Gambar halaman

meet with at the hands of the House; but | been much easier for the Commission, as because he did not feel that he had either now constituted, to meet and discharge sufficient influence with the House, or a their duties, although they too were in a sufficient command of ability, to undertake great degree increased; but the moment a measure which he knew must extend the county duties were superadded, and over the length and breadth of the it became necessary that the barristers and realm, and would introduce a new sys- medical men should be absent from their tem on principles which he was quite private practice in London for whole days convinced, if carried out judiciously, iogether in the provinces, it was perfectly would place this country at the very pin- clear, that then the proper discharge of nacle among the countries which under- the duties could only be secured by havtook to legislate for this unfortunate class ing persons altogether devoted to this of their fellow subjects. The result was, work, and no other. It was necessary, the two Bills which he had introduced ; also, to consider the progressively increasthe one to provide for pauper lunatics, ing expenses of the Commission. Observe

. and the other to render permanent the how ihose expenses were growing, as Commission, and provide rules for private shown by the Parliamentary Papers ; asylums, and for general visitation. He from which it appeared, that in the year would now explain why it was that these ending in August, 1844, they were within particular provisions existed in the Bills, a fraction of 10,0001. In that same year, and particularly the one which he should the payments to the Commissioners alone, bring under the consideration of the House who were paid according to the time emthis morning. The duties of the Comployed, had increased, as compared with missioners being so extended in point of the year 1842-3, by 9181. Then, see how surface, and so multiplied in number and many meetings of the Board took place. variety, it became absolutely necessary to In 1842 they held fifteen, in 1840 they consider the present constitution of the held twenty-four, and in 1844 they held Commission. It was quite clear that

It was quite clear that thirty-one meetings. Now, the sittings of with the Commission, as at present con. those Boards averaged at the very least stituted, they could not go on much longer four hours each, and were attended by in the discharge of duties which were eleven paid members, consisting of seven multiplying every day. In the first place, physicians and four barristers. At this then, it was absolutely necessary to have rate, they cost in 1842, 660., in 1843, very many more Board meetings, in con- 956l., and in 1844, 1,3641., thus showing sequence of the rapid increase in the bu- an increase in two years of 7041. for exsioess they had to go through. When penses of the Boards alone. On this the Boards were held, they found a greater scale it might be estimated, that in two accumulation of business than they could years' time, viz., in 1847, even if no addischarge with that attention which was ditional duties were imposed, the expenses its due. In the next place, it was equally would have arisen to 12,6401. a year ; necessary that there should be more visi- but, supposing additional duties were retations. They found that nothing was so quired, as proposed by the Bill now beeffective for the prevention of abuses as fore the House, in the same period of two successive and unexpected visitings. But years, or in 1847, the expenses would with the Commission constituted as it was, have risen to 14,8501. per annum.

Let it would be impossible that they could the House row observe the duties which to any great extent increase the number the Bill, if carried, would impose upon of their meetings. It was requisite, the Commissioners. See the enormous therefore, in order to obtain a due attend- extent of country to be travelled over, ance, that they should secure the full, and the additional number of days that entire, and undivided services of pro. must be employed in the performance of fessional men, abstracted altogether from that duty. In the first place, all workany professional pursuits or practice. The houses iu England and Wales would reaccumulation of their duties had very quire visitation, for there were lunatics in much altered the capacity of the medical the workhouses of every county, with two men and barristers 10 discharge them. So exceptions only. With a view, therefore, long as the duties were confined to the to efficiency and economy, the arrangemetropolitan districts, that was, Londonment of a permanent Commission was and seven miles round it, it would have devised, with six paid Commissioners at

[ocr errors]


