HC Deb 16 July 1941 vol 373 cc665-8
Miss Horsbrugh

I beg to move, in page 8, line 6, after "Act," to insert: not being premises required to be registered by paragraph (g) of sub-section (1) of Section one of this Act. This Amendment is necessary to make it clear that premises registered, are premises registered under the old registration and not the new registration. It is practically a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Captain Elliston

I beg to move, in page 8, line 12, to leave out "or of a registered pharmacist."

The inclusion of the words "or of a registered pharmacist" in the Bill seems to be due to a misunderstanding of the present situation. They contemplate a class of shop in which a full chemist's business is not carried on, but in which there is a pharmacy. There are some shops which, in the public interest, should not exist. A shop should either be an approved chemist's shop or not. Therefore, I move to omit these words. I trust that my right hon. Friend will meet me on this point.

Amendment agreed to.

Miss Horsbrugh

I beg to move, in page 8, line 23, after "(1)," to insert" or Subsection (2)."

This Amendment is designed to give apprentices and authorised sellers of poisons exactly the same rights as unqualified vendors in regard to the sale of herbal remedies and mineral waters, and is in the nature of a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. E. Brown

I beg to move, in page 8, line 28, after "thereof," to insert: or of a mixture the sole ingredients whereof are two or more such substances. This Amendment is consequent on our recent discussions with those who speak on behalf of the genuine herbalist. We found that there was one point of difficulty, and that was that the original Bill did not allow for two or more substances. I promised to meet them and this Amendment will, I think, show that I have understood their point.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 8, line 31, after "(1)," to insert" or Subsection (2)."—[Mr. E. Brown.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Woods (Finsbury)

There seems to be an impression that the specialist in herbalism will not be allowed to charge for prescribing. He has no objection to giving full details of what he prescribes but unless at the same time he has a shop, and sells through the ordinary channels, then he will be liable to prosecution. Some assurance is wanted that the better type of herbalist, who has built up a practice, should have an opportunity of getting remuneration other than what he receives for supplying herbs. Not having a shop, as is required by this Clause, he is afraid he will be excluded from practising. I do not think it is the intention that he should be excluded but I would like to know whether his fears are justified or not.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Cuthbert Headlam( Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North)

I have had a good many letters from people who are actually receiving benefit from certain special medicines and who are afraid that if this Bill is passed into law, they will no longer be able to get those medicines in future. I would like an assurance from the Minister that people who are having treatment of this kind can continue to get it when this Bill is passed.

Mr. E. Brown

I have no doubt about it, but perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will discuss the precise point with me later. If I see anything that ought to be put right, it will be put right, because it is not our intention at all to restrict the legitimate practice of herbalism, except in so far as it is affected by the disclosure Clause.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald (Ince)

The Amendments which have been inserted do make the Clause far more acceptable to herbalists. Have these Amendments been inserted after consultation with herbalists?

Mr. Brown

Yes, Sir, we have had long consultations in order to meet the points which have been put to me, as very many interests and people are affected by this Bill. We have no desire whatever to interfere with the genuine operations of genuine herbalists. As the Committee knows, the Ministry is well aware of the value of herbs; an expert committee has just reported on herbs as medicines and drugs and has recommended in the strongest possible terms that the collection of herbs should be encouraged as much as possible.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.