HC Deb 25 April 1843 vol 68 cc890-1
Mr. Macaulay

rose to put a question to the right hon. Baronet, the Secretary of State for the Home Department upon a very important subject, that was now in the right hon. Baronet's hands, and he did not know that the question could possibly be lodged in better—he meant the question of reform in the present state of the medical profession. He wished to ask, in the first place, whether the negotiations (as it was understood) in which the right hon. Baronet was engaged were in such a state as that a hope could be entertained, that this great question could be brought to such a termination as all might wish to bring it? The second was, whether any reasonable expectations could be entertained by the right hon. Baronet that he could introduce such an act as might pass into law this Session? The third question it would not be necessary to answer if the two previous questions were answered in the affirmative. The third question was, whether, if he felt he could not introduce a general measure on this subject this Session, he would not propose some remedy for that most pressing and crying grievance upon the medical profession, the exclusion of Scotch and Irish practitioners from practising in the union workhouses under the present law, or rather, as he would say, under a harsh construction of the present law?

Sir James Graham

was understood to say, that he had to answer the first question in the negative: but he had to state, to the right hon. Gentleman that he had been so far successful that he had no doubt on his mind that in a very short period he should be able to ask the permission of the House to bring in a bill affecting the medical profession. The second question was whether he had any hope of passing such a measure. [Mr. Macaulay: This year.] That, of course, would depend upon the reception that his proposition would meet with. He was disposed, however, to entertain the hope, and might say confident expectation, that as at present advised, he felt certain not only of bringing in such a measure, but he believed—he confidently believed — that it would pass into a law in the present Session. As to the third point, he should content himself by briefly stating that he felt that a great hardship was imposed upon practitioners of Scotland and Ireland, that by an interpretation put upon the English act, they should be debarred from practising in the union workhouses; and certainly if the measure he meant to propose should fail in obtaining the support of Parliament, it would be his endeavour to remedy that particular evil.

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