salaries of 1,5001. a year each. The total altogether, and they should be rewarded annount of salaries to the Commissioners according to their services. The hon. would be 9,0001. Now, he would beg Gentleman could not have said anything the House to observe, that for this they that so completely proved the necessity of were to have the exclusive and undivided a constant permanent Commission. But services of those parties. It had been there was a new duty imposed on the observed that such a provision was not Commission by this Bill. The Commismade in the Bill; he could only say, that sioners were to have the serious, delicate, such was the intention, and he had since but indispensable duty of visiting those introduced the very strongest words which wretched creatures who were shut up in could be used, in order to show that their single houses. It was a duty, the extent exclusive and undivided attention was to of which they could not as yet form a be given to the duties of their office, and notiou of. In half an hour's walk from that they were not lo receive emolument the door of that llouse, he would underfrom any other source, with the excep- take to say that he would find a hundred tion of private property. Under these persons shut up in single houses. The circumstances it was necessary to hold Bill, provided, however, that notice should out an inducement sufficient to invite in- be given to the Commissioners in such 10 the service men of the highest talent cases, and a certificate signed. [Mr. T. and integrity. The Poor Law Commis- Duncombe: That clause I approve of sioners received 2,0001. a year, and it was more than any other in the Bill.] He proposed that 1,5001. per annum should was very happy to hear it. To execute be given to the Commissioners under this such a duty as the Commissioners would Bill. Their duties would be of a very have to perforin in visiting these houses, harassing nature. They must frequently they must surely devole their serious and be absent from home, devoting a con- undivided services, and they must be siderable part of their time to travelling proper and efficient men. The duty of over the length and breadth of the coun. visitation was one of the most burdensome try. They must necessarily be persons that could be conceived. He had on a of high character, and would be taken late occasion visited a house containing a altogether from their practice and profes- number of private and pauper lunatics, sion, devoting themselves exclusively to and having reached it soon after eleven the services of this Commission, which o'clock, the Commissioners had not finished would be of an extremely difficult and de- the performance of their duty at sevenlicate nature. As to the cost of the Com- when he was obliged to come away and mission, there would be a secretary at a leave his Colleagues behind. It was not salary of 8001. per annum, and two clerks a common service to be performed, but at a salary of 1001. each; then he esti- one of great excitement, difficulty, and mated the travelling expenses at about responsibility. It was necessary that visi2,1501., and sundries at 4301. making tations should be made repeatedly and together a total expenditure of 12,5831. unexpectedly. As the Chairman of such That was the estimated expense of the Commission, he should say, go and visit Commission. As to the provision for such and such a place ten or twelve times superannuation, taking it at the utmost, in the course of a year; and this with a and supposing the superannuation list to be permanent Commission would not increase full, the expense would only be increased the expense, but by the present system the 14,5831. But, however, putting that out Commissioners were paid upon each visiof the question, the expense of the Com- tation a guinea an hour during the whole mission for many years would be 12,5831. time they were engaged; the Bill before He would call upon the House to mark the House, however, would give a sta. how very low an estimate they had taken tionary income. At present the Comof the expense, when they considered the missioners made four hundred and four additional duties which the permanent distinct visits in one year, they travelled Commission proposed by the Bill would | 15,000 miles in the same period, they create. They had calculated upon only also attended 34 boards, they made 404 six additional board days—they ought to separate reports, and they also made 600 have at least two a week. [Mr. T. Dun- entries in the different books, some of combe : It ought to be every day.] Very which which were of great length. Upon well, then that would occupy their time the very lowest estimate, under the pre

[ocr errors]


