§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ Moved, "That the House do now resolve itself into Committee."—(The Lord Chancellor).
§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE
said, that it had been his duty last year to 1137 pay great attention to this Bill. It was unnecessary to remind their Lordships of the great services rendered by the late Lord Shaftesbury in connection with this subject. Lord Shaftesbury's life had been an illustrious one from beginning to end, and his memory was not likely soon to pass away. Although that noble Lord was no longer among them, he hoped the views which he had expressed on this subject would still have weight with their Lordships. There were two points in the Bill to which he wished specially to call attention. The first was the initial treatment of the lunatic, especially of the curable lunatic. Experience had abundantly shown that a very large proportion of lunatics were curable, and it was most important at the early stages not to offer impediments to the efficient treatment of the patient. It was for this reason that Lord Shaftesbury was exceedingly reluctant to acquiesce in the securities which he had himself thought necessary against abuse of the Lunacy Law, and even in any form of application to a magistrate. So strongly did the late noble Lord feel on the question of introducing the magistrate's interference that he sent in, for that reason only, his resignation of the office of Lunacy Commissioner. That resignation he was induced for the time to withdraw, but without waiving the objection which he entertained to that part of the Bill. He (the Earl of Selborne), on his own part, had desired to meet that objection by introducing into that part of the Bill every reasonable safeguard against the evils which Lord Shaftesbury apprehended; and he could not now willingly agree to any diminution of those safeguards. There was an Amendment on the Paper which proposed that it should be the primâ facie duty of the magistrate to see the lunatic, so that every lunatic would practically be in the position of one so found by inquisition. As the Bill stood the magistrate could, if he thought proper, examine the lunatic; but no duty to do so was cast upon him. He greatly feared that the Amendment would lead to those delays which it was so desirable to avoid, and which might often be injurious to the patient. Where the magistrate was a stipendiary or a County Court Judge the delay might be serious. Lord Shaftesbury's evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons in 1138 1877 was to the effect that most persons were extremely indisposed to come to the conclusion that their relatives were lunatics; and, even when they did come to that conclusion, after calling in medical advice, they were liable to be deterred by the fear of publicity from taking with promptitude proper measures. If the Amendment were accepted this indisposition to act would be encouraged, especially as there would be a greater tendency to publicity in the proceedings. All unnecessary publicity was earnestly to be deprecated. The other question to which he desired now to call attention was that of private asylums. This was a point of great importance to the public, and also one in which largo private interests were concerned. He thought that, on this subject, there would be much danger in going too fast or too far. The late Lord Shaftesbury gave evidence about it before the Committee of the House of Commons in 1877. Being asked as to the advisability of placing everybody under public care, Lord Shaftesbury said that he saw great advantage in having public asylums as the basis of the system. At the same time, he said he should be sorry to see an enactment which prohibited licensed houses altogether, as he believed there were a great many persons who would always prefer to send their relatives to licensed houses rather than public asylums. Lord Shaftesbury's idea was that if public asylums were established as the basis of the lunacy system, all the inferior licensed houses would be eliminated and the better sort only would remain. These latter he then expressed himself to be desirous to retain; and to the merits of some of them he bore very emphatic testimony; saying particularly of that of Dr. Newington, at Ticehurst, that its discontinuance would be a great public loss. With those opinions he concurred, and he trusted that his noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack would reconsider those Amendments of which he had given Notice, which aimed at the early suppression of existing licensed houses. Apart from the points urged by Lord Shaftesbury in opposition to the abolition of all these establishments, it might be all very well if they had institutions tried and approved to take their place. There would for an indefinite, and probably for a long time, be nothing of the kind. They would 1139 only have the large public asylums; and as there were scarcely any of these establishments with fewer than 2,000 patients, it was, at least, a serious question whether they were not far too large to satisfactorily deal with the patients now in them. The late Lord Shaftesbury had given it as his decided opinion that 300 patients were all that one medical superintendent could properly attend to. In these great public establishments, as now constituted, much more power than was desirable was necessarily in the hands of attendants and servants, who, if they had not the motive of profit, might have other motives—such as that of their own ease—to abuse it, and had not the same motive for tenderness towards the patients which would generally actuate the proprietors of well-managed licensed houses. These great establishments were hardly fit for any but chronic patients. With respect to the present licensed houses, it was proposed, by his noble and learned Friend's Amendment, that the licences should continue during the lives of the present holders only. When that life was gone, however many patients there were in the asylum, it must be closed. That would be a great hardship, both on the patients and their friends, and on the families of those who had carried on these asylums. He believed that private asylums were, at the present time, as necessary as public asylums; because, while the great public asylums were the best suited for the care of patients who could not be cured, private licensed houses were much more suitable for those who could be. He hoped that their Lordships would not assent to the proposal to abolish existing private asylums as fast as the lives of the present proprietors fell in, without awarding compensation. The proprietors of private lunatic asylums were aware that under the existing law their licences would not be renewed in the event of their establishments not being carried on in a way which satisfied the Commissioners. But, subject to that condition, they had actually been invited by law to invest their fortunes in these asylums; and, therefore, it would be most unjust to deprive them of the right of transferring their interest to others for a pecuniary consideration unless they were to be compensated for the loss that they would thereby sustain. 