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An Australian Scandal


The Lancet of last year gave details of a great wrong committed in Melbourne, a wrong whereby our respected colleague, Dr. Beattie Smith, has been grossly injured. The result is that he is no longer in the service of the State of Victoria, but after twenty years of notable work in the asylums of that country, within a short step of reaching the highest place, he is cast adrift without pension or compensation. The political record of Victoria is debased still further by this last example of shameless misgovernment. Dr. Beattie Smith has had to give place to an assistant medical officer, who, if the allegations against him reported in the Lancet(1) are to be trusted, was utterly unfit for the post. The “Minister” at the head of the department, however, acted in spite of the Inspector's protest. The callous indecency of the incident, as related by the Australian correspondent of the Lancet, passes belief, were it not that it is of a piece with what has gone before. We trust that the Council of the Association will carefully consider the whole question raised by this act of Victorian maladministration, for it not only affects one of our members, but vitally touches the interests of the insane in those important asylums at the Antipodes.

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(1) See “Notes and News.”

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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An Australian Scandal

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