this subject.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I think the matter was discussed upstairs. It does make the intention of the Clause clear.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
May I suggest that the words "in writing" should also come out. A patient is to be detained until he gives a written notice.
§ Dr. ADDISON
I do not think it is too much to ask a person if he desires to come out to write it on a slip of paper. I think it is in the interests of the person concerned that he should have something to show what action he has taken.
§ Mr. HERBERT
I want to be quite clear. When I was speaking before the point I was making was that these places where these patients are received are the places where they will be detained.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
What we are anxious to meet is this: that no case of a shell-shock soldier shall arise that he is detained in any institution without reason. Every possible provision ought to be made so that a man shall have a right to receive the writing materials required. There may be a shell-shock soldier who without any mental disability is unable to give a written notice. I do not want any action of that nature 2322 to arise to keep a man in an institution when he wants to leave. I think that is the desire of the House. In all cases there should be a sufficient guarantee that under no circumstances whatever shall a man be detained when his mental state is such as ought to allow him to leave the institution. I hope the Minister will give some guarantee that a man shall have every facility to give the notice or if his state of health is such as to prevent a written notice he shall not be detained.
§ Dr. ADDISON
This Amendment was moved in order to provide that specific safeguard. It is provided that the Regulations have to be approved by both Houses and it does in fact meet the hon. Member's case.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
This applies not only to shell-shock but to other people as well. You are here faced with a very great difficulty which exists under this Bill. The Minister in charge of this Bill thought anybody could walk out of these places without any notice at all. That was his idea a few minutes ago. He gave it from the Front Bench. That was the idea when this Bill came before this House to-night. He distinctly said it and thought that any person could walk out of the institution whenever he liked. That is not the Bill and that is not the Amendment. This is a very fair illustration of the difficulty which arises in dealing with this matter. Are these institutions which are called neither asylums nor mental hospitals but which are in fact mental hospitals to have the power to detain people there or not? It is perfectly plain that an inmate has only to give a written notice if he wishes to leave. The point which has been taken from the Front Opposition Bench deals with the person who at that time is not able to write and no provision is made for him. It is futile to say that this matter can be dealt with by regulation. We come next to the point that a person can be detained for forty-eight hours if the proprietor of this mental hospital thinks he should keep him. Is not that simply an absolute open door to abuse? I have studied this matter for many years. Everybody knows what we want; the only question is whether this Sub-section carries it out. You get a person into one of these mental homes; it is to the proprietor's interest to keep him there as long as possible. It is said 2323 that a person can walk out whenever he likes but there is nothing of the kind in the Bill.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
It is provided that a copy of the regulations shall be posted up in the institution home or house and those regulations will include this power of walking out.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The right hon. Gentleman on the front bench has said that an inmate cannot walk out unless he has given notice in writing. This is a fair example of the way in which this Clause is not understood in this House. The Front Bench and the hon. and gallant Member arc under some misapprehension.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
It is not there at all. An inmate cannot walk out until he has given notice in writing and the proprietor has to have 48 hours' notice. The proprietor is interested in getting the man there; if the man wants to go out the proprietor may at once say: "I shall detain him for 48 hours on the ground that he cannot go out." Who are the people to whom this section only applies? Why the people who are insane. There is no need to have this section at all for some persons. Therefore you have got this inmate detained there for 48 hours owing to the action of the proprietors of the asylum. What is that likely to do? I see there is an Amendment on the Paper and I hope it will not be abandoned by the mover in which it is stated that nobody shall be certified a lunatic in such an asylum. Unless such a provision is agreed to a man who is detained in one of these institutions for 48 hours will be liable to be certified insane if a couple of doctors are brought in and he will be removed to an asylum. The idea that he can walk out even at the end of 48 hours is a non-existent power. One is pleased to get this pencilled Amendment even at 2 o'clock in the morning but is it the right way to safeguard the interests of the persons concerned? This Amendment is difficult for even a lawyer to follow. At any rate do let us know what we are doing. By this Amendment and by this Clause as amended you are giving power to the proprietors of these institutions to detain for 48 hours an in- 2324 mate and at the end of that time he may be certified as insane. This Clause constitutes a very grave danger indeed.
Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: At the end of Sub-section (1) insert the words "except that a person who in the opinion of the superintendent or other person aforesaid is not in a fit state to leave may be detained for a period not exceeding forty-eight hours from the date of the notice." —[Colonel L. Wilson.]
