HC Deb 04 July 1878 vol 241 cc759-60

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether he can inform the House what course he proposes to take with reference to the Medical Act Amendment; whether, considering the great differences of opinion which exist on the question of medical reform, and the late period of the Session at which we have now arrived, the various Medical Bills standing for Second Reading for Thursday 11th July, he will consent to refer the whole question to a Select Committee, in accordance with the petitions of various medical bodies; and, if so, whether he will take an early opportunity of moving for the Committee, so that the inquiry may be actually started this Session, and, having obtained the full attention of the medical profession during the Autumn, may be resumed early next Session under the most favourable circumstances?


Sir, the whole question of medical education and reform has been thoroughly discussed by the many and various deputations visiting the Lord President and myself; and, in our opinion, although there is a certain discrepancy of opinion among the various interested bodies upon minor details, the main question presents no difficulties that may not be satisfactorily settled when discussed. I may add that the objects of all the Bills now before Parliament on the subject are the same and can be covered by the Government Bill. The only question not yet ripe for legislation is that of a re-construction of the Medical Council with a view to the direct representation of the general body of practitioners. This matter does require further consideration, but need not in any way prevent the passing of the Government Act this Session. We must, therefore, decline to entertain the proposal of referring our proposals to a Select Committee, for we feel sure that if time will permit of their discussion we may reckon upon the assistance of the House in helping us in carrying reforms so earnestly desired by the great majority of the Medical Profession.