HC Deb 25 July 1938 vol 338 cc2709-10
74. Mr. Kelly

asked the Minister of Health the number of patients in mental defective colonies who were illegally detained in such institutions during the last three months?

Mr. Elliot

If the hon. Member refers to the number of patients in whose case the validity of the Order for detention was affected by a recent Judgment in the Court of Appeal, it would not be practicable to furnish the information without the examination of a very large number of cases, and I doubt whether the considerable work involved would be justified, in view of the fact that the Orders in question have been validated by the Mental Deficiency Bill which has just received the Royal Assent. If, however, the hon. Member has something else in mind, I shall be very glad to give him such information as is in my power if he will communicate with me.

Mr. Kelly

Seeing that the question refers to those Orders the validity of which was questioned, and as these figures must be known to the Board of Control, can we not be furnished with figures of those who were illegally detained during that period?

Mr. Elliot

I have already said that I doubt whether that considerable amount of work would be justified, but if the hon. Member desires to have those figures, I will look into the matter again and see if they can be easily obtained.

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