§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly:
§ [The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
§ Detention of certain persons of unsound mind in the Royal Naval Hospital at Great Yarmouth.
1.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, in any case where—
(a) it is made to appear to the Admiralty by the separate certificates of two registered medical practitioners that any such person as is mentioned in the next succeeding subsection is of unsound mind and a proper person to be taken charge of and detained as a patient under care and treatment; or
LORD SANDHURST had given notice, at the end of subsection (1), to insert as a new paragraph:
(c) The certificates mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section shall be in Form 8 of the Second Schedule to the Lunacy Act, 1890, with the substitution of the words 'person of unsound mind 'for the word lunatic,' and with the omission of the words 'separately From any other prac-
titioner' and of the reference to an urgency order.
My noble friend Lord Sandhurst is unfortunately confined to bed and he has asked me at very short notice to move the Amendments that stand in his name. I must ask for your Lordships' consideration, for the subject is one with which I am not at all conversant. I have had the advantage of a brief conversation with the noble Lord in charge of the Bill, and I understand that, with regard to my noble friend's first Amendment, there are some difficulties about, accepting it. Perhaps it would be simpler if the noble Lord were to state them.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AIR (LORD AMULREE)
The point arising on the Amendment suggested is that it makes the form statutory and if at any subsequent time it should be necessary to alter the form, it would be necessary to introduce an amending Bill to give effect to that alteration. For sixty or seventy years the Admiralty have acted upon the forms so far as they are applicable contained in the Lunacy Acts, and they propose to continue this practice. It seems to the Admiralty that the better course would be to allow that practice to continue so that in the event of forms being altered this can be done without having to apply to Parliament.
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 to 4 agreed to.
§ Clause 5:
§ Voluntary patients.
§ 5.—(1) The Admiralty may, on such terms as to payment and otherwise as they may think fit, receive into Yarmouth Hospital as a voluntary patient any such person as is mentioned in subsection (2) of Section one of this Act, who is suffering from any mental illness and who makes a written application to be admitted to that hospital for treatment for that illness.
§ LORD SANDHURST had given Notice, in subsection (1), to leave out "suffering from any mental illness and who makes a written application to be admitted to that hospital for treatment for that illness," and to insert "desirous of voluntarily submitting himself to treatment for mental illness and who makes 271 a written application for the purpose to the officer in charge of the hospital."
With regard to Lord Sandhurst's next Amendment, in subsection (1), I have had the advantage of conversation with the noble Lord, and I understand that he is prepared to accept the sense of the Amendment that stands in my noble friend's name, with a slight alteration of wording so that the words to be inserted will read:—desirous of voluntarily submitting himself to treatment for mental illness and who makes a written application for the purpose to the Admiralty.
Page 6, line 13, leave out from ("is") to the end of subsection (1) and insert the said new words.—(Viscount Mersey.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 6:
§ Deductions from pay or pension in certain
§ 6. There may be made from any pay or pension payable to any person detained in Yarmouth Hospital in pursuance of the provisions of Section one of this Act, not being a person the cost of whose maintenance is defrayed in whole or in part by the Minister of Pensions out of moneys provided by Parliament, such deductions in respect of the cost of his maintenance as the Admiralty may determine, and, subject to any deduction so made, that pay or pension, or such part thereof as the Admiralty think fit, may be paid for or towards the maintenance of his wife and relatives.
§ VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME, who had given Notice to substitute "relatives or dependents" for "and relatives," said: As the word "relatives" has a somewhat restricted meaning, I put this Amendment upon the Paper to cover dependents who are not relatives. The noble and learned Lord has been good enough to ask me to move it in another form—namely, to leave out "for or towards the maintenance of his wife and relatives," and to insert "or applied in their discretion to or for the benefit of his wife, children or other dependents."
Page 6, line 41, leave out from ("paid") to the end of line 42 and insert ("or applied in their discretion to or for the benefit of his wife, children or other dependents"). —(Viscount Bertie of Theme.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 7 and 8 agreed to.
LORD SANDHURST had given Notice to insert as a new clause after Clause 8:—
.Subsections (2) and (3) of Section three hundred and seventeen of the Lunacy Act, 1890 (dealing with misstatements) shall apply to any medical or other certificate and to any statement or report of bodily or mental condition given or made under this Act.''
This is a new clause to allow persons who may have been wronged to bring action on a bona fide cause of complaint. The noble Lord in charge of the Bill has given me another wording which meets the case. With your Lordships' permission, I will move the Amendment in that form. The new clause will read:—
Misstatements in certificates, etc.
.Subsections (2) and (3) of Section three hundred and seventeen of the Lunacy Act, 1890 (which relates to the penalty for snaking wilful misstatements in certificates and other documents) shall apply in relation to any medical or other certificate, or any statement or report of bodily or mental condition, given or made under this Act, with the substitution of the words Board of Control for the word Commissioners.' "—(Viscount Mersey.)
Page 8, line 5, at end insert the said new clause.—(Viscount Mersey.)
§ LORD AMULREE
I accept the Amendment in this new form. Perhaps I might just call your Lordships' attention to the effect of the Amendment. Subsections (2) and (3) of Section 317 of the Lunacy Act, 1890, provide as follows:—(2) Any person who makes a wilful misstatement of any material fact in any medical or other certificate, or in any statement or report of bodily or mental condition under this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.(3) A prosecution for a misdemeanour under this section shall not take place except by order of the Commissioners, or by the direction of the Attorney-General or the Director of Public Prosecutions.This Amendment adopts that wording with the substitution of the words "Board of Control" for the word "Commissioners."
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Remaining clause agreed to.
§ House adjourned at half past four o'clock.