HC Deb 07 February 1929 vol 224 cc1970-1W

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether in deciding as to the release or detention of a criminal lunatic, the Home Office is guided solely by medical considerations or if other considerations are likewise included; and whether the opinion of the medical superintendent of the asylum is alone considered or whether that of an independent man is obtained;

(2) whether there are periodical or any examinations of criminal lunatics with a view to ascertaining if they are still of unsound mind and, if so, by whom are such examinations made; and how many, if any, criminal lunatics have during the last 10 years been discharged as cured or been transferred to some other home or institution respectively?


The Secretary of State has regard to all the circumstances. So far as medical considerations are concerned, he is guided mainly by the view of the skilled medical authorities at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum or, if the patient be in a local mental hospital, by the views of the superintendent and of his own medical advisers. All criminal lunatics are constantly under skilled medical observation, and reports on each of them are made to me, both periodically and upon occasion, by the superintendents of the asylums. As the Secretary of State has regard to all the circumstances, and not to medical considerations alone, diseharge does not depend entirely upon any single definite factor such as entire recovery or complete cure, nor does transfer from one institution to another necessarily connote cure or recovery. The figures asked for cannot therefore be given.