On Friday evening, July 26th, the annual dinner of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain and Ireland took place in the Whitehall Booms, Hotel Metropole, London, David Nicolson, Esq., M.D., President, in the chair.—The loyal toasts having been duly honoured, the President proposed “The Navy, Army, and Auxiliary Forces,” to which Major Macbean (in the absence of Sir Frederick Middleton) and Dr. Paul (ex-Treasurer) responded.—To the toest of “The Legal Administration,” proposed by Dr. Yellowlees, of Glasgow, Sir John Bridge first replied, followed by Kenelm Digby, Esq., and Dr. Needham.—In proposing the toast of “The Medico-Psychological Association,” the Right Hon. the Speaker of the House of Commons expressed regret that the task should have been committed to the hands of one who until recently had been unfamiliar with the objects of the Association, its work and aspirations. He had spent his life in a profession which had often been accused of regarding questions of insanity from quite an opposite direction to that from which it was regarded by the medical profession. When questions of crime and lunacy both arose in a case, the habit of the lawyer was, perhaps, first to consider that a breach of the law had been committed and to throw the burthen entirely upon the person charged of showing that he was an irresponsible person; whereas the natural tendency of a doctor, who knew the state of the patient and saw that there were some symptoms of eccentricity or other signs of mental disease about him, would rather be to stand up for the patient and throw the burthen of proving responsibility upon those who were seeking to convict him. But in the course of the last century, thanks to the exertions of gentlemen like those present, enormous steps had been taken in the right—that was in the humane—direction in the treatment of criminal lunatics. Improvement in the treatment and the condition of lunatics was an object towards which much had been done, and for which a good deal might yet be done.—In responding to the toast, the President said it was a great comfort to them that the Association was able to make such a good show of creditable and satisfactory achievements. and with regard to the future, he was glad to say they had had during their meetings illustration of the capacity of the rising members of their specialty for taking up the work that had been handed to them. The work they had done was most creditable and encouraging.—To the toast of “Kindred Societies,” proposed by Dr. Savage, reply was made by Dr. Blandford; Dr. Clouston, of Edinburgh, proposed “The Guests,” which was acknowledged by Dr. Purcell; while “The Health of the President” was drunk on the proposition of his predecessor in office, Dr. Conolly Norman.—The Reception Committee had their successful efforts to promote the comfort and convenience of the members ap reciatively acknowledged, reply being made by Dr. Hayes Newington; after which the ex-President acknowledged the toast of his health, proposed by Dr. Swain.
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