1140 The result of the legislation now proposed would be to convert a permanent into a mere life interest. With this exception, he was entirely of the opinion of the Lord Chancellor, that it was most desirable to put an end to the pecuniary interest of any person in keeping any other individual in confinement. The process of substituting public asylums for private ones should be gradual, and no hasty or rash experiment in that direction ought to be tried. Much required to be done to make in those public asylums such arrangements as would be indispensable to enable them to provide, in a proper and satisfactory manner, for the treatment and comfort of that class of patients who were now accommodated in licensed houses. The Bill gave power for those arrangements to be made; and it must depend upon their practical success whether, in the result, they would be fit altogether to supply the wants now met by the licensed houses, or not. It was going quite far enough to say, as he had himself proposed last year, that the number of licensed houses should not, in the meantime, be increased.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL)
said, he could assure the noble and learned Earl who had just cat down, and with whom he agreed upon many points, that no unjust or rash experiments in the direction he had indicated would be entered upon. He confessed, however, that he was somewhat more impressed by the evil of the system under which it was possible for a person to be improperly incarcerated as a lunatic for the direct pecuniary interest of another than the noble and learned Earl appeared to be. He was inclined to think that in attempting to effect any real reform in our Lunacy Laws the first thing was to get rid of such a pecuniary interest. When we had established a system under which it would be impossible to detain a man in confinement in a lunatic asylum after he had become sane, we might well afford to get rid of some of the restrictions and difficulties which now existed in the way of obtaining the confinement of those who were actually lunatics. It must not be forgotten how much the visitor of the lunatic asylum was dependent upon the honesty and the good faith of the proprietor of the establishment. At the same time, he was quite ready to admit 1141 that it was impossible to put an end to the existing system suddenly. The only difference between himself and the noble and learned Earl upon that point was one of time. It was a remarkable fact that out of the innumerable letters which he had received upon the subject the only one that complained of the proposal to extinguish the private lunatic asylums had been sent by those pecuniarily interested in their maintenance. He quite agreed that great weight should be given to the opinions of the late Lord Shaftesbury upon this question; but he was not sure that it would be possible to abolish those ayslums which that noble Lord desired to see extinguished without putting an end to many of those which he desired should be permitted to exist. He thought, further, that it was quite possible that the noble Lord who had presided over the Commission so long, and had rendered such good services, might, perhaps, have had a tendency to think that in the case of private asylums they could be secured against anything wrong being done if they were only visited from time to time by the Commissioners or their agents. Even some of the persons employed by the Commissioners were not themselves satisfied that that was a sufficient safeguard. He had desired, therefore, to introduce into the Bill provisions which would lead to the ultimate extinction of private asylums; but he was not wedded to the particular form of those provisions. If it was thought that they went too far, he was content that such a limitation should be put on them as might be deemed desirable. All he was very anxious for was that they should endeavour to provide, as soon as well might be, for the ultimate extinction of those asylums for which the proprietors had a pecuniary interest in retaining the patients. He had prepared an Amendment that would enable the Commissioners, in regard to all private asylums, to transfer the licence in the case of death or resignation of the existing proprietor for a certain number of years. That would give time to enable accommodation to be obtained for patients elsewhere before the asylums ceased to exist; and, perhaps, a period of three years would be sufficient for the purpose. He mentioned that altogether apart from any claim to compensation. 1142 Then there was the case of persons who had expended considerable sums upon asylums for the reception of patients. It had been urged strongly—and he felt the force of the appeal—that in the case of those asylums considerable loss might be incurred from the difficulty of turning them to other purposes. He could not help thinking that many of those asylums would find their way into the hands of public authorities, and that well-managed private asylums would become well-managed public asylums. But he would suggest that it might be sufficient in the case of asylums where money had been expended, and where, consequently, loss would occur through their ceasing to exist, that a power should be given to continue those asylums, and to transfer them to other fit persons for a certain number of years. He could not admit, however, that there was a vested interest in a man to keep a lunatic asylum by himself and his heirs for ever. That was rather going beyond what one was bound to recognize in vested interests. In regard to the alternative of compensation, there would be considerable difficulty in determining the rate of compensation, and out of what fund it should come. Then, as to the case of private patients they might have in the case of a single patient the same danger in respect to undue detention which they had in regard to paying patients in private asylums; and, therefore, they required for a single patient the same protection as was applicable to all other cases. He should be quite willing to allow private patients, who, as a rule, were well-to-do persons, to be detained by order of a Judge in Lunacy to be obtained in Chambers. He could not go the whole length with his noble and learned Friend with respect to the case of a single patient; but he was ready to make it more easy than the Bill, as it stood, did to continue the care of a single patient under the charge of a medical man. In regard to interference with vested interests, he was only following in the footsteps of his noble and learned Friend because in the Bill of last year there was a provision that at the end of five years no pauper lunatics should be received in any licensed house.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he had received the same representation in respect to pauper lunatics as in respect to other lunatics. If he had erred, he had erred in company with his noble and learned Friend; and he certainly did not wish to interfere with private interests beyond what was reasonably demanded by the public interests. The licence from year to year was not a licence to the house, but to the individual to keep patients in the house. He entirely agreed with his noble and learned Friend as to the expediency of securing promptitude of treatment for lunatic patients. Then, if they were to have the examination before a magistrate or a County Court Judge, he wanted that examination to be a reality, and not a sham; and he had a considerable fear that a magistrate might say that the certificate was all in order, that there was an end of the matter, and that he could do nothing more. He should consider it extremely unfortunate if such a result ensued. But he agreed with his noble and learned Friend that there were many instances in which it was very undesirable that a magistrate should be compelled to see or should see a patient. He wanted the magistrate to have it as one of his duties to consider whether the documents were enough, or whether he really ought not to see the patient or other person; and probably the clause of the Bill might be so modified as to effect that object. He would only be too happy to receive any suggestions which their Lordships might be good enough to make for the improvement of the measure. So far as the ultimate extinction of private asylums was concerned, whatever modifications their Lordships might think just and expedient he would be glad to carefully consider, and if possible assent to.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBROOK
said, it seemed to him that this question of pecuniary interest was pressed somewhat too far, as medical men were actuated by other motives, at least as strong, acting in another direction. There might be cases in other professions where the desire of lucre prevailed; but they were the exceptions, and not the rule, in those honourable occupations. In his opinion the relatives of a lunatic had, or ought to have, an enormous responsibility in respect not only of his care, but also of his cure—a responsibility which was just 1144 as great as that of parents in the care of children who were dependent upon them. By this Bill, however, the danger seemed to be that the State was taking out of the hands of the parents and other relatives the responsibility which ought properly to devolve upon them for the care of the lunatic. Were these persons to have no choice as to the place in which they should put their relatives? Were they to hand them over to the custody of the State, and to deprive themselves altogether of any charge which they naturally owed to their relatives? It seemed to him to be a new doctrine that these helpless creatures, who were dependent upon relatives, should be deprived of the choice of a place where they were to be detained, especially when they had property of their own, or their relations were able and bound to maintain them. It was well known that there was a good deal more disinclination among persons to speak of diseases of the mind than there was to speak of ailments affecting the body. There was a certain sense of what might be called shame, or reticence, with respect to ailments affecting the mind. People did not like it to be known that there was any deficiency in this respect; but yet by this Bill they were going to provide that there should be no place of resort for lunatics that was not public in its character, where no step could be taken without public inquiry and public inspection. If the State was to have this entire control of everyone who was weak in intellect or dangerous to himself or others, notwithstanding the competency of his relatives to keep him in their own charge, he wished to know why it was provided by a clause of the Bill that the Secretary of State was not to call upon the State to build asylums for the maintenance of patients, but to compel the county to provide the means without, so far as he could see, any means being provided to recoup them for the expense? If the State was going to undertake this responsibility, it seemed just that the State should meet the expense. He could name lunatic asylums where patients received an amount of care almost amounting to luxury, and it would be inflicting the greatest possible injury to society if these places were to be put an end to. In the neighbourhood of some of these asylums there were as many as from 200 to 300 1145 persons employed in connection with them; and if this measure was carried out as it at present stood these persons might be dismissed from their employment, thereby inflicting a large amount of hardship. Not only would they affect the position of the lunatics, but a great deal of injury would be caused to a body of persons who would not be fully compensated for the wrong they suffered. He did not think that the remedies proposed in regard to private asylums went far enough in the way of compensation or of protection, nor was adequate provision made in case any of them were brought to an end. Neither was it necessary for the lunatics to be placed in the charge of the State, and the responsibility taken away from their relatives; but if the State insisted upon doing so it ought to bear the expense.
§ LORD GRIMTHORPE
said, he wished to refer their Lordships to the Report of the Committee of the House of Commons in 1877–8 on this subject, besides the evidence in it of Lord Shaftesbury which his noble and learned Friend opposite had quoted. They reported that the few complaints made against private asylums had been satisfactorily answered; that there had been a great improvement in them; and that the jealousy with which the treatment of lunatics was watched at the present day was a great security against any recurrence of the horrible cruelties practised in former times. The evidence was taken nine years ago; but had anything occurred since that time to call for such legislation as this? Were their Lordships, on theoretical grounds, to say that they disbelieved the summary of the evidence taken at great length by that Committee? All the sentimental and imaginative reasons existed as much then as they did now; but the Committee of that day said there was no occasion to do anything of the kind now suggested. Property of any kind was never taken from individuals by the State except on grounds of public justice or public necessity. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack said that the licences of private asylums were only during good behaviour. Yes; but, as the Bill stood, they would be terminated by wants entirely independent of good behaviour. In cases where houses of this kind had been in the 1146 hands of persons for a long series of years, and on which large sums of money had been expended, it seemed to him to be a strange proposition that this property should be confiscated by the State, without the least pretence of evidence of any necessity for so doing, and in the face of such evidence and such a Report as he had quoted. Mention had been made of the large number of letters received regarding lunatic asylums, of which not one was of anything more than bare opinion. He had himself received a letter from an old lady, who was now a voluntary boarder in a well-known private lunatic asylum. Although she had been cured she preferred to remain there, because she had no nicer place to live in. She received more home comforts for her money there than she could get anywhere else; and she protested most strongly against being turned out, because if that were done she would have to betake herself to some lonely lodgings and be in danger of a relapse. She saw her doctor every day, and was very much attached to him. This was one instance out of several cases within his own knowledge. He used to go and visit a clergyman every year at Buxton, who was an inmate of a lunatic asylum. This gentleman was just in that mental condition in which it might be said that for half-an-hour he was quite sane, and in the succeeding half-hour just the reverse. He took an interest in everything that was going on around him, and in all the news of his family, and talked rationally about it; and always said that he was very comfortable. He read the newspapers. If they were to turn this gentleman out he would protest just as strongly as in the other case. He asked, therefore, why they should embark on a policy destroying all those interests in private asylums, which had been in some families for generations, whenever the present proprietor happened to die, and turning all the patients into the streets, or into some huge county institution where they would not be half so comfortable, or so well attended to? Perhaps some noble Lords had the case of Mrs. Weldon in their minds while considering this matter. But Mrs. Weldon's was no case against private lunatic asylums rather than public ones. Her complaint was that she had been sent somewhere; that some people, 1147 for a good or a bad reason, wished to get her out of the way. Another recent trial about a man named Hillman actually was about sending him to a public asylum without proper examination by Justices. As far as he had read, there was not a single charge of misconduct against any private lunatic asylum. That being so, it was not at all a proper thing to ruin above half-a-million's worth of property, now or 15 years hence, when the improvements that were continually going on might have made private asylums even better than they were now, when no charge was made against them. If it were considered desirable, let there be another inquiry, to be followed, if necessary, by further legislation; but there was plenty for this Bill to do without burdening it with clauses for which at present there did not seem to be sufficient justification.
