§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the interpretation put by the Government inspector of vivisection operations on the effect of the Act when he states, in his preface to the last Returns, that the certificates dispensing with the use of anæsthetics make it obligatory on the holder not to use them even should he desire to do so and when he himself believes that the experiment could be carried on under anæsthetics; and whether he will take this interpretation of the Act by the Government inspector under his consideration?
§ MR. COLLINGS
The Secretary of State for the Home Department thinks that the honourable Member has entirely misconceived the meaning of the statement to which he refers. Perhaps I may explain the apparent difficulty. The Act lays down that experiments such as those in question can only be performed without anæsthetics by a person holding a certain certificate. If the experiment is to be performed under, or partly under, anæsthetics, the certificate required is quite different. The operator referred to possessed the former, but not the latter, certificate. Therefore, by using anésthetics, in his anxiety to avoid causing even the slightest pain to the animal, he committed a slight technical irregularity, which the inspector, in accordance with the usual practice, noticed in his annual Report.