§ Mr. Race
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the very serious allegations which have been made today concerning the treatement of patients at Broadmoor special hospital.These allegations have been made by nurses who until recently were employed at Broadmoor. They are specific because they relate to individual cases. They are important because they relate to a number of recent incidents at Broadmoor. The importance of them to the House, Mr. Speaker, can be judged by the nature of some of the allegations. They are that patients have been kicked and beaten unconscious by staff at the hospital on a number of occasions; that patients have been soaked alternately with very hot and very cold douches of water by staff in order to get compliance; that electro-convulsive treatment has been given to patients without their approval and without anaesthetics; that drugs, including major transqullisers, have been used by doctors to control patients without a therapeutic reason for doing so; and that solitary confinement has been used in order to ensure compliance with the regime at the hospital.
Lastly—the issue that I beleive is extremely important for this House—I believe that the nurses in question have been threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act by the Thames Valley police if they make these allegations public. These are all serious matters, which I believe that the House should debate as quickly as possible. That is why I referred these questions to you, Mr. Speaker. I hope that you will consider them—I am sure that you have done so—in a reasonable and fair fashion.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. Race) gave me notice this morning before 12 o'clock that he would seek leave to move the Adjourn- 643 ment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,the very serious allegations which have been made today cocerning the treatment of patients at Broadmoor special hospital.The hon. Gentleman was also good enough to outline for me the camplaints that he has brought to the notice of the House this afternoon. Of the importance of the matter there can be no doubt, in view of what the hon. Gentleman said. However, my choice is strictly limited. I do not decide whether the House discusses this matter; I merely decide whether it should be debated tonight or tomorrow night.
I have given very careful thought to the letter sent to me by the hon. Gentleman and to his application this afternoon. As the House knows, under Standing Order No. 9 I am directed to take account of the several factors set out in the Order but to give no reasons for my decision. I have to rule that the hon. Gentleman's application does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order, and therefore I cannot submit his application to the House.