§ House in Committee (according to Order).
THE EARL OF MILLTOWN
said, he had hoard, since the second reading of the Bill, that it was no uncommon thing for qualified chemists and druggists to open branch shops, and put unqualified persons in charge of them. He thought all would agree that that constituted a very serious danger to the public, and imposed a great hardship on properly qualified assistants who had gone 329 through a course of training and passed examinations which cost time and money. This practice was distinctly in contravention of the Act of 1868; but it had been held that under that Act prosecutions could not be sustained against persona who did this, and he, therefore, begged to move the insertion of a new clause to alter that state of things.
Moved, to insert the following clause:—
It shall be unlawful for a duly-qualified keeper of an open shop for retailing, dispensing, or compounding poisons to keep open shop in more places than one unless he shall engage and employ at each branch shop a person who would himself be a duly-qualified keeper of an open shop for retailing, dispensing, or compounding poisons, and such person is bonâ fide occupied in such branch shop; provided always that each partner in a duly-qualified partnership may keep a separate open shop for retailing, dispensing, or compounding poisons. Every keeper of an open shop for retailing, dispensing, or compounding poisons acting in contravention of the preceding section shall for every such contravention be liable to pay a penalty of £5, and the said penalty may be sued for and recovered in the manner provided by the Pharmacy Act, 1852, for the recovery of penalties under that Act."—(The Earl of Milltown.)
§ LORD THRING
said, he objected that the Amendment had reference only to branch shops, and did not deal with the main shop at all, so that a man would still be able to employ unqualified assistants in the main shop. In his opinion the clause was redundant, as the case was met by the Act of 1868.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
pointed out that the Amendment dealt only with the question of vending poisons. Prescriptions might be sent to a druggist for preparation which contained no poisons at all, but which, if badly prepared, might cause very serious consequences.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HALSBURY)
said, he should support the Amendment. There were, it was said, cases in which a qualified druggist owned several shops and left them in charge of unqualified persons while attending to only one himself, and the object of the Amendment was to put a stop to this and provide that any person in charge of a branch shop should also be duly qualified.
§ LORD HERSCHELL
pointed out that the Amendment only dealt with branch shops, and there was nothing in it to prevent the proprietor absenting himself entirely from his chief establish- 330 ment and leaving it in charge of some unqualified person.
THE EARL OF MILLTOWN
said, the noble and learned Lord might bring forward an Amendment on Report if he considered it necessary to carry out his view. It was his own desire to protect, as far as possible, the public from the danger of drugs being dispensed by other than duly qualified persons. At the same time it was not advisable to overweight the Bill, as that might increase the opposition to be encountered in the other House.
§ Amendment agreed to: the Report thereof to be received on Friday next; and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 34.)