“The War Office still cling to the view that a Criminal Lunatic Asylum is not good enough for a Bosch prisoner of war”

There was concern at the top that there might be some stigma attached to sending insane prisoners of war to Broadmoor, which normally only housed the criminally insane.

Home Office
Whitehall
SW

24th October 1916

Dear Baker

We have not yet got Treasury sanction for the use of the vacant block as a military hospital. It is really for [the] War Office to hurry up if they want it, not for us. I understood from Mr Sayer that neither you nor Dr Foulerton wish to wear uniform. I propose therefore when we get Treasury sanction and tell War Office they can get the block, to tell them also,

1. That the Secretary of State cannot ask you to supply yourselves with a uniform and assumes that they do not desire you to wear one. I have telephoned something to this effect already, but of course there seems to be more than one Department of War Office concerned and the question has to go the round!

2. That before they take possession they should send down someone to settle what clothing, crockery and cutlery will be required. Personally I should be inclined to deprecate the idea that anything marked “BCLA” is tabu. That may have been all very well at the beginning of the war, but we are long past that stage by now. If the War Office still cling to the view that a Criminal Lunatic Asylum is not good enough for a Bosch prisoner of war, I am inclined to think they should pay for it. What we offer is merely what we provide for present inmates…

I was very glad to hear from Mr Sayer that he believed all the staff at Broadmoor on whom new work will fall are most ready to do it without extra pay. He will probably have a good deal of trouble as well as you and Dr Foulerton, and it is very gratifying to find this is accepted so cheerfully.

Yours very truly,
H B Simpson

Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

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