§ Miss Herbison
I beg to move, in page 60, line 28. after "there" to insert:and the patient desires to be removed".This Amendment is an improvement which we tried to obtain in Committee. We failed to do so, but I hope that since then, although the Government have not tabled a similar Amendment, they have given further consideration to this matter.
The Clause deals with the removal of alien patients. The Clauses which precede it deal with the removal of patients from Scotland to England or Wales or from England and Wales to Scotland, and so on. In every instance where the removal is within the United Kingdom, a patient is removed from a hospital, say, in Scotland to a hospital in England 752 only if it is considered to be in his interests. But it is provided in the Bill that, whether it is in the interests of an alien or not, he can be removed from a hospital in our country and returned to his own country.
When this matter was raised on a very similar Amendment in Committee, the Joint Under-Secretary of State said that these powers would be used only in rare cases—for instance, when a patient had some irrational objection to repatriation arising out of his mental disorder. Surely, the irrational objection would come because he was mentally ill, and if he is mentally ill and has this irrational objection to being sent out of the hospital in Scotland to a hospital anywhere else in the world, it would almost certainly make his mental illness a much more severe illness.
When we further discussed this, the Joint Under-Secretary gave the reason why the Government were insisting on keeping this Clause as it is in the Bill today. He said that it might be cheaper to send a patient to China rather than keep him in hospital at our expense. In other words, the Government were willing to pay the expense of sending a patient from Scotland to China, if he were a Chinese, rather than keep him in Scotland if his illness was going to last for a considerable time. So that the real objection of the Government in this matter is the financial cost of keeping such a patient in our country.
The Joint Under-Secretary of State at one stage invited me to get up in public and express my view. Here are his words:I think that she will find that the great majority of people accept my point of view and not her point of view."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 5th May, 1960, c. 865.]In other words, the hon. Gentleman was saying that the great majority of the British people would agree with the Joint Under-Secretary that where a man was so mentally ill that he was in a hospital he ought to be sent to China, to Timbuktu or Honolulu or elsewhere.
I do not accept that. I think that the British people have much more humanity than the Joint Under-Secretary gives them credit for, but even if the Joint Under-Secretary is correct, we on this side of the House still believe in this 753 Amendment. There are some matters concerning moral and Christian obligations which we accept, and on which we think a Government ought to give leadership to the citizens of our country. I know that at Tory Party conferences women get up and criticise what we are spending in our National Health Service on foreigners. I only hope that when these conferences take place in Scotland, the Secretary of State would have the moral courage to say to these people, "This is something that we believe is a moral and Christian duty upon us."
It seems to me that this was one of the most niggling rejections by the Government because of the cost, even putting it at its lowest, for a few rare cases. It will do great damage to the name of Britain. It is no use the Secretary of State saying that other countries do not have reciprocal agreements with us. I have cases of constituents who have become seriously ill abroad, when every penny they have saved had to go to pay for their illness. Many of them have had to get into debt in order to obtain the money to pay for that illness. I think that that is wrong.
I cannot say to those countries, "You must introduce a National Health Service as we have done", but what I can show to those countries by example is what the Health Service means to our people in Britain and to any other alien who is living within our shores. I have always been proud to be able to do that. I hope that the Secretary of State will have given the most serious consideration to this matter, and, for the reasons Which I have adduced, will be ready to accept this Amendment.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Willis
I rise to support my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) in this Amendment. When one reads this Clause, one has a feeling that it is very cruel. What does it say? It says thatany patient being an alien who is receiving treatment for mental illnesscan be removed to the country from which be came, providedthat proper arrangements have been made for the removal of that patient".It is not that proper arrangements have been made for the care of the patient, not that the treatment which the patient is undergoing should not be inter 754 rupted. Neither of these considerations enter into this Clause. All it says is that, provided that arrangements have been made to remove the patient, the Secretary of State shall have the power to remove him. I know that the words proper arrangements "may be more widely interpreted than I interpret them, hut, nevertheless, they are of a character that seems to me to fail completely to offer any safeguards whatever to the patient.
This is a deplorable attitude of mind on the part of the Government. People suffering from mental illness of all kinds will come here in the ordinary course of events.
§ Miss Herbison
Here we are dealing with aliens, not with anyone from Australia, or elsewhere The Home Secretary has the right to intervene and prevent the entry of anyone whom he thinks is undesirable for any reason, so that we are here dealing with people who have been accepted into this country.
