§ EARL BEAUCHAMP,
in rising to move—That an humble Address he presented to Her Majesty for copies of a correspondence between the Clerk to the Visitors of the Lunatic Asylum for the County and City of Worcester and the War Office,said, that the Correspondence in question had reference to the cost of maintenance of a pensioner in the Royal Engineers who was an inmate of the asylum. Only a portion of the pension possessed by the man was paid by the War Office for his maintenance; and although the clerk to the visitors had written several times upon the subject to the War Office, they had not succeeded in eliciting any satisfactory reply. The amount paid for his maintenance did not recoup the asylum for the expenses incurred. He thought that the War Office had exercised their discretion in this matter in a way to cause great injustice to the ratepayers in withholding a portion of the pension earned by the lunatic without stating any reason 144 for so doing. They were entitled, in his opinion at least, to the production of the regulations under which the War Office had acted.
§ Moved,"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty for copies of a correspondence between the Clerk to the Visitors of the Lunatic Asylum for the County and City of Worcester and the War Office."—[The Earl Beauchamp).
THE EARL OF MORLEY
said, he had to express his regret at the delay which had taken place on the part of the War Office in conducting the Correspondence, and by way of explanation would point out that some portion of it was due to the number of inquiries from different authorities that had to be made. They had to find whether the pensioner had a wife and children, and to ascertain the exact amount of the pension that was paid and the exact sum that was stopped. It had been found that the unfortunate man's lunacy was due to the elopement of his wife, and the War Office had had to take into consideration the cost of the maintenance of his children. The War Office had thought it undesirable that the whole of the pension should be applied to the maintenance of the lunatic, as the children would have to be supported in some way or other. The part of the pension which they did not feel justified in handing over to the asylum authorities they considered should be allocated to the maintenance of the children.
THE EARL OF MORLEY
said, that it was not allocated, but was held in reserve for their maintenance if required.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
observed, that there was nothing to show that the children required the money. It had never been stated in the Correspondence that a portion of the pension was required to maintain the lunatic's children.
§ Motion (by leave of the House) withdrawn.