§ 16. Mr. K. Robinson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with the Joint Committee of the 1121 British Medical Association and the Magistrates' Association on the law of suicide; and if he has any decision to announce on the question of amending legislation.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
A helpful meeting between officials of my Department and of the Ministry of Health and representatives of the Joint Committee of the British Medical Association and the Magistrates' Association took place last month. The meeting explored the crucial problem of ensuring that persons who attempt to commit suicide receive treatment for their mental, as well as their physical, condition. The existing law does ensure this, although f recognize that it has unsatisfactory features, and before we change it I want to be satisfied that there are workable alternatives. I am not in a position to say when it would be possible to legislate.
§ Mr. Robinson
As the Home Secretary will be aware that these investigations have been going on for more than a year now, can he give any indication when he might be able to reach finality in this rather important matter?
§ Mr. Butler
I sympathies with the desire to reach finality, but I do not think it will be possible to do so in this Session, although I think it will be possible to make further progress on the lines I am following.