§ Mr. Willis
I am grateful to my hon. Friend; that is the point I am making. They are taken ill here. They have a mental breakdown here. Surely the Government are not so mean in this age of affluence, when the Government are boasting that we have never had it so good, as to say to a poor person who has had such a breakdown, "You must not stay here to be cured; we can give you treatment, we have accommodation, we have wonderful doctors and psychiatrists, but you must not benefit from that."
What an attitude of mind on the part of the Government. They ought to be ashamed of themselves on this matter, or else they should stop shouting about how well off we are. They should make up their minds either that we are well off, and, as such, ought to be in a position to help less fortunate people, or to stop shouting about being well off. They cannot have it both ways.
When I read the Clause, and as I listened to the previous debate, I could not help feeling that this is a very cruel attitude of mind. I do not know what is at the back of it. Is it felt that we are to be flooded by mentally defective aliens? What do the Government expect? I cannot see that this should present a big problem at all. We have 755 a small number of people who will come within the category of this Clause. Surely, the least we can do is to see that they get the right treatment, and that they are not sent back unless they are fit to be sent back; certainly not that, as this Clause states, they should simply be sent back whenproper arrangements have been made for the removal of the patient.The right hon. Gentleman, who is a kindly sort, of man, is not proud of the attitude of mind that he wants to send everybody back and does not want these people to benefit from the advice, assistance, help, kindness, care and attention that we can give them. Even if he cannot accept the Amendment, he should look at the wording of the Clause more closely and approach the problem in a much more generous attitude. I am confident that the people would prefer the right hon. Gentleman to do as we suggest than simply to treat this class of visitors to our country in the way set out in the Clause.
§ Mrs. Judith Hart (Lanark)
I hope that the Secretary of State will say whether he has considered the further point, which has not so far been mentioned, that when aliens come to Britain they frequently come because of the difficulties they have' had in their own countries. If one of them suffers from a mental breakdown, or any kind of mental crisis when he is here, it may well be, in part, the result of the strain which he has undergone and which has led to his leaving his own country and seeking hospitality here as an alien. If such a person is then sent back to his own country, to the very circumstances that may have caused the strain which has been a contributory factor in his breakdown, we should be not only denying the hospitality for which Britain is famous, but we might be doing a great deal of harm.
For that reason alone, it is essential that the Secretary of State should consider this matter again. It is not one which can be considered on a level with the objections to the treatment of foreigners in this country by, as my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said, the women of the right hon. Gentleman's party in conference. It is a far more serious 756 matter than making sure that a party political point is written into a non-party Bill which deals with highly important matters.
§ Mr. Hannan
I support the Amendment. As my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said, something of the same spirit was embodied in a previous Amendment. I should like the Secretary of State to attempt to answer some of the points which he left unanswered even in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) made the charge—I do not recollect that it was answered—that in this Clause for the first time the term "in-patient" is used. Why is it imported into this Clause dealing with aliens? Is it under pressure, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock said, from the Home Office? Is the influence of the Home Office being imported to ensure that the Bill conforms with aliens order provisions?
In a general spirit, I urge the Secretary of State to reconsider the matter. There have been all sorts of allegations about excess and abuse of the National Health Service. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health dealt effectively with that matter in debate when answering the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro). He pointed out that visitors to Britain came mainly to London. Figures supplied by the London Executive Council show that less than one-quarter of the patients in London came from abroad. About 3,000 who came from overseas and who used the Health Service included five nationalities. These, in numerical order, were Australia, the United States, the Irish Republic, South Africa and Canada. Hon. Members will find the details in Volume 567 of the OFFICIAL REPORT for 18th March, 1957.
Even on the basis of the figures used on that occasion, it was pointed out that the overall cost to the taxpayer through the Health Service was no more than £150,000 for the whole of Great Britain. Under the Secretary of State's proposal, how much will be saved? Has he any estimate or the cost? What is his justification for his proposals? Approaching the matter in the spirit of the parable of the Good Samaritan, does the right hon. Gentleman want to join the priest 757 and the Levite who passed by on the other side? I am sure that he does not.
