§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD SANKEY)
My Lords, I beg to move, That the Mental Treatment Rules, 1930 (Statutory Rules and Orders, 1930, No. 1083), dated December 30, 1930, and made by the Board of Control, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, under subsection (1) of Section 338 of the Lunacy Act, 1890, as extended by subsection (1) of Section 15 of the Mental Treatment Act, 1930, which were presented on the 27th day of January, 1931, be approved so far as they modify or adapt any of the provisions of the Lunacy Act, 1890.
Although these Rules are somewhat long, intricate and complicated, I do not think I should be justified in detaining your Lordships for very long in placing them before you. Section 15 of the Mental Treatment Act empowers the Board to make regulations under Section 338 of the principal Act for the purposes specified in the Third Schedule of the Mental Treatment Act. These Rules have been made and laid before both Houses of Parliament, and they came into operation on January 1 last. But their continued validity is governed by two procedures prescribed in Section 15. First of all, under the proviso of subsection (2) of that section any Rule which "modifies or adapts any enactment" requires approval by a Resolution of each House within three months from the date on which it came into operation; otherwise such Rules cease to have effect. Secondly, any other Rules remain operative unless, within twenty-one days after they have been laid on the Table of the House, an Address is presented praying that they be annulled.
In a code of Rules of the size and character of the Mental Treatment Rules, it is a matter of extreme difficulty to discriminate between those Rules or parts of Rules which modify or adapt any enactment, and those which merely apply existing enactments to the new conditions resulting from the Mental Treatment Act. The Government, therefore, decided that the proper course would be to move a Resolution in the terms on the Paper, and to ask the House to refer to the complete code of Rules which was laid upon the Table on January 27 last. This has already been done in another place. The House of Commons have passed the necessary Resolution, and the Rules now come before your Lordships.
487 It is important to observe that nearly one-half of the document consists of a reenactment of existing Rules made under the Lunacy Act, 1890, with regard to certified patients. Your Lordships will readily appreciate the advantage of a single code of Rules for all who are interested in the administration of the Lunacy and Mental Treatment Acts. I think I should tell your Lordships, as I want to save your time, what has been done in regard to these Rules. First of all, a consultation was held with all the local authorities, the medical profession and with others concerned in the administration of the Acts and Rules. In accordance with the pledges given in Parliament the Associations representing the local authorities—the County Councils' Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations—and the Mental Hospitals' Association, were taken into early consultation and the preliminary draft was circulated to them in September of last year. At the same time copies of the draft were sent to the medical superintendents of all public mental hospitals for their observations, and to the Association of Clerks and Stewards of Mental Hospitals, those being the officers on whom the task of making returns and keeping records largely falls. Secondly, the Board of Control who made the Rules furnished preliminary drafts to the British Medical Association, the Royal Medico-Psychological Association and the National Council of Mental Hygiene.
As a result a number of suggestions were received and many consultations were held with all these authorities. It was extremely gratifying to the Board of Control to find that all the Associations representative of the local authorities and the Associations of Clerks and Stewards were in substantial agreement with the proposed Rules. Many useful suggestions were made in matters of detail and nearly all of them were adopted. It is the intention of the Board, if your Lordships approve the Rules, to issue, as a Departmental publication, a separate leaflet setting out the provisions, whether in the Act or in the Rules, relating to voluntary patients. The position, therefore, is this: The Rules have had the advantage of being overhauled by all these distinguished technical and medical associations. They were passed in another place on March 16. in addition to that they 488 were published for forty days under the Rules Publication Act, 1893, and no objection has been raised to them. In those circumstances I hardly think it is necessary for me to go into details.
Part I is general and deals simply with interpretation and date of commencement. Part II contain Rules which are made pursuant to paragraph 2 of the Third Schedule of the Act, and they cover mainly administrative matters which require regulation in dealing with rate-aided patients. Part III applies to temporary patients the safeguards contemplated by paragraph 4 of the Third Schedule of the Act. Part V contains Rules based on paragraph 5 of the Third Schedule and Section 6 of the Act, and is purely administrative. Part VI is made in pursuance of paragraph 3 of the Third Schedule, and relates to visitations and inspections by the Board of Control. Part VII is Rule 60 made in pursuance of paragraph 7 of the Third Schedule of the Act; and in prescribing the evidence required on application for extension of temporary treatment, the Board have observed carefully the spirit and intention of Section 5. Part VIII deals with books and records to be kept in the various institutions, while Part IX deals with books and records to be kept in hospitals and nursing homes. Part X contains provisions which follow substantially the lines of the Rules in the previous Part, but have reference to houses where single patients are received. Part XI is merely a re-enactment of the Lunacy Rules made in 1925, and is included here in pursuance of the policy to produce a consolidated single code of all the Rules made by the Board.
All I wish to say before I sit down is that those who have to deal with these unfortunate cases will find very great advantages in these Rules. For the first time they will all be brought together in one code. They are very clearly set forth and they have had the appreciation of all the various authorities. I hope everyone will approve of them. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Mental Treatment Rules, 1930 (Statutory Rules and Orders, 1930, No. 1083), dated 30th December, 1930, and made by the Board of Control, with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, under subsection (1) of Section 338 of the Lunacy Act, 1890, as extended by sub- 489 section (1) of Section 15 of the Mental Treatment Act, 1930, which were presented on the 27th day of January, 1931, be approved so far as they modify or adapt any of the provisions of the Lunacy Act, 1890.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, I do not want to say more than one word on this subject. As I understand it, there really is very little change in the existing procedure, but the Rules have been brought up to date and modified as regards machinery. The only real innovation, so to speak, is the application of the existing principles to temporary and voluntary patients. They were introduced 490 as a new feature under the Mental Treatment Act, and it was necessary to bring up Rules and make the Rules under the Act of 1891 fit in with them. As far as I can see that is all these Rules do, and they conveniently codify the existing Rules.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I am much obliged to my noble friend for what he has said. He has stated exactly what has happened.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before five o'clock.