§ 97 Schedule 6, page 39, column 3, leave out line 45 and insert—
|"In Schedule 3, paragraphs 1 to 4, 6, 7 and 9 to 11."|
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 97—last but by no means least. This Amendment is consequential.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendinent—(Lord Wells Pestell.)
§ 2.15 p.m.
§ Lord PLATT
My Lords, first, I should like to congratulate especially the noble Lords, Lord Wells-Pestell, Lord Sandys and Lord Hunt of Fawley on the enormous 622 amount of work that has been put into this Bill. I should also like to ask a question as to whether something has been lost or whether it really was considered. When we discussed the Bill on a previous occasion, I asked why on earth the General Medical Council, which had been the General Medical Council for so many years, was now to be called the General Council—which might just as much have to do with waterways, industry, or anything else, as with medicine. I should like to know what happened to my suggestion, because I understood Lord Wells-Pestell to say that it would be considered.
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
My understanding is that it will continue to be called the General Medical Council, and that is all I can say.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Lord SANDYS
My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I hope I may take this opportunity at the conclusion of these Amendments to say a very warm message of congratulation from my noble friends on this side of the House to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell. We thank him not only for his great patience, his perseverance and his extremely long suffering throughout a continual period of investigation into certain matters of which he will be well aware during the course of the Committee stage in your Lordships' House, and at later stages throughout the discussions in the Commons.
This has been a protracted, difficult and, indeed, speedy discussion. The Bill has not been before your Lordships for many months, and I know the personal pressures which have been placed upon the noble Lord, on the Department, and on his right honourable friend the Secretary of State, whose assistance in this matter and in the convening of special meetings has been particularly valuable towards the final outcome.
§ Lord HUNT of FAWLEY
My Lords, I should not like this opportunity to pass without acknowledging how grateful I am to the Government for the generous way in which they have responded, amply, to the Amendments to the Bill which I have moved, concerning the functions of the General Medical Council in relation to medical education and overseas-qualified doctors.
623 The Bill, which follows now so closely the recommendations of the excellent report of the Merrison Committee, appears to me to be almost entirely satisfactory in its expanded form. It will, I believe, be welcomed by the medical profession in general and by the General Medical Council in particular. It should provide a sound basis for the regulation of my profession for many years to come.
I too must thank particularly the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, and Parliamentary Counsel and other members of his Department who have, I know, spent hours and hours on this Bill. With Lord Wells-Pestell I must bracket my noble friend Lord Sandys and say how grateful I have been to them both for their friendly, patient and helpful co-operation with someone, like myself, so new to the perplexities of Parliamentary procedure. I am grateful also to the noble Lords, Lord Amulree, Lord Segal, Lord Winstanley, Lord Platt, Lord Hill and many others in your Lordships' House who have given us their help and advice. In guiding the Bill through another place, the Minister of State for Health, Mr. Roland Moyle, has been quite outstanding, ably helped by Dr. Gerard Vaughan, Mr. A. J. Beith, Mr. Robert Boscawen, Dr. Alan Glyn and many others.
The President and Registrar of the General Medical Council, Sir John Richardson and Mr. Martin Draper, have been of tremendous assistance throughout, as have Dr. Elston Grey-Turner (Secretary of the British Medical Association), the BMA Council, and the executive of the Overseas Doctors' Association in the United Kingdom. I want these people and many others to know how deeply indebted we are to them all.
My Lords, with your permission, there is one last point I should like to make. People have said, both here and in another place, that the Bill is, in some ways, a good example of the value of an Upper House. It was introduced here; and, although long and professionally complicated in the extreme, it has taken up only 80 minutes of Parliamentary time on the Floor of another place. But it was carefully scrutinised first by Standing Committee D which suggested useful Amendments. In future, I hope that this House may have the privilege of helping others of our 624 Governments, when they are very busy and short of Parliamentary time, in the same kind of way.
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
My Lords, I crave your Lordships' indulgence because, as the noble and learned Lord has already pointed out to me quite properly, we are out of order. He had put the last Amendment, which I had moved, and really the proceedings should have come to a close then. But I hope your Lordships will feel that it would be rather churlish of me if I did not say something at this stage.
I want to thank the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, and the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Fawley, for what they have just said, and to acknowledge their co-operation which was quite unstinted, their help, their courtesy and their consideration, without which this Bill would not have seen its final stages in this House today.
I just do not know whether it is or is not improper—it really does not matter so far as I am concerned—but I should like to take this opportunity to say that any praise or thanks coming to me is, in a measure, quite undeserved when the help, guidance and advice I have received from a large number of very competent, so-called faceless people—officials of my department —are remembered. One does not, I think, realise until one finds oneself in the position in which I find myself, how much skill and competence is available. I should like to take this opportunity, not mentioning names, to say how grateful I personally am to them —and I know I can call to aid the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, and the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Fawley. I am grateful, my Lords,
§ Lord BOOTHBY
My Lords, on this question, I should just like to say one thing. This Bill has given a clear demonstration of the value of this House in the government of this country and I hope that nobody will attempt to fiddle about with it for many years to come.