HC Deb 27 March 1882 vol 268 cc4-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, in cases of suspected poisoning, when an analysis is directed to be made, he would consider whether it would not be more satisfactory that the suspected persons should have an opportunity of being represented professionally at such analysis?


Sir, I have considered this matter, and am clearly of opinion that it never would do to allow a delicate process of this kind to be conducted by a combination of persons, who might be acting in adverse interests, and thus defeat the object of the experiments, which are necessarily delicate. I quite understand the sentiment, that the persons who carry out the experiments should not be appointed by the Crown, so as to be considered parties in the prosecution. Therefore, I propose to ask the Presidents of the College of Surgeons and of the College of Physicians yearly to appoint two independent, experienced men of science to refer to in cases of this kind for the purposes of performing these experiments. That would secure what we want—namely, undisturbed action of impartial persons. In making this statement, I wish it distinctly to be understood that there is no hesitation whatever as to the entire ability and impartiality of the persons who have hitherto been employed by the Crown.