The Asylum News 1911


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VOL. XV. No. 11. November 15th 1911. Price 1d., Post Free, 1 d.




Asylum Officers Bill

In reply to an enquiry by Mr Neild, who asked the Prime Minister whether it was the intention of the Government to press forward with a view to passing this session the Asylum Officers (Employment, Pensions, and Superannuation) Bill, the Prime Minister said that there was no reasonable prospect of the Bill being passed into law during the present session.

Higher Rates For Women In Scheme of Private Pensions

In reply to inquiries, it may be well to explain that the reason why the amount of premium charged to women is in excess of that payable by men of corresponding ages is that the former are likely to enjoy a larger number of pension payments than the latter: in other words, the expectation of life after the pensionable age is greater in the case of women than of men. Consequently, to secure corresponding pensions the rate for female lives is necessarily higher than that for male lives from a business point of view.

Care Of The Feeble Minded

Dr Chapple asked the President of the Local Government Board if his attention had been drawn to the resolution of the National Association for the Feeble Minded urging the Government to pass a Bill making the permanent segregation of the feeble-minded compulsory; and whether in the interest of these defectives themselves, for the sake of sufferers still unborn, and for the relief of the community from the ever increasing burden of the taxation paid by the fit for the support of the unfit, he would bring in a Bill to give effect to this resolution.

Mr Hicks-Beach also addressed a question on the same subject to the Prime Minister.

Mr Asquith: I have every hope that legislation dealing with this question will be undertaken next session.


The first International Eugenic Congress is to be held at the University  of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912 under the Presidency of Major Leonard Darwin, and organized by the Eugenics Education Society.

As the congress is International, it is proper that the subjects submitted for consideration should be of wide importance and permanent interest. It is proposed to group the papers into the following four sections:-


The Bearing of Eugenics of Biological Research

Facts of Heredity ¡V Physiological aspects. Heredity. Variations, their nature and causation. Race Mixture.


The Bearing Upon Eugenics of Sociological And Historical Research.

Historical evidence with regard to changes in racial characters. Birth Rate and Death Rate Statistics. Effects of medical and surgical treatment in encouraging unfitness.


The Bearing Upon Eugenics of Legislation And Social Customs.

Marriage Laws and Customs. Taxation. Economic Conditions. Insurance. Trades Unionism.


Consideration Of The Practical Applications of Eugenic Principles.

Prevention of the propagation of the unfit by segregation and sterilization. Voluntary restriction of the propagation of the unsound. The encouragement of the propagation of the fit. Promulgation of the Eugenic Ideal. The place of Eugenics in Educational Systems.


The Organizing Committee reserves to itself the privilege of determining the order and nature of the proceedings of each day.

The subscription payable by members is one pound or 25 francs.

All communications should be addressed to the Hon. Secretary, Eugenics Education Society, 6YorkBuildings, Adelphi,London.


The Meaning and Object of Eugenics.

Eugenics¨ is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally. It is hoped by the means of this Congress, to make more widely known the results of the investigations of those factors which are making for racial improvement or decay; to discuss to what extent existing knowledge warrants legislative action; and to organize the co-operation of existing societies and workers by the formation of an International Committee or some other means.


A small Exhibition will be arranged of Charts, Diagrams, Pedigrees and any objects bearing on human heredity. Investigators having in their possession such materials which they are willing to lend are requested to communicate with the Secretary of the Exhibition, The Eugenics Education Society6 York Buildings, Adelphi London, W.C.


The subjects of recreations and amusements for the staff of Asylums has always been of the greatest importance in the working of these institutions. Not only do they add to the general contentment and happiness of the staff, but they also promote good feeling among it’s members. This cannot fail to show itself in increased efficiency in the performance of their duties. In another column under the heading of  “Staff Recreations¡¨, we publish an interesting account of one of the modern forms of the game of whist. Whist is essentially a game which can be played for it’s own sake, for the intellectual enjoyment which it is capable of affording without any such artificial interest as a money stake. This is an important consideration as far as concerns the average Asylum worker. Now that a recreation and amusement column has been commenced, we hope to receive further contributions or suggestions on the subject, and we will be glad to hear what is being done for the staff in these matters in the various Asylums.