We agree that a number of aliens may want to come here. Does not the right hon. Gentleman know that when the port authorities are suspicious, they have the right to ask questions and satisfy themselves? If they are not so satisfied, they can refuse entry. Alternatively, they can warn a person that he will be a private patient. Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm this? If I am right, does he not think that he should accept the Amendment? We are not suggesting that we want to invite people suffering from mental disorders to abuse the Health Service. Our proposal is intended for the assistance of somebody who is a visitor to Scotland and who genuinely has a breakdown. Are we to refuse the Service to such a person for a temporary period of two, three or four weeks for him to recover?
I am sure that, on reflection, the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment and get away from the niggardly, mean attitude which has been adopted in the Clause.
§ Mr. Maclay
If our intentions were to behave in the deplorably mean and terrible manner in which hon. Members have described what could happen under the Clause, there would be justification for their attitude. Finance, however, is only one relatively unimportant part of the whole argument.
§ Miss Herbison
I advise the right hon. Gentleman to read the speeches made by the Joint Under-Secretary on this matter. After reading them, nobody could be under any impression that finance was not the most important element in the decision to make the Clause different.
§ Mr. Maclay
The hon. Lady knows as well as I do that when answering a specific point an argument can develop from which it appears that it was the only argument. I have looked at the debate to which the hon. Lady refers and that is what happened in this case. The question arose because hon. Members opposite argued that the cost was negligible. Such a debate can have a disproportionate effect upon the whole matter. I will explain presently, however, what else is involved.
758 I do not think that the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) had read the Clause right through. Perhaps he has discovered—he is still looking at it—that it states:If it appears to the Secretary of State…that proper arrangements have been made for the removal of that patient to a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and for his care or treatment there…".The hon. Member had stopped before he reached the proper meaning of the Clause. That deals with the whole of his speech.
The hon. Member said that we would satisfy ourselves only that proper arrangements had been made for a patient's removal and that we had no care about what would happen when he reached his destination. The Clause deals with both of these aspects. If I have done the hon. Member an injustice I am sorry, though I do not see why I should be.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Willis
The right hon. Gentleman's remarks beg the whole question of what the words actually mean.
It is one of the extraordinary things about the hon. Member that if he is forced back in argument he always asks, "What do the words mean?" The words are very clear. They are:…proper arrangements have been made for the removal of that patient…and for his care or treatment there…What could be clearer and more precise? As to knowing precisely who he was, from what country, who was his doctor and what was his illness, one cannot write all that into an Act of Parliament. It is a waste of time to go on asking what the words mean when they are self-explanatory and as clear as words could be to deal with a point like this.
§ Miss Herbison
The right hon. Gentleman has made a great deal of the fact that for once my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) failed to notice the words "for his care", and so on. The example given by the Joint Under-Secretary of State was China. What knowledge has the Tory Government of the care and treatment that could be found in China?
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
With respect, Sir, this is an argument adduced in justification of the Clause by the Joint Under-Secretary. We never dreamt of China until he mentioned it.
§ Mr. Speaker
I understand that the hon. Member is referring to a debate in another place on another Amendment.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
No, Sir. This was in justification of the present Clause without amendment of any kind. That is the point.
§ Mr. Speaker
We are not discussing the Clause as unamended, but the advisability of making this Amendment to the Clause. It does not seem to me to involve care or treatment in China except in the most remote form.
§ Mr. Maclay
I will come nearer home than China.
It may well be important in the patient's own interest that he should go back to his own country to his home and his relatives. The reason why we need these powers is that the patient may be unable to say that he wants to go home—because of his mental state, or he might have a fixation about it. We know that there are people who, suddenly and tragically, get a feeling against their own family, but if they can be reunited with their family that feeling will disappear. One cannot tell—we are dealing here with hypothetical cases.
It would be quite absurd if, when somebody visited Britain on short term, and became mentally ill, and went into hospital but was fit to travel, and his relatives were anxious to get him back and we knew that everything was right for his care and treatment at the other end, we then had to wait until the patient himself was able to say that he was willing to go home.
The arguments against what we are proposing could apply if there were any evidence that we were trying to save money by pushing patients out who were quite unfit to be pushed out of our own hospitals. I understand that these cases are likely to be very exceptional. Even if this provision were not in the Bill it would be still possible, by using other powers, to apply deportation, but that 760 would be a stigma which we would not wish to impose. It is claimed that the question of expense became a major argument in Committee, but that claim is out of all proportion to the substance.
