HC Deb 16 March 1885 vol 295 c1248

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been called to the following, from an article in The Lancet, viz.:— Scarcely a day passes without the record in the papers of an inquest on some poor deluded victim who had been sent to his last account from an over-weening confidence in one or other of the much-belauded patent medicines. The facility afforded for obtaining a narcotic, whether it be in the form of opium, morphia, or the deadly chloral, is a consideration which cannot be overlooked. In no other country can poisons be purchased wholesale without a strict inquiry as to the purpose for which they are required; but in England they are sold openly, and without restriction, under the guise of patent medicines; and, whether, having reference to the proposed legislation on this subject, he will cause inquiry to be made, with a view to obviating the evils arising from such a condition of things if they are shown to be as stated?


I am afraid, Sir, that, considering the very large number of Notices on this subject in both directions which have appeared in medical and other newspapers, it is quite out of my power to give an opinion on any particular observation contained in them. I do not even know when the article to which the hon. Member refers appeared, and the Question gives no date. I have already stated that the whole question has been the subject of careful inquiry, and that legislation will be proposed either in this or next Session.