It has lately come to the knowledge of Dr Shuttleworth that certain erroneous impressions are current with regard to some points in his evidence. He has already dealt with the question of limitation of hours in our September issue, and he is surprised to find that it has been represented that in mentioning 70 hours as the maximum likely to be at all acceptable he suggested that the 14 days annual holiday should be discontinued. He thinks it desirable therefore that our readers should have before them the text of his evidence on the subject which is given in the following extract.


You would wish for a statutory maximum to be fixed by Parliament with power to the Select Committee to arrange anything they choose?  Yes that seems to be a reasonable way of meeting the case.

Do you mean 70 hours including meal times or excluding them? – Excluding them.



And holidays?  Yes

Holidays are to be excluded. Yes I mean the annual holiday, no the weekly holiday.

I mean the annual fortnight?  yes the annual fortnight.


You do not wish to take that into account?  I do not; but I think that the day or the day and a half a week which at present is given in London establishments should be taken into account.

But supposing Parliament fixed a maximum 70 hours per week and made no provision as to annual leave, might there not be some risk of the annual leave being cut down be the Visiting Committee to compensate?  It might be so.


And Sunday leave where it is given, would that be counted?  No Sunday leave is such an uncertain thing in Asylum service that I think it would have to be treated in the same way as ordinary leave during the week.

It would be included in the 70 hours?  Yes

Questions and answers given viva voce are sometimes apt to become involved but those who carefully read the above extract will have no difficulty arriving at the meaning. The witness advocated the exclusion of the annual holiday ( which should not be interfered with) from the computation of the average number of hours worked per week; that is to say, with a fortnight¡¦s annual holiday the whole number of hours worked per annum would be 50 x 70 i.e.,3,500 hours, and he did not wish the hours off duty during the two annual holiday weeks to be taken into the calculation. On the other hand, the day and a half weekly, would have to be taken account of in making the calculation.

Then with regard to retirement after 25 years  service, the following is the text of Dr Shuttleworth’s evidence.


Now Clause 2. In your bill of 1909, as introduced into the House of Commons, what was the proposal: the right accrued at the age of 50 and after 15 years service. That was the original proposition, which was taken from the old Lunacy Act 1890.

Do you attach importance to the 25 years?  I think in the case of female officers of the Asylum it is important.

Not in the case of male attendants?  I think it would be very acceptable to the men, but I think it is very much more specially necessary for the women.

Would you leave the age of retirement at 55; are you satisfied with that in the case of male attendants? ¡V I think they would be very much better satisfied to serve longer hours if they had a chance of retiring at 50.

But you think the main importance in reference to that is in the case of female staff? ¡V Yes

Have you anything else to say on Clause 2.?  In the memorandum I drew up, of which I sent you a copy, I have laid stress upon the fact that it has been suggested by one of our constituent Asylums that the best amendment of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the principal Act would be to retain the present conditions of age and service, and add after the word, ¨old¨ an alternative qualification,  or shall have completed 25 years service irrespective of age¨. That would be combining the present enactment with what was proposed.

We will note that suggestion.

By reference to page 113 of our October issue it will be seen that our Executive Committee are now in favour of a new clause enabling male as well as female officers to retire on pension after 25 years¡¦ service, if not less than 50 years of age in the case of males.


At a meeting of the Parliamentary Sub Committee of the A.W.A. on the 25th October, the above Bill was further considered in view of communications which hd been received from Local Secretaries and others since the last meeting.