§ Mr. LORDEN
I have an Amendment on the Paper at the end of Sub-section (1) to ad I the words "a copy of this proviso to be handed to each inmate on entry."
I understand that the Minister is billing to add it to the regulations to be handed to the inmates. This proviso is so important that it should be brought specially to the notice of the inmates and therefore I think by adding it to the regulations to be handed to the persons it will be properly brought to their notice I understand the Minister is prepared to do that?
§ Major ENTWISTLE
I beg to move at the end of Sub-section (3) to add the words "Provided that no member of the Lunacy Board of Commissioners nor any official of the said Board shall be appointed as such an officer."
This Amendment was moved in Committee. Unfortunately I was not able to be on that Committee and though I did draft the Amendment I am afraid that the subject was not given such consideration in Committee as I think it deserves. It is a most important safeguard and one which goes to the very root of the Bill. We have been told that this Bill is intended to dissociate incipient mental cases from the only lunacy treatment. That is the whole point and object of this Bill. The Ministry has said that it is willing to introduce any safeguard for that purpose. We agree with the objects of the Bill to provide hostels or homes free from lunacy administration for the purpose of incipient mental cases in order to give them a chance to recover and free them from association with certified incurable cases. If that is the real object of the Bill the 2325 Minister would best show his sincerity by accepting this Amendment which is very reasonable and carries out what is said to be the object of the Bill. In order to dissociate the administration of these homes entirely from the ordinary administration under the Lunacy Acts, I make the proviso that no member of the Board of Lunacy Commissioners or any official shall be an inspecting officer under the Act. The Minister in answer to this Amendment in Committee dealt with it very briefly. First of all he said:It is proposed by the Ministry that the inspection shall be carried out by medical officers on the staff of the Ministry and not by the Board of Commissioners.When the point was first raised, the right hon. Gentleman said that he could not agree to the Amendment on the ground of expense, because the Board of Commissioners was there, and it would mean additional expense if the inspecting officers could not be selected from that body. Any argument on the ground of expense would meet with my serious consideration, but the Minister has absolutely abandoned that ground by saying that the inspecting officers will be members of the staff of the Ministry—that is, dissociated from the Lunacy Board—so that the Amendment will not entail any additional expense. The only other reason given is that in certain and very special cases it may be necessary to utilise the experience of the Board of Control, and that the Ministry should be left free to do so. I ask anyone whether my Amendment which says that the Lunacy Board of Commissioners shall not be the inspecting officers, in any way prevents the experience of the Board of Control from being utilised in this matter. There is nothing to stop the Minister of Health or the members of his staff from consulting the Lunacy Board on any matter on which they want advice. That is a very different proposition from their being the actual inspecting officers. The whole success of these homes will lie in them being absolutely dissociated from the ordinary lunatic asylum. I am convinced that the reasons given by the Minister in Committee do not at all meet the point of my Amendment and I hope he will see his way to accept it.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
May I ask the Minister one question before he replies? 2326 As I read the Clause it looks as if we confined inspection to the buildings, and I should be glad to know if these men are to be visited in the sense in which mental hospitals are.
§ Dr. ADDISON
This is the usual form of words—inspection of establishment. The inspection of an establishment is to see how it is conducted and to criticise what goes on in it. I can assure my hon. Friend that there will be a comprehensive inspection. I entirely agree with all that the Mover of the Amendment says as to the necessity of keeping apart from the ordinary lunatic asylums. At the same time our inspection will be by the ordinary staff of the Ministry. If my hon. Friend looks at his Amendment he will see it says "nor any official of the said Board shall be appointed as such an officer." Surely it would be very unwise to debar by Statute from appointment at any time any official, however subordinate. You must accept my assurance. I or any future Minister can be called to account at this box if the Regulation is not observed, to keep this separate from the Lunacy Board. Then Sub-section (6) goes on to say:Nothing in this Act shall affect any power exercised in respect of lunacy by the Lord Chancellor or Commissioners in Lunacy or the Master in Lunacy.That is to say that if any member of the Board of Control felt that it was necessary in the discharge of his duty that he should inspect any of these homes he would be fully entitled to do so at any time.
§ Dr. ADDISON
Therefore we provide in one Clause that any member of the Board of Lunacy Commissioners would be entitled to inspect, notwithstanding anything you say here. The second part of the Amendment would be grossly wasteful of man-power and experience. I think my hon. Friend must rely upon us exercising ordinary common-sense and upon the fact that we can be called to account at any time in this House.