If we had the inconceivable situation in which people were flooding into Britain in order to be taken into our mental hospitals that argument would make good sense, but I cannot imagine that that would ever become a serious matter. I recommend to the House that it would be most unwise to accept the Amendment. I recognise that the Amendment was put down with the best intention and for very human and humane reasons, but it might work against the best interests of those who would be affected by it.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
We are extremely disappointed with the right hon. Gentleman's answer. On re-reading the debate in Committee, it is extraordinary to find how the Government side has moved towards our previous Amendment and we on this side of the House in turn have had to take a step back in order to bring the Government to that position. When the right hon. Gentleman reads the OFFICIAL REPORT tomorrow, he will see that he has used in argument against this Amendment the very words of our previous Amendment.
The Secretary of State says that there should be a balance of interest and no veto by the patient. The right hon. Gentleman misunderstood me in Committee, and he asserted that if the Amendment which we then moved were accepted—and not the Amendment which we are now discussing—it would follow that the Secretary of State would not have the power in the last analysis, but, in fact, under our former Amendment the right hon. Gentleman would have had that power. There is an argument which was not dealt with by the right hon. Gentleman which we tried to discuss in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Hannan) asked why the word "in-patient" was in the Clause.
§ Mr. Maclay
I am sorry, I forgot to deal with that point. The point is that if he were an out-patient he would be living in the community and the Clause would not apply. He must be an inpatient.
§ Dr. Mabon
This is precisely the point that makes this matter so difficult. The definition is a patient who is literally inside the hospital, and that means a voluntary patient or a compulsorily detained patient. As we argued previously, unless we have an Amendment of this kind written into the Clause, when aliens who genuinely go to a local physician seeking advice and treatment and are urged and persuaded to take voluntary treatment and they accept that advice and go into a British hospital, whether it is a National Health Service hospital of a private hospital registered under the Bill, they immediately put themselves in peril of being deported. The Secretary of State may not like that word "deported" in this context, but that is what it would be.
If a person arrives in his country of origin, being dumped there after being put aboard ship, under the direction of one of Her Majesty's Ministers, the question whether he is mentally ill or is socially or politically undesirable is irrelevant. The stigma is there that he has been deported. It is a most cruel circumstance that this person should be immediately classified with all the undesirables who are justly deported.
One point has not been answered. I have discussed this matter with a large number of aliens, particularly in London, and doctors who have many patients of this kind, who are alarmed that this kind of practice will be the consequence under the English Act. They had not realised it before. When we discussed this point in Committee it was discussed only very briefly. Indeed, it has been stumbled on only by virtue of Parliamentary examination. The Government should give more adequate consideration to it. The Secretary of State said that if he did not get his own way in this Clause in relation to the ultimate power—and I do not begrudge him that power, for that is not the argument—he could exercise it in other ways. We do not grudge him doing that, but we resent it being done in this way. We do not see the logic of this.
It seems to me that there must be some other reason than the question of removing the person on grounds of undesirability. Is it really financial? The Secretary of State tried to defend the Joint Under-Secretary of State, but, in fairness to truth, one ought to read the report of the Committee stage. The Joint 762 Under-Secretary of State was very fair—perhaps too fair, for maybe he gave the game away. He never once adduced any argument other than a financial argument for this. That was fair of him, and I do not object to his doing so.
This will be one of the most expensive Clauses for the Treasury, because it can happen that under reciprocal agreements we shall come off badly. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Hannan) pointed out how little money is spent on foreigners under the National Health Service. When the right hon. Gentleman was campaigning in Renfrew-shire in 1950, he said that drugs and appliances were being supplied for patients from abroad at terrible expense and that if his party were returned it would make sure that no foreigners got them free. I am glad that he has been converted to the other point of view now. It would be too expensive to devise a system of discrimination.
We are getting reciprocal agreements for treatment of British people abroad. They include many merchant seamen who may find themselves in an invidious position in foreign ports, needing treatment which they would not have if we had not the kind of National Health Service created in 1948. If we are to make a distinction between patients who are mentally ill and those physically ill, then that must hit our reciprocal arrangements as well. Nobody would dream of deporting a physically ill man because he was physically ill and happened to be an alien. Why should we do so with a patient who is mentally ill?
I have tried to argue the case as best I can. I have put two major arguments. The first was that this is an expensive Clause and an unnecessary one, for the ultimate power exists in other ways. The second was the medical argument that if the Government seek to circumscribe at least compulsorily detained patients, they will be working against doctors who are seeking to persuade people to accept voluntary treatment. The Secretary of State should think again. Perhaps he is unable to accept our Amendment, but he might give an assurance of his willingness to see that in another place an Amendment might be put down in the terms which he seems to have adopted tonight. There would be no difficulty in that.
