HC Deb 16 July 1851 vol 118 cc849-50

Order for Committee read.


moved that the House should go into Committee on this Bill. This Bill was read a second time, by consent, a fortnight since, in order to enable the hon. Member for St. Albans (Mr. Bell) to introduce certain amendments into it, and on the distinct understanding that the Bill was not to proceed further during the present Session. On Friday last, however, he (Mr. Wakley) asked the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department whether, if all opposition from other parties were withdrawn, the Government would allow the Bill to proceed during the present Session; and the right hon. Gentleman said that in that case they would. Although, however, the Bill was one of the smallest measures of medical reform that could be produced—almost the first brick in the fabric—it could not proceed during the present Session, he-cause he now found that there were still some objections raised against it, and he could not, therefore, urge its further progress. The Members of that House, he feared, had no taste for physic. He hoped that in the early part of the next Session this subject would be entered upon in a friendly and liberal spirit, for the House might be assured that by legislating on this subject they would confer an essential service upon the public. He thought the House would admit that it could not be otherwise than beneficial to the public, that a body of 10,000 men, highly edu- cated in the different departments of science, should be diffused through our smallest towns. A doubt had been raised whether the Pharmaceutical Society were competent to undertake the duties proposed to be imposed upon them by this Bill. Now that society had been in existence since. 1843, when it was incorporated by a Royal charter; and although he was connected with a journal which circulated through the profession, he was sure that since that society undertook the important duties allotted to it, he had never heard a single complaint with regard to the manner in which it had discharged them. The hon. Member for Oxfordshire, however, thought that evidence of these facts should be adduced before a Select Committee.


said, the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Wakley) had treated the House with some injustice when he accused them of having a very great distaste for physic; for they wished to leave open the trade in physic, which the hon. Member sought to restrict. He (Mr. Henley) viewed the Bill as dealing with one part only of a large and difficult subject; and he thought that more inquiry was necessary. The society to which reference had been made, might be well adapted for its purpose, but the House had no evidence on that point; the Bill would give the society great power; and the proper course, he thought, would be for the hon. Member for St. Albans (Mr. Bell) early next Session to move the appointment of a Committee with the view of procuring further information on the subject.


had no objection to move for a Select Committee, and proceed with the measure in that way, as soon as Parliament met next Session. This Bill was not intended to restrict the sale of medicine, or to create a monopoly. It was only intended to improve the education of persons engaged in that pursuit. Even if the Bill were passed immediately, several years must elapse before it could come into complete operation. The effect would be gradual, and would not do injustice to any one. He was anxious the Bill should not be mixed up with the question of medical reform. For sixteen years he had been watching the progress of the numerous Bills that had been brought forward for medical reform; and if his measure were mixed up with that question, it might share the same fate.

Committee put off for three months.