Attention had been drawn by members at several Asylums to the fact that although in the schedule proposed at the meeting of the Select Committee on July 28th a provision appears for ¡§ an allowance in money of a specified amount to be made by the visiting Committee for meals not taken in the Asylum¡¨ no such provision appears in the Bill as amended. It was pointed out that in consequence of the Bill increasing the amount of leave in order to limit the number of hours of employment hardship would be caused in many cases if there were no provision for money allowances in lieu of rations for those who lived at a distance from the Asylum. It was resolved that the Hon. Secretary be asked to point out the omission to Mr Roberts, MP and to state the reasons for such provision being made. On the suggestion of Mr Morgans it was resolved that it be recommended that the following paragraph be added to the first schedule:- The scheme shall provide for an allowance in money of a specified amount being made by the Visiting Committee in respect of board on whole days spent away from the Asylum¡¨. It was pointed out that the money payment in respect of single meals would be attended with considerable administrative difficulties.

From three English Asylums as well as from the Irish Division, representations had been made that owing to the low rate of wages it was highly desirable that first-class pensions should be calculated upon the basis of one fortieth of salaries and emoluments instead of one fiftieth as at present. The Parliamentary Committee, whilst sympathizing with this aspiration, doubted the practicability of obtaining a general concession in this form, but thought that Visiting Committees of Asylums where wages were low might more liberally use existing powers of adding years in computing pensions.

From another Asylum the need of a better definition of ¡§established officers and servants¡¨ was referred to, but this matter has already been considered at the previous meeting of the Parliamentary Committee. It was also urged that too much power should not be given to Local Authorities to super-cede the discretion of Visiting Committees in matters of classification. To meet these difficulties Mr Morgan proposed the following alterations of Clause 10ƒ¼Sub-section 1 to stand as at present ¡V in substitution for sub-section 2, insert the following :-

Where an Asylum belongs to two or more Local Authorities and either of such Local Authorities has withheld it¡¦s consent to the classification of established officers and servants made by a Visiting Committee, the Visiting Committee shall report the matter to the Commissioners in Lunacy, and if the Commissioners approve the classification made by the Visiting Committee the consent of the Local Authority shall not be required.

Any person who may feel aggrieved by reason of his not being treated as an established officer or servant or as to his classification for the purpose of superannuation, may appeal to the Commissioners in Lunacy whose decision shall be final.

Any dispute arising under this Act as to whether a Nurse or Attendant is one whose primary duty is the care or charge of patients within the meaning of this Act shall be determined by the Commissioners in Lunacy and their decision shall be final.

From an English Asylum a question had been received as to whether the limitation of hours would extend to others than ordinary Attendants and Nurses, that is to the sub officers. The Committee considered that under clauses 1 and 10 all nurses and attendants whether ordinary nurses or sub-officers whose primary duty is the care and charge of patients, would be included under such limitation.

To meet the case of certain Asylums where meals are taken by the staff in rooms adjoining the wards it was resolved to recommend the deletion in paragraph 3 of schedule 1. of the words¡¨ same room as that of the patients¡¨ and substitute ¡§wards¡¨.

From a Scottish Asylum it was urged that service in lunatic wards under District Lunacy Boards should be reckoned for pension. The Committee felt that this would open the question of the service of attendants in lunatic wards of workhouses in England and Ireland being reckoned for pension, and hesitated to make any recommendation, though they thought that the attention of Scottish M.P.¡¦s should be called to the matter.



At a general meeting of our Association, the members expressed their disapproval of the recommendations of the Select Committee in the House of Commons re the pension scheme, it being the opinion that 20 years should be sufficient for females to qualify for pension, and that the male staff were badly treated in not being included in the service limit. Hon. Secretaries were directed to write to the local M.P.s in connection with the matter.


The Rev. William Henry Bradford (L.C.A.Claybury) has been invested chaplain of the ¡§RoyalJubilee Lodge, No 72, of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.¡¨ The original foundation of this interesting and ancient Lodge is on the Roll of Atholl Grand Lodge, date A.D. 1759. Mr Bradford is a strong advocate for a Lodge for Asylum Officers.



