HC Deb 23 May 1842 vol 63 cc608-9
Mr. Macaulay

wished to ask a question of the right hon Baronet, the Secretary for the Home Department, respecting the report of the Poor-law Commissioners circulated amongst Members of that House on Saturday last. By that report, it appeared that there was a positive prohibition against the employment of medical gentlemen, however high in talent, who had taken his qualification at either a Scotch or an Irish university, until he had also obtained an English medical qualification. What he desired to know was, first, whether the right hon. Baronet held the law to be such as to require this prohibition; and secondly, whether, if so, he was prepared to introduce a clause in the Poor-law Amendment Bill, or by any other measure, to alter a state of things which, either for the practitioner or the patient, must be considered to be indefensible?

Sir J. Graham

said, that the order of the Poor-law Commissioners was founded upon the best legal opinion which was open to them to take, and that they had endeavoured to inform themselves on the subject in the best manner; and he believed, that while the act of 1815 remained unrepealed, it was not competent to them to employ practitioners who had not been duly qualified in conformity with the practice which held in England. To remove all doubt on this subject, he now begged to move for a return of the minutes of the Poor-law Commissioners upon the subject, which contained all the particulars of the question, and which it was desirable that the House should have. Upon the second question put to him by the right hon. Gentleman, he had to say that it was not his intention, in the Poor-law Amendment Bill, to propose any amendment of the law in this respect. He had, however, already stated, that it was his intention in the course of the present Session, if it were possible, and if not in the next Session of Parliament, to propose an alteration of the law regulating the medical practice of the United Kingdom, and the whole system of medical practice throughout the kingdom.