HC Deb 11 December 1922 vol 159 cc2396-7W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has reason to believe that in some cases relatives of ex-service lunatics desire that they should be kept in local Poor Law institutions where they can be frequently visited rather than removed to Pensions Ministry institutions, which are less accessible and more expensive to reach; and, if so, can he arrange that in such cases the wishes of relatives should be carried out without casting any stigma of pauperism upon the lunatic ex-service men or throwing the whole burden upon the local ratepayers?


My hon. Friend is entirely correct in the suggestion that it is usually the desire of relatives of ex-service lunatics that they should be kept in local institutions near their homes, and some hundreds of service patients have, in fact, been transferred from the asylum to which they were taken on discharge from service to another asylum, at the cost of the Ministry, in order to meet the wishes of relatives in this respect. In every case in which the mental condition of an ex-service man is found to have been due to or worsened by his service, the patient is maintained in one of the public county or borough asylums, and not in a Poor Law institution, and the cost of his maintenance and treatment is borne wholly by my Department.

Brigadier-General SPEARS

asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been called to a resolution made on 30th September last by the Ashby-de-la-Zouche Board of Guardians protesting against the action proposed by the Ministry of Pensions in making ex-service men who have been classified as service patients pauper lunatics, and refusing to accept responsibility for the cost of their maintenance and treatment as from 1st October next on the ground that these men should continue to be cared for by the Ministry of Pensions; and if he will state, in view of this and similar resolutions by other boards of guardians, what action his Department will take for the maintenance of ex-service men classed as pauper lunatics for whom boards of guardians refuse to accept responsibility?


I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answers which I gave on the 28th and 30th November to the hon. Members for Nottingham West (Mr. Hayday) and West Bromwich (Mr. F. Roberts), and to the full statement on the whole question which I made in the Debate in this House on the 29th November.

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