We are sorry to have to record an old and respected member of our staff, the late Miss Kate McCarthy, who for many years was senior charge nurse in this institution. Miss McCarthy received her well earned pension some time ago. Last week she underwent an operation in one of the city hospitals. We tender our deepest sympathy to her sisters in their sad bereavement.

We also tender our deepest sympathy to two of our members. Charge Nurse M. Fitzgerald on the death of her father, and to nurse E.J. Downey on the death of her brother.

We deplore to have to record a very serious accident which befell a member of our Association, Attendant Dan Sullivan, who, whilst in the discharge of his duty, was kicked in the face by a patient and is confined to hospital, but is progressing favourably under the skillful treatment of the medical staff. We sympathize with his wife and family and hope he will soon be able to resume duty.

The members of our Association tender their heartiest congratulations to Mr Reynolds (House Steward) on his recovery from a very serious illness, and hope to have him in his usual good form on duty soon again.

J.J. Kehoe

N.Murphy Hon. Secs.


The first in this institution to come under the Superannuation Act is Mr David Ross, whose health has for some time been unsatisfactory. Mr Ross has served in all 21 years as an attendant, 14 of which were passed at Kirklands, and seven in his native country Ireland, for which he has now left. On August 9th he was presented with a purse of sovereigns subscribed for by the male and female staff, the presentation being made in a neat speech by Mr Appleby. Mr Ross suitably replied. Speeches were also made by Messrs. Connolly, Field, Watson, Fairbairn, and Hendrie, the last named replying on behalf of the nurses. A quiet but enjoyable evening was spent. During his period of service at Kirklands Mr Ross¡¦s kindly and sociable nature gained the regard and esteem of the entire staff, and he and his wife carry with them the best wishes of all who knew them, and the earnest hope that they may be long spared to enjoy a well earned pension.

Arthur Rae, Local Hon. Sec. A.W.A.


The winter entertainments for the patients have commenced, and on Wednesday October 25th, a variety entertainment, under the auspices of our locum tenens, Dr Aubry, assisted by members of the staff; and considering the limited time at their disposal for rehearsals was very good and greatly amused the patients. Each of those who took part did their best to make the thing go, and if it did not come up to the expectation of the critics it at least caused any amount of fun to the patients. Several of the songs were worthy of commendation.

I am sorry to report the loss of one annual fixture, that is the Annual Staff Ball. Most members of the staff will hear with regret that this will not again figure as an annual fixture. For many years some of us have looked forward to our annual ball with a great amount of pleasure, some months before conjecturing upon what date it would be held and looking forward to inviting our friends ¡V the only night during the 365 when this is admissible. Alas, the gentleman who tots up the accounts has decreed that henceforth we must not have it. Reluctantly we have to obey, and to be deprived of the one and only free evening¡¦s pleasure during the year.

E. West, Local Hon. Sec.



On the evening of November 3rd an interesting presentation took place at the Acute Hospital, when Mr Carley was presented with a beautiful photograph of the members Cricket Club. The photograph, enclosed in an oaken frame, bore the following inscription:- Presented to Mr A.E.Carly as a mark of esteem by the W.R. Asylum Cricket Club. Wakefield, November 3rd, 1911. The Re. D.D. Waters kindly occupied the chair, his references respecting cricket disclosing a keen interest in matters pertaining to the summer game. Mr J. Wilkinson made the presentation, and in a complimentary speech expressed by personal testimony his appreciation of the high qualifications possessed by Mr Carley in captaining the team which position he has held for a period of 34 years. Other speeches in terms of eulogy were given by other members of the club. Mr Carly replied, and in a reminiscent speech gave some details of the progress of the club since the year 1877, concluding by making a suitable acknowledgement of the gift.