Mr. T. THOMSON
We should all be willing to accept the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman, but he will not always be the Minister of Health and he cannot bind his successors. There is nothing in the Amendment which conflicts what the 2327 point he made in regard to Sub-section 6. The only object of the particular Clause and the Amendment before the House is to make it quite distinct that ordinary inspection shall be carried out by the Ministry of Health and not by the Lunacy Commissioners. Notwithstanding what the right hon. Gentleman has said I submit a good ease has been made out by the Mover of the Amendment in favour of disassociating entirely any association with the Lunacy Board.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I am going to vote for this Amendment because this ought to be kept entirely apart from lunacy as now understood. There is no reason on earth why the Minister should not accpet this Amendment. If he does not intend to make this treatment co-terminous with the ordinary lunacy treatment why does he object to the Amendment? His statement already indicates that he has the intention to use certain members of the Prison Commissioners.
§ Dr. ADDISON
No I have not the slightest intention of doing any such thing but that is a very different thing from putting in a statutory provision preventing a Minister for all time from using any subordinate official of the Board.
§ Mr. SHAW
I am prepared to put it in the Statute and prevent a Minister doing it. That is my deliberate intention without equivocation. The right hon. Gentleman may not always be at the Ministry of Health and the law as it stands is the guide and not the good intentions of the present Minister. This ought to be apart entirely from the ordinary lunacy case and I cannot understand what very strong objection the Minister can have to accepting the Amendment. All it says is that it should be clearly defined that it shall be impossible to connect it with the ordinary Lunacy Acts and Board of Commissioners.
§ Earl WINTERTON
There is more in this Amendment than appears at first sight and I agree with the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. I do not see the object of the right hon. Gentleman in not accepting it. Surely the one thing that these unfortunate people suffering from incipient mental disorder must have kept from their mind is the question of lunacy. Their cure largely depends upon their being per- 2328 suaded that they are not insane that they are only suffering from temporary mental depression and that they have nothing whatever to do with the asylum system of the country. The Government have pointed out that the whole object was to dissociate the treatment of cases of incipient mental disorder from the insane. Yet they refuse to accept an Amendment to prevent the Commissioners of Lunacy having anything to do with them. I cannot understand their reason. It is all very well to say the Government do not wish to incur expenditure but the Government have a way of not letting expenditure stand in the way when they wish but that when they wish to refuse a reasonable Amendment they always put it on the expense. It would not be difficult to appoint officials of the Ministry as inspectors under the Act. I shall personally take steps to get the Amendment moved in another place.
§ Mr. LORDEN
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not accept this Amendment. It seems to me really a safeguard for these people in these homes that some of these commissioners who understand these matters should visit them. They do not wear a cap or clothes and visit them as inspectors. They go in like an ordinary person. It is a great advantage that they should have an opportunity of inspecting these homes if they so desire.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. MYERS
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (3) to insert:(4) If the superintendent or other person having the charge of the institution home or house or any person employed in any capacity therein neglects or ill-treats any person received under this Section into the institution home or house he shall be guilty of n misdemeanour and shall be liable—
- (a) upon conviction on indictment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding two years; or
- (b)upon summary conviction to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or to both such imprisonment and such fine.(5) Section three hundred and twenty-four of The Lunacy Act 1890 shall apply to any superintendent or other person having the charge of any institution^ house or other home into which a person is received under this Section and to any person employed in any capacity in such institution house or home in the same manner as it 2329 applies to any manager nurse attendant or other person employed in any institution for lunatics and the provisions of Section two of The Lunacy (Ireland) Act 1901 shall extend accordingly.Having regard to the fact that the Bill provides for a periodical inspection by officers appointed for that purpose by the Minister it is only right that they should have some authority as far as regards the conduct of these institutions that every safeguard should be taken and every protection given to inmates and that everything should be done that can be devised for the proper safety of the occupants.
§ Colonel WILSON
In Committee stage upstairs my right hon. Friend gave a distinct understanding that this particular Amendment would be dealt with in the regulations to be issued by the Minister and approved by Parliament. As regards the second part of the Amendment dealing with the penalties the penalty Clause is Sub-section (5) of this Clause. If my hon. Friend is not satisfied with the penalties in that Clause it would be more convenient if he moved an Amendment to that Sub-section rather than put in the alterations suggested here.
