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Western Australia - Concept

Inspector General of the Insane (1904 - 1947)

From
1904
To
1947
Categories
Public Servant

Inspector General of the Insane was a position in the Medical Department, responsible for mental health hospitals and services in Western Australia from January 1904 to October 1947. During these years it was common to place children with intellectual and other disabilities in mental health institutions.

Details

The Inspectors General of the Insane were:

  • Dr Sydney HR Montgomery (1904-1916)
  • Dr JT Anderson (1916-1926)
  • Dr J. Bentley (1926-1939)
  • Dr EJT Thompson (1940-1947)

Although the Lunacy Act 1903 established the title Inspector General of the Insane appointments had been made under the Public Service Act, giving the Inspector direct access to the Minister for Health. In September 1940, the position was placed under the Lunacy Act 1903. This had the effect of making the Inspector General responsible to the Under-Secretary for Health, distancing the relationship from the Minister. Ellis, in his history of mental health services in Western Australia, says that this led to difficulties with policy and restricted mental health budgets.

Timeline

 1901 - 1903? Superintending Medical Officer of Asylums
       1904 - 1947 Inspector General of the Insane
             1947 - 1966 Inspector General of Mental Hospitals
                   1966 - 1984 Director of Mental Health Services

Related Legislation

Publications

Books

  • Ellis, A.S., Eloquent Testimony : the Story of the Mental Health Services in Western Australia, 1830-1975, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia, 1984. Please see chapters 4-7 for the life and times of the Inspectors-General; also pp.101, 105. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'West Australia [Inspector General of the Insane]', Kalgoorlie Miner, 6 January 1904, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89795274; Ellis, A.S., Eloquent Testimony : the Story of the Mental Health Services in Western Australia, 1830-1975, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia, 1984. Please see chapters 4-7 for the life and times of the Inspectors-General; also pp.101, 105..

Prepared by: Debra Rosser