V. Warcup, Local Hon. Sec


The Harvest Festival at the Kesteven County Asylum was held on the evening of Tuesday October 10th, when the service was taken by the Rev. Mr Thomas, Curate of Quarrington, who preached from the text,  Give us this day our daily bread. There was a very strong choir on this occasion, and the usual musical portion was augmented by lady and gentlemen musicians from Sleaford. The anthum sung was from psalm 126,  “The Lord hath done great things,¨ the solo portion being taken by our Matron, Mrs Williams. The church was prettily decorated with corn, vegetables, fruit, flowers, moss, etc.; some of the flowers were contributed by Earl Brownlow, of Belton, the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Major General Willson, of Raucby Hall, and other friends.

On Friday, October 13th, the officers and staff of the Asylum treated some of the patients to a harvest supper, dance and free and easy in the large recreation hall (by permission of Dr Ewan). Messrs. Tyler (violin) and Benstead (piano), of Sleaford (who on this occasion volunteered their services, played music for nine dances; they also played selections while supper was being served. Misses Mansfield and Moxon played selections on the piano; Mrs Holmes, Mrs Priestly, and Misses Olive Readman and Pollard, and Messrs. J.H. Baldock and Casbon sang; while recitations were given by Miss Baines and Mr Pyewell. Mr R.J. Layton (violin) and Nurse Fisher (piano) played a musical duet , Il Travatore.¨ Miss Mansfield assisted at the piano as accompanist.

The weekly dances for the winter season commenced on October 18th, when Messrs. Tyler and Benstead played the musiv for the dances; songs were given by Nurse Booth, Mrs Freeman and Nurse Creasey; and were continued on October 25th, when Nurse Page played for the dances. Songs were given by nurses Chamberlain and Spencer, and Mrs Williams. A whist drive was held on the night of Friday, October 20th.

L. Creasey, Local Hon. Sec.


Harvest Festival Sunday 8th October, was the day upon which we observed this annual festival, and we believe it was truly a day of gladness and thanksgiving. Our beautiful Chapel was decorated tastefully with fruits and flowers in abundance. Our choir was at it¡¦s best in the singing of special harvest anthems, as well as in leading the congregation in the other musical portions of the services. The anthem in the morning was ¡§Great and Marvellous are Thy Works, and in the evening  I will Feed My Flock both being the compositions of Caleb Simper. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. W.B. Lindesay, M.A. L.L.D., whose lucid, sympathetic and cheering discourse was listened to with close attention and manifest appreciation by the patients, attendants and visitors who formed the congregation.

On hospital Saturday, 14th October, 1911, the annual collection on behalf of the Hospital Saturday Fund was made as usual by means of three boxes, in which were received the offerings of nurses, attendants and outside staff respectively. The result showed a total of 1 pound 3 shillings and 4 pence of which sum the nurses box contained 14 shillings.


Presentation of Long Service Medal

At a meeting of the Asylum Visitors on October 23rd, the Chairman Mr Chadwick formally presented Attendant William Jones, on behalf of the Asylum Workers Association, with a long service medal. The Chairman explained that two medals were given each year by the above named Association for long and meritorious service, and he thought it was not only a credit to the recipient but also to the Asylum that he should have gained this medal. During the 42 years that Mr Jones acted as Attendant at the Asylum, he had not only given satisfaction to the whole of the officers, but also to the patients and latterly, since he had been in charge of the private wards, he had given entire satisfaction to the friends of the patients in these wards. This was saying a great deal for Mr Jones, as the position of an Asylum Attendant was most trying and critical. In spite of the evidence brought forward by the House of Commons that it was difficult to get good Asylum Attendants, they had a man who had done duty for the last forty two years faithfully and well. He had great pleasure in presenting the medal, and wishing Mr Jones long life and happiness to wear it.  Mr Jones returned thanks in a few appropriate remarks, and was given a very cordial reception by every member of the Committee present.- Denbighshire Free Press.


New Church Of England Chaplain.

