HC Deb 22 July 1909 vol 8 cc738-9W

asked the Chief Secretary if he has seen in the last annual report of the inspectors of asylums in Ireland that the increase of lunacy in that country since 1880 is 10,949; has the increase for the last few years been continuous; will he say what the population of Ireland was in 1880 and the then number of lunatics, and also the population of Ireland for 1908 with the number of lunatics; can he say whether there is a similar increase per head of the population of this disease in any portion of the British Dominions; and have the present Government considered whether anything can be done to cope with the increase of this almost national calamity?


I have seen the statement referred to. I am informed by the inspectors of lunatics that in 1880, when the population was estimated at 5,202,648, the number of lunatics under care in Ireland was 12,982, and that in 1908, when the estimated population was 4,371,436, the number of lunatics under care was 23,931, an increase of 10,949. The increase has been continuous, but has tended somewhat to fall off in recent years. In England the increase in the registered insane between 1880 and 1907 was 52,971. In Scotland the increase between 1880 and 1908 was 8,185. The Government; have had before them a Report dealing at length with the causes which, in the opinion of the inspectors, have contributed to swell the numbers of insane in institutions in Ireland. This Report was presented to Parliament in 1906 (Cd. 3126).