sent Bill, they must make 560 visits, he died. It directed every injury and act travel 16,500 miles, hold 40 boards, of violence happening to a patient to be make 500 reports, and about 900 entries. recorded, and required a “case book” to But this would not be enough, and unless be kept; thereby affording additional the Commission was able to devote itself security against mismanagement, and to these duties, and multiply both the showing how far the patients had the boards and visitations, no effectual good benefit of medical treatment. It provided could be done. If the House thought against the liberation of dangerous pathose duties were to be performed-the tients. It authorized the visitors to envisitation of all the work houses, containing force a proper supply of food (in licensed 8,000 pauper lunatics--all the patients in houses) to pauper patients, who were at single houses-and, as the hon. Member present fed at the discretion of the profor Finsbury said, a board should be held prietor. It enabled the visitors to order every day—if the House thought all this duty the admission of a patient's friends to visit was to be performed, his (Lord Asbley's) him. At present they were admitted or belief was that, in a very short time, the excluded at the caprice of the person who expense of the present Commission would signed the order for the patient's confinereach 25,0001. a year. A clause was in- ment. It enabled the visitors to sanction serted in the Bill which would give a most the temporary removal of a patient (in ill stringent hold over the proper discharge health) to the seaside or elsewhere. It of the duties of the Commissioners. At enforced an immediate private return of all the end of every six months they would single patients (received for profit) and auhave to inake a return to the Lord Chan- thorized the members of a small private cellor of the number of visits which they committee to visit them if necessary. These had made, the patients whom they had returns were almost universally evaded at seen, and the miles which they had tra- present, the law rendering it unnecessary to velled. Now, he would just point out to make any return unless the patient had been the House some of the provisions of the confined for twelve months. It enabled new Bill, to show how vast an im- the Chancellor co protect the property of provement it would be on the existing lunatics against whom a Commission had law. It began by establishing a per- not issued, by a summary and inexpensive manent Commission, and thereby se process; and finally, it subjected all cured the entire services of competent workhouses, in which any lunatic was persons, and fixed the limits of expense kept, to regular visitation. Now, he now regularly increasing. It placed hos- would just show the House of what this pitals (or subscription asylums) under last duty consisted. By the last returns proper regulations, by requiring them to 10 August, 1844, just presented by the have the same orders and certificates as Poor Law Commissioners, there were necessary in licensed houses, and by 17,355 pauper lunatics and idiots chargesubjecting them to the same visitation as able in the country. Of these, there county aslyums. It prevented persons of were in county asylums 4,224, leaving weak mind from being received in asylums 13,131 unprovided for in any public in the character of boarders, in which case asylum. Of these last, there were in they had not the benefit of any visitation, licensed houses 2,942, leaving in no and were sometimes induced to execute asylum and under no supervision or care deeds affecting their property. It pro- whatever, nearly 10,000. That was the vided an additional security against the existing state of things; and surely it improper detention of pauper patients, by proved the necessity of immediate interrequiring that the person signing the order ference. The treatment which the paufor their confinement should see and per- per lunatics often received was shocking sonally examine them beforehand; and to contemplate. He knew the case of a that the medical officer who certified as wretched woman who had been rather to their insanity should see them within violent, and with regard to whom the seven days previous to their confinement. matron, taking upon herself to incarceNeither of these safeguards existed at rate the poor creature when and in what present. It compelled every person re- manner she pleased, bound her with ropes, ceiving a patient to staie lis condition and leaving her in that state, in a short (mental as well as bodily) when first ad time the rope had eaten to the very bone; in mitted, and the cause of his death when consequence of which her arm was soon after amputated. In all such places there would , of this measure, and had suspended their be a tendency to restrain and incarcerate operations. He would instance Derby, frequently. It was easy to put such poor Warwick, Worcester, Nottingham, and creatures in a strait waistcoat and get Staffor d In Sussex, the magistrates were rid of them. That case occurred five preparing to fit up an old gaol as a lunatic years ago; but three days ago he received asylum, and would no doubt do so if this a letter from a visiting magistrate, who Bill were delayed until next Session. St. said, he was happy to find ihat the Bill Peter's, at Bristol, Haverfordwest, and had been introduced, as many of these several other wretched asylums, still rewretched creatures were farmed out by ceived patients. Besides, in many places the workhouses, and kept by their rela- there was very little visitation, and in some tions. He said, that he had been a visit- actually none. If these places were visited



and subjected to efficient regulations, a great ing magistrate forty years, and a

many parties would, no doubt, be cured when “ circumstance came under my observation of a female, who, during her pregnancy, became wise become incurable lunatics. By delay,

placed under proper care, who might otherinsane; and the person under whose care the parish officers had placed hier had fastened the and want of curative process, out of 700 Ligatures so tight round her ancles (the blood curable lunatics in a year, barely one-tenth being in a sluggish state) that they mortified; would be recovered ; and he would ask the and, upon my second visit, I found that her House to estimate the misery and expense feet bad dropped off.”

of 630 lunatics being added yearly to the She died afterwards, her reason having

list of incurables. It was well known that been restored; she made no coinplaint, order for twelve months, it rarely happened

when persons had laboured under the disbut these thiogs would never have hap- that more than one-sixth could be cured. pened had she been sent to a proper The postponing of the measure until ano. asylum.” He added

ther Session would involve at least a delay “On my visit to another asylum, I found of six months, during which time, he would twenty-five lunatics crowded together in a ask the hon. Member for Finsbury to recola small yard, with only a boy, under twenty lect the number of lunatics who would be years of age, to take care of them. They were left altogether without superintending care. all bound in waistcoats or handcuffs."

He would also ask the House to consider He (Lord Ashley) had seen no less than the difficulties by which the Commissioners eighty lunatics in one yard, under the were surrounded. They were compelled, charge of a single person, in one of the in the Bill before the House, to take a midprivate asylums in London for the recep- dle course; they were bound to consider tion of pauper lunatics. He hoped, how the patient, but they were also bound to

wever, that the Bill which was now about to regard the public. The hon. Member for pass for the erection of county lunatic asy- Finsbury, with great propriety, took up lums, would gradually be the means of the cause of the patient, and called upon diminishing these enormities. It was pleas- them to take care that he was not confined ing to contrast with such places the Han- a moment longer than was absolutely neceswell and Surrey asylums. In the former sary. Other persons, however, held opinhe had seen forty-eight patients together, ions contrary to those of the hon. Gentleengaged in horticulture, and using sharp man, and called on him to make the law and dangerous instruments; and in the far less stringent; and, as he had before Surrey asylum he had seen lunatics brought said, it was necessary to take a middle to use sharp weapons, such as axes, hatch-course. He begged to thank the House ets, &c. He wanted to approximale to for the great kindness with which they had that state of things as much as he could listened to him. He could only say, that before these asylums were built, and there- he took the deepest interest in the fate of fore he wished all lunatics to be brought this unhappy class of persons. He had under immediate visitation. But if they been engaged for sixteen years in this matimposed all these necessary duties, they ter, and thought the House would do him must have a permanent Commission, and the justice to say that he was not actuated employ men who were well qualified, and by any personal motive; all he asked was, willing to give their undivided attention that some little consideration might be to this difficult work. It was very well to given to the opinions of those who, without talk of postponement; but many counties fee or reward, and whose only motive was at this moment were waiting for the passing to ameliorate the condition of the unfor•


