HL Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc493-6

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the third time, said, that a question had been raised by the noble and learned Earl (the Earl of Selborne) on the new clause which he (Lord Halsbury) proposed to move to add to the Bill. The now clause provided that when a person had been received as a lunatic in any asylum under an order of a Judge of County Courts, magistrate, or justice, without having been previously seen or examined by him, he should have a right to be taken before a Judge, magistrate, or justice. It was provided by the clause that this jurisdiction should be exercised by "any Judge, magistrate, or justice other than" the one who made the order; and his noble and learned Friend desired that the same magistrate who made the order should have the personal interview with the alleged lunatic. If that were done, it would have the effect of making the magistrate practically hear an appeal from his own order. He could not take the responsibility of advising the House to adopt such an Amendment, and would leave the decision in their Lordships' hands.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a"—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Motion agreed to; Bill read 3a accordingly.

On Question, "That the Bill do pass?"

Amendment moved, after Clause 4 add a new clause:— (1.) When a person has been received as a lunatic in an asylum hospital or licensed house or as a single patient, under an order of a judge of county courts magistrate or justice, without having been personally seen or examined by such judge magistrate or justice, the person shall (subject as herein-after mentioned) have the right to be taken before or visited by a judge magistrate or justice, other than the judge magistrate or justice under whose order he has been received, except so far as the medical superintendent of the asylum or hospital, or the medical proprietor or attendant of the house, or he medical attendant of the single patient, within twenty-four hours after his reception, in a certificate signed and sent to the Commissioners (in the Form 3a in the First Schedule), shall state that the exercise of such right would be prejudicial to the person so received. (2.) Subject to any such certificate, the superintendent or proprietor of the asylum hospital or house, or the person having charge of the single patient, shall, within twenty-four hours after reception, give to the person so received as a lunatic a notice in writing in the Form 3b. in the First Schedule, and shall ascertain whether he desires to exercise such right as aforesaid; and if he, within seven days after his reception, expresses his desire to exercise the right, such superintendent proprietor or person shall procure him to sign a notice in the Form 3c. in the First Schedule, and shall forthwith transmit it by post in a registered letter to the judge magistrate or justice, who shall thereupon arrange, as soon as conveniently may be, either to visit the person giving the notice or to have him brought before him by the superintendent proprietor or person as the judge magistrate or justice may think lit. After any such personal interview the judge magistrate or justice shall send by post to the Commissioners a report thereupon, and the Commissioners shall take such steps as may be necessary to give effect to the report. (3.) For the purposes of this section the notice shall be sent to and the jurisdiction exercised by any judge magistrate or justice, other than the judge magistrate or justice who made the order for reception, then present within the petty sessional division or borough where the person received is, who shall be in such notice named by the person desiring the interview, or if no judge magistrate or justice is so named, any justice who shall, under arrangements which shall be for that purpose from time to time made amongst themselves by the justices in such division or borough, undertake such jurisdiction: and the notice shall, in such last mentioned case, be sent to the justices clerk of such division or borough for transmission to the justice. (4) The judge magistrate or justice shall be entitled, if he desires so to do, before making his report, to see the medical certificates and any other documents upon the consideration of which the order for reception was made. (5.) If any superintendent of an asylum or hospital, or any superintendent or proprietor of a licensed house, or any person having charge of a single patient, omits to perform any duty imposed upon him by this section, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour."—(The Lord Chancellor.)


said, he did not see why the magistrate making the order should necessarily be prejudiced against the patient. He would not very willingly propose an Amendment to the clause, because they were, all of one mind as to the general object and scope of Bill. He had a very strong opinion, however, that the clause as it stood would have an effect which they did not intend it to have, and he would therefore move to amend the first sub-section by leaving out the words "any judge, magistrate, or justice other than. "He proposed to insert instead thereof, a provision that the examination of a lunatic should be made by the Judge, magistrate, or justice who made the order for reception— If the person so received as a lunatic is still within the county or place in which such Judge, magistrate, or justice has jurisdiction, and in any other ease by any Judge, magistrate, or Justice. His object was that the magistrate who had made an order for detention should be the magistrate to personally see and examine the alleged lunatic, for having had all the materials before him, he was better able to form an opinion than any magistrate would be who knew nothing of the case. There was no reason for supposing that the magistrate who made the order would be prejudiced in the matter, whereas to call in another magistrate would be making him sit as a court of appeal from the first.

Amendment moved, In the new clause to be added after Clause 4. by the Lord Chancellor, subsection (3.), lines 2 and 3, leave out ("any judge, magistrate, or justice, other than"); line 4, after ("reception") insert ("if the person so received as a lunatic is still within the county or place in which such judge, magistrate, or justice has jurisdiction; and in any other case by any judge, magistrate, or justice.")—(The Earl of Selborne.)

On Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause?" Their Lordships divided:—Contents 40; Not-Contents 22: Majority 18.

Halsbury, L. (L. Chancellor.) Milltown, E.
Northesk, E.
Cranbrook, V. (L. President.) Onslow, E.
Stanhope, E.
Cadogan, E. (L. Privy Seal.) Wharancliffe, E.
Yarborough, E.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. (L. Steward.) Cross, V.
Sidmouth, V.
Lathom, E. (L. Chamberlain.)
Ashbourne, L.
Clarendon, E. Balfour of Burley, L.
Feversham, E. Bateman, L.
Harrowby, E. Brabourne, L.
Ilchester, E. Bramwell, L.
Jeresy, E. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Leven and Melville, E.
Chelmsford. L. Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.) [Teller.]
Colchester, L.
Colville of Culross, L. Norton, L.
Ellenborough, L. Poltimore, L.
Elphinstone, L. Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)
Fermanagh, L. (E. Erne.)
Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)
Foxford, L; (E. Limerick) [Teller.]
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl) Wigan, L. (E. Crawford and Balcarres.)
Bedford, D. Foley, L.
Grimthorpe, L.
Ripon, M. Herschell, L.
Kensington, L.
Camperdown, E. Lingen, L.
Ducie, E. Lyttleton, L.
Granville, E. Romilly, L.
Innes, E. (D. Roxburghe.) Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Kimberley, E. Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)
Selborne, E. [Teller.]
Suffolk and Berkshire, E. Thring, L. [Teller.]
Thurlow, L.
Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)
Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)

Amendment disagreed to.


said, he thought it objectionable and very prejudicial to the lunatic himself, that he should be enabled to name the particular Judge or magistrate before whom he should be taken, as it would give rise occasionally to considerable inconvenience. He, therefore, proposed to amend the clause so as to dispense with the necessity of the lunatic naming the particular magistrate who should visit him, and enabling the justices of the borough or county to choose, from time to time, the magistrate or justice who should investigate the case of the alleged lunatic.


said he had no objection to the proposed Amendment.1

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to, and ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Further Amendments made.

Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.