With regard to the third part of his Amendment dealing with Section 324 of the Lunacy Act of 1890 that this shall apply to patients of institutions approved under the Clause having regard to the fact that all the patients in these institutions are voluntary and can leave under the conditions which have been so recently discussed in the House it seems very much out of place in the present position. The other portion of the Amendment might be properly dealt with on another Clause.
§ Amendment by leave withdrawn.
§ Major ENTWISTLE
I beg to move after Sub-section (3) to insert a new Sub-section:(4) Except in cases of homicidal mania no person should he certified as a lunatic under the Lunacy Acts 1890 to 1911 while he is retained in any institution home or house under this Section.The right hon. Gentleman in Committee said this Amendment would be impracticable to specify the particular types of mental instability. I fail to 2330 appreciate that point because what this Amendment is designed to do is to prevent any person being certified while he is in one of these homes. I realise that there are exceptional cases where a man might be a danger to himself or to others where it might be unreasonable to prevent certification. It was purely on that ground that I introduced words which I tried to make as definite as possible and which to me seems to cover every case which deserves exceptional treatment "except in cases of homicidal mania." If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that these words are too narrow or too restricted I should be perfectly willing to substitute some such words "except in dangerous cases." Subject to that modification I desire to insist very strongly on this Amendment which is one of very considerable importance. The one thing which we want to guard against in the establishment of these particular homes is that it shall not be said or thought that they are in any way a halfway house towards the lunatic asylum. We have had a specific statement as to the objects of this Clause and I am sure that it is not within these pages that these homes should be used in any way as facilitating progress towards the lunatic asylum. Safeguards have been put into this Clause providing that persons shall go in with their free and absolute consent that it shall be a voluntary entry and that they shall stay there purely voluntarily. That being so it seems to me of special importance because of the very voluntary nature of their entry that there should be no suspicion in their minds in any way that they may be certified from these establishments. That would create this danger. The very appearance of its being a voluntary consent to entry into these places would make them extremely suspicious if they knew they could be certified from these homes. It is of absolute vital importance to the success of these homes that there should be every confidence in the homes by the people for whom it is proposed these benefits should accrue. Therefore it is a very reasonable thing to ask that if they are to be certified except in extreme cases at any rate they should be discharged from the home and go back to their own home and be certified in the ordinary way under the Lunacy Acts. If a person who is in this state of mind knows beforehand that 2331 he cannot be certified from these homes, with greater confidence will he go, and with more chance of success will be the treatment. Of all the safeguards this Clause needs the one thing which would ensure the bonâ fide nature of these homes that they are really designed in the interests of the patients, and that there should be no suspicion that this is an easy way to get into a lunatic asylum. This safeguard is the most important that can be inserted in the Bill. I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will treat it with sympathy and accept it. Because I think this Amendment of such great importance I shall have to ask the House to divide but I trust the Minister will be able to meet me. I trust a good case has been made out.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I beg to second the Amendment. It meets the point which I put on the previous Amendment, which I thought really an important Amendment. There was the fear that once the patient had got to the homes it was merely a step towards certification. If you want to make these homes a success, you ought to prevent certification whilst the people are there. The most clear case was the one given a few minutes ago—supposing a person gives the notice that he wishes to go and the superintendent says "I do not think he is able or it is unwise that he should go" doctors would be called in during the next 48 hours to back up the opinion, and the patient might be certified as being of unsound mind. I am quite content with the form of the Amendment. In cases of homicidal mania an exception might be allowed, but in the other cases there could be no reason why if patients thought they were really getting no good they should not be sent away. For these reasons for the benefit of the Bill as well as for the benefit of the patient, this Amendment should be accepted.
