HL Deb 16 June 1871 vol 207 c136

(The Lord Chancellor.)

Order of the Day for the (Second Reading, read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Chancellor.)


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, its object was to afford protection to "persons of weak mind"—that was to say, persons whose mental capacity is so affected by sickness or any other temporary cause as to render them incapable of managing themselves or their affairs. On more than one occasion he had experienced a difficulty in dealing with such cases, because the persons were not so bad as to render it necessary that a commission of lunacy should be issued. Under the Bill the Lord Chancellor, on summary petition, it being established to his satisfaction that the person in question is of weak mind, is empowered in a summary way and without directing an inquiry under a commission of lunacy, to appoint a guardian of the person or property, or of both, of such person. In order to secure that this summary interference should be of a temporary character it was provided that no order should be of force for a longer period than six months, nor was it to be renewed more than once. By one clause it would be necessary for the Commissioners in Lunacy to visit each patient twice a-year, and at such other times as the Court should appoint.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.