On Friday, 2nd November, a deputation of asylum superintendents, members of district boards, and managers of Royal Asylums, waited on the Lord Advocate at his chambers, Edinburgh, with the view of bringing under the notice of his Lordship an omission in the Scotch lunacy law, there being no provisions at present for granting pensions to old and deserving officers in the Scotch district and parochial asylums, as in England and Ireland. The deputation consisted of Professor Balfour, Professor Maclagan, Dr. Fraser, ex-Bailie Miller, Mr. D. Scott Moncrieff, W.S., Mr. Cowan, of Beeslack, Dr. Cameron, Lochgilphead; Dr. Jamieson, Aberdeen; Dr. Anderson, Rosewell; Dr. Grierson, Melrose; Dr. Wallace, Greenock; Dr. Makintosh, Murthly; Dr. Rutherford, Lenzie; Dr. Ireland, Larbert; Dr. Clouston, Morningside; Dr. Rorie, Dundee; Dr. Howden, Montrose, &c. The deputation were introduced by Professor Maclagan, who strongly supported the views of the deputation. Dr. Mackintosh, addressing his Lordship, said—The reasons which have caused the medical and other officers of the public asylums of Scotland to come before you are, I think, fairly set forth in the petition which was placed in your Lordship's hands some months ago. I need not, therefore, refer to them in detail, but would only draw your attention to the anomalous (and at the same time, disadvantageous) conditions in which such officials are placed when contrasted with their brethren in England and Ireland. Most of us had hoped that the matter would, ere this, have been taken up by the General Board of Lunacy for Scotland, but the Board (who received a deputation last February in the most courteous manner) has no intention of moving in this or any other legislation at present. Moreover, the Commissioners thought that the best course was that now adopted—via., to bring the subject before you ourselves. The service which we have the honour to represent is as much a public service as the army and navy, or as the civil and parochial services, and perhaps it is not exceeded by any of them in the increasing attention which is necessary, or by the harassing nature of the duties. It therefore seems the more reasonable (besides being a simple act of justice) to place the service on a footing in regard to superannuation allowances similar to that occupied by the public asylums of England and Ireland. In urging upon your Lordship the great need for as speedy a solution of the question as possible, we do so in the knowledge that several special amendments of a similar nature have been made. Moreover, we are satisfied that the insertion of such a clause as that indicated in the petition as an amendment into the Act, will be an important day in the history of such institutions, both as regards the efficiency and stability of the staff, and the comfort of the inmates. Mr. Cowan, of Beeslack, as a member of a district lunacy board, also urged the injustice and impolicy of the present law. The Lord Advocate said that he would give the subject his most favourable consideration. It seemed a very proper matter to have been brought before him, the only question being when he could get an opportunity of introducing a clause to remedy the present defect.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.