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Western Australia - Publications Details

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Bill - Mental Deficiency. In Committee [Hansard p1119-1128]
Hansard Archive 1870 to 1995
Parliament of Western Australia, 23 October 1929

See pages 1119-1128 of the excerpt. 'Bill - Mental Deficiency. In Committee' is an excerpt from the digital copies of the Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) of the Legislative Assembly of the Western Australian Parliament. It continues the debate about the Mental Deficiency Bill in the Committee stage which had adjourned on 22 October 1929. The cost of keeping people in mental health institutions was discussed, as was the role of the Lunacy Department in collecting maintenance from relatives. Thomas Davy MLA found it illogical and unfair that a person could be sent to prison without the State seeking maintenance from relatives. Yet if a family member was 'afflicted with mental disease', the relatives would have to subsidise their hospitalisation. This arrangement, according to Davy, 'would astonish a savage'. Davy was also concerned about people who were 'mentally deficient' losing their liberty. On the other hand, the Minister for Health was quite clear that 'mental defectives' when left 'at large…are a menace to the community' (p.1121). Mechanisms such as the State Psychologist and the Lunacy Department were also discussed.