§ 59. Mr. R. RICHARDSON
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the facilities for unlawful interference with the liberty of the subject afforded to managers of registered mental hospitals by the existing voluntary boarder system; that the system does not afford any real legal safeguards against the wrongful detention of such boarders for fraudulent motives in these private asylums, but only illusory safeguards dependent entirely on the integrity of persons interested, financially and otherwise, in detaining them; that the system does not render available for such boarders any evidence of maltreatment or wrongful detention, except by witnesses who would either be incriminated or their positions jeopardised by giving such evidence; whether the case of L.J.G. has been brought to his notice, who entered St. Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, as a voluntary boarder, and complains that her repeated demands for the restoration of her clothes and her liberty were disregarded and her written notices to the manager destroyed by him; 1466 and will he institute an immediate inquiry into the working of this system with special reference to the case of L.J.G.?
I can find no evidence that the existing voluntary boarder system is open to abuse in the manner suggested by the hon. Member. The case of L.J.G. has already been fully inquired into and has been the subject of legal proceedings. The case was first heard before a special jury in the High Court, which found that there was no evidence of wrongful detention or ill-treatment a decision which was upheld in the Court of Appeal. I know of no grounds for a further inquiry into the working of the existing voluntary boarder system.
§ Mr. RICHARDSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is only one of very many cases in which people have suffered and that their only remedy is to go to law? I have had several letters from other people on the same subject.
§ Mr. RICHARDSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the easy method of transferring people to lunatic asylums from these homes, where they cannot under any circumstances expect to get better?
§ 80. Mr. RAWLINSON
asked the Minister of Health whether, in the cases of those patients who were received into private mental institutions in 1922 without being seen by a magistrate, and without the provisions of Section 8 of the Lunacy Act, 1890, having been adhered to, such patients have been since discharged, or, if not, under what power they have respecively been detained?
As I stated in reply to the hon. Member for Pontypool on 26th July, I am advised that failure to comply fully with the requirements of the Section mentioned does not invalidate the reception orders authorising the detention of patients.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
Have any steps been taken to remedy the defect as to the giving of notice as required by the Act?