HL Deb 22 May 1840 vol 54 cc495-6

On the motion of the Marquess of Normanby, the House went into Committee on the Insane Prisoners' Bill. In Committee, the noble Lord said, he had a few amendments to propose, which should be printed, and could be taken into consideration hereafter.

The Duke of Richmond

said, he objected to some of the provisions of the bill. He could not consent that those insane prisoners should be supported out of the rates. Under the Poor-law Bill, a father, who happened to have property, and whose child was in the workhouse, was obliged to allow something for its maintenance. Now, the parents of some of these insane prisoners might possess property, and he could not see why they should not be supported by them in like manner. Indeed, he could not see why a part of the expense should not be defrayed out of the consoli- dated fund; because, in many cases, where persons were acquitted on the ground of insanity, they were supported by the Government. It might be said, that a clause authorizing such a charge on the consolidated fund, could not be introduced in that House; but he supposed that his noble Friend had sufficient influence to have such a clause introduced elsewhere. It would be better to have the clauses printed and then for the bill to come on for consideration on a future day.

The Marquess of Normanby

said, that the present bill did not contain anything either of novelty or difficulty: its only new provisions went to extend the powers of having lunatics transferred to lunatic asylums which already existed. He was not prepared to alter the bill in the way proposed by his noble Friend, in respect of charging upon the consolidated fund, the maintenance of persons under sentence of transportation who became insane.

House resumed.

Bill reported with amendments.