763 If the allegations of parsimony against the Government are true, then the Government can still get its parsimonious way with such an Amendment. If they are untrue, I cannot see why the Government are being so sticky about this. If we amend the Clause in a suitable way, it will make the position under this Bill when it becomes an Act much more sensible than the position under the English Act. It will make the argument for reciprocity in other countries much more cogent. It may even lead to amendment of the English Act. Scottish Ministers should be anxious to ensure that we lead the way rather than be dragged behind England.
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Maclay
I have listened carefully to the arguments, but they have gone over the same ground and I cannot see anything new in that. There is no question of using this Clause for powers of deportation in the sense that the hon. Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) was suggesting. Deportation powers already exist otherwise. One cannot tell clearly the circumstances in which it might be desirable for a patient, in his own interest, to go back to his own country under this Clause and not under any other Clause. It does bring in the whole question of deportation procedure. The hon. Member for Greenock was trying to say that whether it was under this Clause or under different powers it was still deportation. That is not so.
If it is clear that a patient may well benefit, although he does not realise it—as is, alas, so often the case—by being sent back to his own home and surroundings, then there are the strongest reasons for doing so in the easiest and quietest way without going through the procedures of deportation.
§ Miss Herbison
Again, the right hon. Gentleman is using the words "in the interest of the patient." Those were the words of an Amendment we tried to have accepted in the Committee, but failed. If we could have his promise that in another place such an Amendment would be accepted, then we could end this debate immediately.
§ Mr. Maclay
I was coming to the point of what is meant by the words 764 "in the interest of the patient." There is, to begin with, considerable difficulty of definition if we put the words "interest of the patient" into a Statute. It would raise much too difficult a problem in weighing up the balance of the argument as to whether or not the patient should go home. We are dealing with other countries in this matter. It raises the problem of assessment of the stage of development that the patient's country has reached in psychiatric work and the conditions he will be living under.
I put the interest of the patients high in my argument. There are, however, other considerations. It is a fact—and we cannot ignore it if we desire to be humane—that foreigners come here on visits. This will not apply to an accepted resident, and I can assure the House that there will be no conceivable use of this Clause in relation to political refugees. Other powers would be invoked in the case of political refugees.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
It might also be useful to the Government to use this Clause to deport a person to whom they did not wish to give asylum, using this procedure as a rather cute mechanism. All they need is one doctor to say that the man is mentally distressed; they can then persuade him to go to hospital for a few days, and he can be out of the country very shortly afterwards. They can use this social legislation for that purpose.
§ Mr. Maclay
That is not a sound argument. It is imputing a most subtle and malicious intention. The Clause is in the Bill for a variety of reasons. People come to Britain for a short holiday, with short permits. If they take ill here and need treatment they will not be moved until they are fit to move and it is found to be good to get them back to their families. It may be that they will not be willing to go themselves.
Furthermore, it might be difficult to argue precisely what is in the best interests of the patient if the matter is taken to the court, but it is obvious that such persons should go back, if it is reasonable for them to do so, at the right moment after their permit has expired. It would not be right to ignore the whole of our law in relation to foreigners by putting the argument the 765 other way round and subtly using this Clause, as amended by hon. Members opposite, as a means of allowing foreigners to get into the country and stay here. I must, therefore, ask the House to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. Ross
I apologise for not being here at the start of this discussion, but I can well remember the long debate that we had on this point in Committee. I do not think that I was ever more ashamed of a Scottish Minister than I was then, because the Joint Under-Secretary proceeded to lecture us on the question of expense and told us how right it would be for the Secretary of State to take compulsory steps to send people back to China. As he was saying that, in walked a delegation from a country east of Calcutta, which had to listen to this exposition of the new Tory philosophy in respect of our international outlook.
The Amendment seeks to provide that we shall take into account the desires of the patient. The Clause assumes that we are moving people against their will. The Secretary of State has said that there are various reasons for this provision. We had many discussions about it in Committee, but only one reason was ever put forward for it—the financial reason. The Secretary of State said that there were various reasons, but tonight he mentioned only two. First, he said that people may come into this country and take ill. Surely the assumption is that in the great majority of cases such patients or their next-of-kin will voluntarily make arrangements for removal.