THE BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH
said, that circumstances had led to his having some acquaintance with the management of more than one private lunatic asylum; and he wished to say a word or two in the interests, not of the owners or managers, but of the public and of the patients. He quite agreed with the observations of the last speaker. By a private asylum he understood one not only under private management, but one in which individuals could have privacy as regarded the time and manner of their admission, without the risk of their being exposed to the contemptuous gaze of the public. He had more than once met in society persons who had been a short time inmates of a private lunatic asylum; but if they had been inmates of a public asylum, and they had been exposed to publicity, the fact of that publicity would have been to them a cause of lifelong suffering. It seemed to be important, in the interests of humanity, that there should not be a needless publication of infirmities which many—rightly or wrongly — considered a disgrace to their families. The desire to obtain publicity might involve the danger of inflicting injury; and the question was whether it was necessary to go so far in trying to prevent abuse. Another disadvantage in the abolition of private asylums was the loss of individualizing care. In small asylums an amount of attention could be given to individual 1148 cases which was not possible in large asylums, where patients had to be dealt with more in masses. The diminution of this individual treatment would be a loss to the cause of science as regarded the method of dealing with the insane. It was said that practitioners might keep people too long in the asylums; but there was also the danger of practitioners being too anxious to get patients out too soon. When a hospital was crowded there was a natural anxiety for vacant beds, and the same motive might operate less favourably in the management of large public asylums if it led to individual cases being dealt with in a perfunctory way. Again, if poor and rich patients were treated together there might be a danger that rich patients might receive more care and attention than the poor. For these reasons he felt hesitation in adopting as a fixed principle that we were, sooner or later, to abolish private asylums. A Justice of the Peace might be a good judge of a poacher; but it by no means followed that he would be an equally good judge of a lunatic; and it certainly seemed desirable that a Justice of the Peace should be assisted by a medical expert in exercising the discretion which the Bill would cast upon him.
§ LORD ASHBOURNE
said, that the Bill was a valuable one; but, unless some modification were made in it with respect to private lunatic asylums, the Bill might be jeopardized. The Bill must be looked at not only from the standpoint of those who were directly interested in such asylums, but also from the standpoint of rich and solvent lunatics, and also from the standpoint of the ratepayers, who were asked to provide, at the public expense, habitations for those who had been housed in private asylums, and who had been so housed in a way which commended itself to the lunatics themselves, when they were capable of exercising a choice, and in other cases to their families and friends. There might have been abuses, and it was well to legislate against their recurrence; but was it necessary to say that private asylums must be got rid of altogether? It must be possible to devise machinery that would prevent abuse. It was not at all clear that it would be agreeable to the relatives and friends of the insane, who had to decide for them where they should be sent, that they should in every case be 1149 deprived of the chance of sending them to private asylums. Was there likely to be any benefit derived if there was to be no private enterprize in the matter? If private asylums were abolished, either lunatics would not be sent anywhere, but stay at home; or they would be sent to places for the reception of single patients; or they would be sent to public institutions partly inhabited by pauper lunatics; or, again, they might be sent altogether out of the jurisdiction to one of the numerous foreign establishments. There was another important consideration which had not been dealt with. Was it reasonable to impose additional burdens on the already over-laden taxpayer to provide accommodation for those who could afford to provide for themselves? He would be glad to know what were the intentions of the Government with respect to Ireland? He hoped it was either intended to apply the Bill to Ireland or such parts of it as would be desirable, or that a Bill was being prepared for Ireland in the Irish Office.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
said, he was willing to admit that the Bill was bristled with difficulties; but he regretted very much that the objections raised in this debate, which were objections of principle, had not been raised on the second reading of the Bill.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL)
said, that he had omitted to state that he had consulted with the noble Earl (Earl Spencer) who dealt with Irish questions, and with the Irish Law Officers, and they did not think it practicable to extend the Bill to Ireland; but the Irish Office would make provision for Ireland in this matter.
§ Motion agreed to: House in Committee accordingly.
§ Clauses 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 4 (Urgency Orders).