On Sunday, October 22nd, the new Church of England Chaplain, the Rev. W.S.Probert, M.A. who has also received the preferment of the living of Talgarth in this Parish, commenced duties at the Asylum. At the afternoon service he preached his first sermon. Selecting his discourse from Philipians, 3rd chapter, 8th verse ¡§Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord¡¨ etc., Mr Probert in a sermon that at once revealed the characteristic of a learned and eloquent preacher, outlined the life of St Paul, and dwelt most interestingly on the features of the voluntary sacrifice of St Paul of his wealth, health, reputation, and even his liberty, to follow Jesus; and maintained that just as Jesus in those days never lost sight of individuals ¡V he never lost sight of St John, St Peter, St James, and Mary Magdalane- so today he never lost sight of individuals who strove to serve him. His subsequent sermons have too, been indicative of modern thought, and highly instructive. Mr Probert has already manifested a keen interest in the choir, and has also been a frequent visitor to the wards, where he has already become very popular with staff and inmates, who wish him a very pleasant time in his new career. The late Chaplain the Rev.D.E. Davies, having been appointed vicar of another parish in Breconshire, resigned the Asylum Chaplaincy on his new appointment. G.B.J.


The first of a series of whist drives arranged for the winter months by the female staff was held on the 2nd November in their new recreation room, and proved a very great success. A good number of the male staff accepted the invitation to attend. The invitation was also sent to the medical staff and accepted. We had 18 tables and all arrangements went off without a hitch. The number of games on the card was 24, which were finished off at about 11.15, the winners proving to be nurses Naughton and Maslin, and Mr Bruce Dyke and Attendant L. Green. The joys of the evening were considerable added to when at 10 o¡¦clock light refreshments were served by the messroom staff.


The members of the crocket club have enjoyed a most successful season, having played 29 matches, of which they won 16, drew 9, and lost 4. The team entered the Exeter and District cricket league, and after a very keen struggle managed to head the table and secure the handsome challenge shield, which now adorns the entrance hall. A dinner was accordingly held to celebrate the achievement, at which Dr Davis, Medical Superintendent, and Hon. Captain of the team, was the guest, and the shield was presented to him, his keenness and interest in the game having been a great help to the team. The dinner also served another purpose, 38 members of the outside staff being present in order to celebrate their recent recognition by the Visiting Committee as established officers, and their being placed in Class 2 of the pension list. One of the staff Mr L Aggett, was presented during the evening with a case of pipes and a tobacco pouch, as a small recognition of his strenuous efforts in brining about this happy result. Hearty voices of thanks were also accorded to the Visiting Committee, and to Dr Davis for his valuable and unstinted aid. A musical programme brought to a close a most enjoyable evening.


Asylum Cricket Club Dinner.

The annual dinner in connection with the Menston Asylum Cricket Club took place at the Hare & Hounds Hotel. About twenty members and supporters of the club sat down to an excellent dinner, catered for by the host and hostess, Mr and Mrs Padgett. Afterwards a ¡§smoker¡¨ took place, at which the captain of the club, Mr. J.A. Hodgson, presided. The usual toasts of ¡§The King,¡¨ ¡§The Cricket Club,: and the ¡§Host and Hostess¡¨ were proposed by Messr. J.A. Hodgson, W.H. Swift and A. Crowther respectively. The prizes to those players whose performances on the field this season merited them were presented by Mr W.H. Swift as follows:-

Batting: 1, Mr J. Lamb; 2, Mr E. Hey. Bowling: 1, Mr E. Hey, 2, Mr W. Wheatley. Fielding: Mr J. Lamb. During the evening an interesting little ceremony took place, Mr Alfred Hill, a prominent member of the team, being presented with a pipe and tobacco pouch by the members, on the occasion of his recent marriage. The following artistes assisted in making the evening the success that it was:- Messrs. F. Lee, J. Fox, J.W. Holt, W. Wheatley, A. Dawson, A. Yeadon, and G. Blackburn. Mr G. F. Fox was an able accompanist.