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Western Australia - Glossary Term

Feeble-Minded (1920s - 1950s)

Term commonly found on child welfare records

Feeble-minded was a term used in the twentieth century to describe people who had intellectual disabilities. The Minister for Public Health in Western Australia defined five classes of 'defectives' in 1929. The third class was feeble-minded, who were 'persons in whose case there exists mental defectiveness not amounting to imbecility, yet so pronounced that they require care, supervision and control for their own protection, or in the case of children, that they, by reason of such defectiveness, appear to be incapable of receiving proper benefit from instruction in ordinary schools' (Hansard, 17 September 1929, p.742).

Related Glossary Terms


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Bill - Mental Deficiency. Second Reading [Hansard p739-747]', in Hansard Archive 1870 to 1995, Parliament of Western Australia, 17 September 1929,$File/19290917_Assembly.pdf. p.742..

Prepared by: Debra Rosser