§ Dr. ADDISON
This Amendment effects an alteration in the first words of the existing lunacy law. The people in these homes ought to have some safeguards and protection in the same way as the ordinary person would have in any other homes. It should be applied equally all round. In the short time in which I was engaged in professional life I spent some months in one of 2332 these places, and I must say that homicidal mania by no means exhausted the category of cases. If I were to accept this Amendment I should want a definition of what homicidal mania really means. You might have all kinds of definitions. The Government really cannot accept this Amendment.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I quite agree with my right hon. Friend, and I am surprised at the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Rawlinson) supporting this Amendment. What would happen if this Amendment were carried. Supposing A or B goes into a home. A or B might also be suffering from some form of physical disorder as well as mental disorder from a cold or influenza or something of that sort. If they are to be certified as insane they will be taken away to their homes and their private houses and there certified as insane. That would be an absurd state of things. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear hear."] As I have received the cheers of the Government on this question may I be allowed to say however that I am not at all sure that it would be any more absurd than the methods employed under this Clause.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
The Noble Lord's argument is perfectly good but he must remember in all these cases these people are insane.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I cannot say that I agree with my hon. and learned Friend. I like him do not like the Clause but I do not agree with his interpretations as to the effect of it. But I do not want to get involved into a legal argument with my learned Friend nor do I wish for the cheers of the Solicitor-General. In my opinion there is no doubt that this Amendment would have a deterrent effect on persons who are suffering from nervous breakdown. I quite agree that there is the danger that they may be sent to an asylum certified as insane, but to get over it by saying that under no circumstances will steps be taken with regard to homicidal mania is absurd. The truth is that in this Clause we are really breaking new ground. We are making a most serious change in the law, and we are making it in accordance with a habit of modern 2333 Government at this hour of the morning in a thin House which cannot be expected to give attention to all the questions which may arise.
|Division No. 394.]||AYES.||[3.15 a.m.|
|Adamson Rt. Hon. William||Hirst G. H.||Shaw Thomas (Preston)|
|Bell James (Lancaster Ormskirk)||Holmes J. Stanley||Sitch Charles H.|
|Coats Sir Stuart||Maclean Neil (Glasgow Govan)||Smith W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Davies A. (Lancaster Clitheroe)||Mills John Edmund||Waterson A. E.|
|Edwards C. (Monmouth Bedwellty)||Morgan Major D. Watts||Wilson W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Grundy T. W.||Myers Thomas|
|Hall F. (York W.R. Normanton)||Rawlinson John Frederick Peel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hayday Arthur||Royce William Stapleton||Major Entwistle and Mr. Trevelyan Thomson.|
|Herbert Dennis (Hertford Watford)||Sexton James|
|Addison Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Fremantle Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Neal Arthur|
|Allen Lieut.-Colonel William James||Ganzoni Captain Francis John C.||Newman Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Amery Lieut.-Col. Leopold C. M. S.||Gibbs Colonel George Abraham||Ormsby-Gore Captain Hon. W.|
|Archer-Shee Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Goff Sir R. Park||Parker James|
|Baird Sir John Lawrence||Green Joseph F. (Leicester W.)||Pease Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Baldwin Rt. Hon. Stanley||Greenwood William (Stockport)||Pollock Sir Ernest M.|
|Balfour George (Hampstead)||Hailwood Augustine||Raw Lieutenant-Colonel N.|
|Barlow Sir Montague||Hamilton Major C. G. C.||Remer J. R.|
|Betterton Henry B.||Harmsworth C. B. (Bedford Luton)||Robinson Sir T. (Lanes Stretford)|
|Blades Capt. Sir George Rowland||Hilder Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Roundell Colonel R. F.|
|Boscawen Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith.||Hope James F. (Sheffield Central)||Sanders Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Broad Thomas Tucker||Hopkins John W. W.||Scott A. M. (Glasgow Bridgeton)|
|Bruton Sir James I||Hotchkin Captain Stafford Vere||Seddon J. A.|
|Carr W. Theodore j||Jones Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Casey T. W.||Kellaway Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Stanley Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Chilcott Lieut.-Com. Harry W.:||Kidd James||Sugden W. H.|
|Cockerill Brigadier-General G. K.||Law Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow C.)||Sutherland Sir William|
|Coote Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Lindsay William Arthur||Ward-Jackson Major C. L.|
|Courthope Major George L.||Lorden John William||Whitla Sir William|
|Craig Colonel Sir J. (Down Mid)||Lort-Williams J.||Wilson Daniel M. (Down West)|
|Davidson J.C.C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Lynn R. J.||Wilson Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Davies Thomas (Cirencester)||M' Lean Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Winterton Major Earl|
|Edge Captain William||Manville Edward||Wise Frederick|
|Elliot Capt. Walter E. (Lanark):||Mitchell William Lane||Wood Sir H. K. (Woolwich West)|
|Eyres-Monsell Commander B. M.||Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Fildes Henry||Morrison-Bell Major A. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Forrest Walter||Murray C. D. (Edinburgh)||Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley|
|Fraser Major Sir Keith||Murray John (Leeds West)||Ward.|