We are narrowing the matter down to people who, for some reason or other, have no desire to go back to their own country. The Secretary of State says that a person may not be willing to indicate his willingness to go. We concede that, but the right hon. Gentleman must appreciate that by using the term "in-patient" rather than "voluntary patient", or "a patient who has been detained in hospital", he is including a person who has been sufficiently of his own mind to sign himself in as a voluntary patient.
That is where the great snag arises. The Joint Under-Secretary told us in Committee that the ball could be started rolling, in respect of a person's compulsory removal from hospital without the knowledge of the patient. The expres 766 sion "starting the ball rolling" is not mine; we got that phrase from the Joint Under-Secretary in Committee. Does he think that it is right that this action should be taken, possibly without the knowledge of the patient, when the patient may be undesirous of leaving Britain, perhaps for a very good reason?
I hope that the Secretary of State will reconsider the matter. He said that we are doing all this out of kindness, and that this is a quieter way of proceeding than by using the procedure of deportation. It is just because it is a quieter way that we must look carefully at it. In many cases of this kind the Government might prefer to act quietly rather than use a much more public procedure. The Secretary of State should not blame us for being critical about the matter. We must remember that the words "Secretary of State", as used in the Clause, do not refer to the Secretary of State for Scotland; they refer to the Home Secretary. The expense of the removal of a person to China would fall not on the Scottish Office, but on the Vote of the Home Office. I hope that that information is correct.
§ Mr. Ede (South Shields)
There can be only one Secretary of State, although he is divided into about six offices. It might be that in the absence of the Home Secretary, owing to illness, the Secretary of State for Scotland, or even the Secretary of State for Air, would sign a deportation order—but the Prime Minister could not sign it.
§ Mr. Ross
Those of us with experience of the Scottish Office under a Tory Government find it difficult to believe anything we hear from these dignified people.
This is a form of deportation. It will normally be carried out on a warrant signed by the Home Secretary, who is answerable to this House in respect of 767 aliens and their treatment in this country. Surely the Secretary of State appreciates the difficulty which arises in respect of the voluntary patient who, for his own good and that of the community—and on the advice of his doctors—goes into a Scottish mental hospital. Does the right hon. Gentleman still consider it right that that person, who is sufficiently of sound mind to take that step voluntarily, should be compulsorily removed from this country?
The right hon. Gentleman has given us no reason why this should be done. Why does not he revert to the question of the phrase that was turned down in Committee, but which he has constantly used himself, namely, "in the interest of the patient"? Whether he likes it or not, he is tied by certain words. My hon. Friend is quite right to ask for their meaning. The Minister has not merely to be satisfied about care and treatment; he has to be satisfied that it is "proper care and treatment". If the patient is a voluntary patient and has gone into hospital for treatment for mental illness he will probably have a good idea whether the standards of treatment available in his own country are proper or not. He will probably have a far better idea of this than will the Secretary of State.
To my mind, the situation will be that in Scotland the Secretary of State will accept one standard of treatment generally but will reduce that standard in respect of an alien who is compulsorily removed for whatever reason may suit the Secretary of State. I am disappointed in his attitude in this matter. This was the one Clause the discussion of which caused the Joint Under-Secretary to lose his temper. He announced that he would lecture the Committee. It was a sorry lecture, and in the end the hon. Gentleman was sorry that he had used those words.
§ Mr. Ross
The hon. Member probably took great care to remove that word from the OFFICIAL REPORT, but that was what he said.
I hope that the Secretary of State will think again about this matter. We have now reached a very narrow measure of disagreement, which could well be met 768 by a suitable phrase covering the fears we have expressed. Scotland has a reputation to maintain which means far more than the expenditure of a few thousand pounds, which seemed to worry the Joint Under-Secretary in Committee. This reputation was not created in 1945 or 1951; it goes right back through previous centuries. Surely the Secretary of State will bear in mind the reputation of Scotland in this respect.
One reason why we are so anxious to have our Amendment accepted is that this Clause was lifted straight out of the English Bill. This is not something for which the Scottish draftsmen or officials are responsible; it is the responsibility of the English officials. If English Members are prepared to accept this slur upon our hospitality and our international reputation, Scottish Members on this side of the House are not. I hope that the Secretary of State will join us. He still has time. He can undertake to amend the Clause in another place and can use the time between now and that stage to consider a suitable phrase to add to the Clause.
§ Amendment negatived.