HC Deb 13 May 1847 vol 92 cc789-91

rose to move— That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the Registration of legally qualified Practitioners in Medicine and Surgery; and into the Laws and Charters relating to the practice of Medicine and Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland; and to report the Evidence, with their opinion thereon, to the House. At that late hour he would not detain the House by entering into the subject beyond stating that the qualified members of the profession wore desirous that a law should be passed which might enable them to be distinguished from quacks and impostors. There were at present so many laws in existence with reference to the profession, and so many powers were exercised by the various colleges, that it was most desirable that a law should be enacted for the purpose of registering duly qualified medical practitioners; but the subject was involved in so many difficulties, that it had not been found possible to lay down any rule or plan which should govern the House with reference to any enactment. It had, however, been suggested—and he believed the suggestion met the concurrence of Her Majesty's Ministers—that the governing bodies connected with the profession should be brought together before a Committee of that House; that they should have an opportunity of expressing their views, and of stating their objections to the plan of registration which had been proposed; and it was exceedingly desirable, both for the profession and for the public, that some measure, founded upon the information obtained by the Committee, should be adopted. He believed that the inquiry would occupy but a very short time; for the corporations and the medical practitioners generally had already formed their opinions on the subject: they would merely have to state those opinions before the Committee; and he hoped that, as the result of the opinions thus expressed, some well-devised measure might be adopted which would be satisfactory alike to the profession and the public. The hon. Member concluded by making his Motion.


observed, that, although he did not think the objections which had been urged against many parts of the Bill of the hon. Member for Finsbury ought to prevail, he was convinced, if that measure had been pressed, satisfactory legislation on the subject during the present Session would have been hopeless. He considered that the hon. Gentleman was taking the more judicious course in asking for the appointment of a Committee, before whom the various conflicting opinions which existed on this question might be expressed; and he believed that such an inquiry would tend to lead to satisfactory results. He was willing to accede to the Motion, on the understanding that the hon. Member for Finsbury would not proceed with his Bill until after the Committee had made their report.

Motion agreed to.