tunate lunatic-he only asked that some and prayed the House not to legislate little consideration might be given to the blindfolded. He (Mr. Duncombe) thought opinion of such persons. It was very well it was better that nineteen insane persons for those Gentlemen to talk of delay who should go free, than that one rational knew nothing, by experience, of the hor- ' being should be shut up under the plea of rors that were hourly perpetrated ; it was insanity. He had made inquiries, and very well for persons to talk of delay who believed every word in the petition of had never seen the miseries which were Mr. Phillips to be correct. The petitioner constantly brought under his notice, and wished to be called to the barwho did not know how painful it was to administer an imperfect law. The Com- practices and workings of divers individuals

“For the purpose of explaining the malmissioners knew the law to be imperfect- desirous of placing Her Majesty's subjects in they saw the remedy—and they knew that such places of confinement, without the proper a large proportion of the evils could be and necessary steps which a British subject removed if only some little consideration ought to be entitled to, and receive protection were given to their opinions. They now from a law to guard against any innovation, applied to the House, from their own ex

or tend in any measure to deprive the subject perience, for a remedy which was within of the freedom he should properly enjoy." the reach of the Legislature. If he was He proceeded to saydefeated in his etfort to obtain the sanction of law for the Bill before the House, with

“ That he was a partner in a large firm as a out any further delay, it would be to him St. James's, in the month of March, 1838,

glass and lamp manufacturer, in Regent-street, a source of inexpressible regret; and he with his brothers, who were carrying on a implored the House, by all the statements

prosperous business. That on the 16th day of which had been laid before them, by all March, 1838, your petitioner was on his usual that they must know of their own know- rounds to the nobility, customers of the firm. ledge, to lose no time in carrying into That one of the said customers required your execution those means within their reach, petitioner to call at Her Majesty's Palace that of removing the great evils of the present morning at eleven o'clock. That your petisystem, which were not only the source of tioner did call, and the pretext thus arose for intolerable suffering to the unhappy beings lum. That withou: further entering into de

incarcerating your petitioner in a lunatic asyin whose defence he was pleading, but tails, your petitioner was, in consequence of which were a standing disgrace to this representations by his partners of his insanity enlightened kingdom and this Christian to the magistrate, Mr. White, of Queen-square land.

Police Court, given over to their care and Mr. T. Duncombe said, the Bill would custody. That your petitioner conferred with not give that guarantee and securi

to the several friends and ihe police, who advised public which the noble Lord imagined. your petitioner to bring actions against all He did not underrate the great import the Saturday, the 17th of March, 1838, for the

parties; on his again going to the Palace on ance of the measure; but at this advanced purpose of finding out the names of the parties period of the Session, and when there was who aided and abetted in his capture, he was no absolute necessity for it that he could seized at Pimlico by Leadbeater, without any understand, he thought that the Bill should cause, and neither did he intrude, or had any be postponed until the next Session of Par- intention of intruding upon any part of the liament, in order that an investigation Palace; then conveyed to Bow-street stationmight take place, not only as to the con- house, locked up all night, and at six o'clock duct of the Commissioners, but also with Sunday evening your petitioner was informed

that he was liberated, and taken to receive reference to the operation of the existing

some refreshment, by Leadbeater and an atlaws, under which great abuses did exist, torney; that without any further investigation, and would continue to exist, in spite of on the said Sunday evening your petitioner the provisions of the Bill. The noble Lord was removed in a hackney coach, closely could not tell him how any persons who guarded, to Dr. Warburton's lunatic asylum, had been unjustly confined could obtain Bethnal-green. That your petitioner was kept relief by the Bill before the House; the in close confinement until Sunday, the 9th of same medical certificates were to be given, September, 1838, a period of six months, for, and interested parties would still have the

as his partners ridiculously stated, attempting

to see ihe Queen. That during your petitionpower of imprisoning their victims under

er's incarceration all sorts of practices were the plea of lunacy. He would call the used in order to entrap your petitioner to make attention of the House to the petition of some confession to justify their conduct in Mr. Lewis Phillips, who asked for time, accusing your petitioner of insanity. That


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »