HC Deb 02 April 1953 vol 513 cc1363-4
57. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Health why the young inmate of a mental colony who has been identified to him has been refused leave to spend Easter with his parents at Hove; if he is aware that this young man has had previous periods of leave and during such leaves has been well-behaved; upon what grounds leave has been refused on this occasion; why no explanation has been given to the parents; and whether he will ensure that leave is now granted in the absence of any satisfactory reason to the contrary.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The granting of leave to this patient is entirely a matter for the medical superintendent of the hospital, and I have no power to give him directions in the matter. As to the reasons for refusal of leave, I regret I cannot add to the information given to my hon. and learned Friend in my letter to him of 25th March.

Mr. Marlowe

Will my right hon. Friend give some reasons to the parents? He will realise that it is most distressing for parents merely to be told that the son cannot go home, as he has always done before, without being given any reason. If there is good reason, should not it be given to the parents?

Mr. Macleod

The medical superintendent has a discretion in this matter. He tells me, and I tell my hon. and learned Friend, that after careful investigation of this many times it has been decided that it is not in the best interests of the patient at present that this leave should be granted. I must say that I think that it is better for the parent that the position should be left there.

Mr. J. Johnson

Is the Minister aware that there is a feeling among some members of the public, especially in the Midlands, that young well-behaved men of this type have been kept in mental colonies because they are useful, for instance, for cutting the doctor's hedge or cooking in the kitchen? Will he inquire into alleged abuses of that kind?

Mr. Macleod

Of course I will. I will inquire into any cases brought to my notice.

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