Reporter : "laws enabling the Guardians to give thorough help and support to the afflicted have lain dormant for forty years, while charity having vainly endeavoured during that period to do the work of the law, has now (? not) undertaken. The Metropolitan Asylums' Board was in London the means of doing great good, but outside its magic circle, though the law of the relief of the afflicted remained in existence, it was not put in force" [SW 190].
The Education and Care of Idiots, Imbeciles, and Harmless Lunatics: It was at this meeting also that Sir C. Trevelyan introduced the term "feeble-minded" in a motion that "feeble-minded children ought not to be associated with adult Idiots" [SW 196]. "relief given to children of this class should not be regarded as parochial relief to their parents" [SW 197].
Voluntary bodies could not provide for the numbers involved (about 49,000 of all ages in England and Wales in 1871), and the action of the Stae was necessary. The Metropolitan Asylum Board had already established three special institutions; the counties should folow suit, combining where necessary to build asylums housing 2,000 adults and 500 jubeniles. The relief given for persons of this sort should not (and in fact did not) put their families in the status of disenfranchised paupers; but the families should contribute to their support within their ability. The State should also give support to voluntary asylums which would admit harmless lunatics from lower middle class and uppoer-artisan class families at suitable rates [M 59].