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Tuesday, 16 September 1958


Mr O'CONNOR (Dalley) .- 1 should like to make a few remarks supplementary to those made by the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Clarey) in regard to clause 13 (c). I admit that this is not an obligatory provision, but it gives the Minister power to act in certain circumstances. 1 should be pleased if the Minister would inform the committee of the number of persons who have been deported because they have been inmates of mental hospitals or public institutions.

In this clause, the use of the expression " mental hospitals " seems to carry with it something of a stigma. I do not know very much about the matter; I am not a psychiatrist. However, I have read that, contrary to the general belief, no trace of hereditary causes can be found with 80 per cent, of the people in mental institutions who have suffered breakdowns. It is quite possible that many of the people we are considering are mentally sound when they arrive here. However, they have a breakdown. But the fact that they have been treated in a mental hospital does not mean that they are incurable. As the honorable member for Bendigo has pointed out, many people enter these hospitals for treatment and in due time are released. They are restored1 to society and play a useful part in it. I should be pleased if the Minister would elaborate on this clause.







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