THE EARL OF MILLTOWN
said, he proposed to amend the 2nd rule, which provided that no person should be received under an urgency order unless the medical practitioner who signed the certificate had personally examined the patient not more than three days previously to the reception of such person. He considered the time too long, and would move the substitution of 24 hours.
§ Amendment moved, in page 6, line 22, leave out ("three clear days") and insert ("twenty-four hours.") — (The Earl of Milltown.)
§ Amendment amended, and agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he had done his best to meet the views suggested on the second reading as to the proteetion which should be given to those issuing certificates under the Bill. Undoubtedly the fear of responsibility would lead, without such protection, many persons to refrain from giving such certificates when their doing so was in the highest degree desirable, and when it would be extremely beneficial to the patients themselves. Such persons ought to be freed from responsibility, if they acted in good faith and with reasonable care. Frequently many of the actions were brought upon absolutely frivolous grounds, and the medical men were, consequently, put to considerable expense and annoyance in defending them. He, therefore, proposed to amend the clause by giving summary power to stay actions which were brought against medical men for having given such certificates where it could be shown that there was no ground for the allegation that they had acted with want of reasonable care and of good faith. He thought that such a provision would satisfy medical practitioners, who had been alarmed by the costly proceedings which had been taken against some of them in recent years.
§ Amendment moved, in page 7, after Section 4, insert the following new section:—
§ (Protection as to person signing orders and certificates.)
§ "(1.) A person who before the commencement of this Act has signed or done any act with a view to sign an order for the reception of a person as a lunatic, or a medical certificate that a person is of unsound mind, and a person who in the manner required by this Act presents a petition for any such order, or sign or does any act with a view to sign an urgency order, or any such medical certificate as aforesaid, shall not be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings if such person has acted in good faith and with reasonable care.
§ "(2.) If any proceedings are taken against any person for signing or doing any act with a 1151 view to sign any such order or certificate, or presenting any such petition as in the preceding sub-section mentioned, on the ground that such person did not act in good faith or with reasonable care, such proceedings may, upon summary application to a judge of the High Court, be stayed if the judge is satisfied that there is no reasonable ground for alleging want of good faith or reasonable care.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE
said, the cases of which they had heard so much lately and other circumstances had created a deal of apprehension in the minds of persons issuing certificates; and there appeared to be a grave fear that, unless adequate protection was afforded, considerable difficulty would be experienced in getting the necessary certificates. He had, therefore, much pleasure in supporting the Amendment, which, he trusted, would tend to allay the alarm which had been created in the minds of medical practitioners.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clauses 5 to 25, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 26 (Amendments as to single patients).
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that the clause, coupled with Clauses 43 and 44, raised very important questions, as to which much had been said that night; and he did not think they could usefully discuss them at the present moment. He admitted that considerable modifications would have to be made in that part of the Bill; and he was most anxious, if possible, to hit upon some such modification as they were all likely to agree to. Therefore he proposed to postpone all the clauses that were of a controversial nature until a later date, and to proceed now only with those clauses which were not of a controversial character.
§ Clause postponed accordingly.
§ Clauses 27 to 33, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 34 (Institutions for idiots and imbeciles); and Clause 35 (Licensed houses for idiots).
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that as these clauses dealt with idiotcy and imbeciles he proposed to strike them out of the Bill, and keep them quite apart from the subject of lunacy. He would introduce another measure, embodying the provisions relating to idiotcy and imbeciles.
§ Clauses struck out accordingly.
§ Clauses 36 to 42, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clauses 43 and 44 postponed.
§ Clauses 45 to 69, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 70 (Abuse of female lunatic).
THE EARL OF MILLTOWN
proposed an Amendment, to make it felony for a man to carnally know an insane person.
In page 41, line 2, after ("patient,") insert ("he shall be guilty of felony, and shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be kept in penal servitude for life, or for any period not less than five years, or to be imprisoned for any period not exceeding two years with or without hard labour; and if any such person shall attempt to have carnal knowledge of, or be guilty of any indecent assault or other indecent behaviour upon or towards any such female patient.")—(The Earl of Milltown.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he approved the object of the Amendment; but he thought the case was provided for by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and he must ask for time to look into the matter.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ Schedule agreed to.
§ The Report of the Amendments to be received To-morrow; and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 37.)
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Eight o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Ten o'clock.