HC Deb 05 July 1905 vol 148 cc1136-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the abuses, arising from the unrestricted sale of ether in the county of Derry and to the inadequacy of the restrictions on the sale of laudanum in Ireland generally; whether he is aware that the want of more stringent regulations in regard to the sale of these drugs has been responsible recently for a murder in Derry county, and the cause of a suicide in the city of Belfast; and whether, in view of the facts, he will take steps to mitigate the possibility of further abuses in connection with the sale of these drugs.


Both ether and laudanum are scheduled as poisons-under the Act of 1870. There is some reason to believe that ether is improperly sold in certain districts, and the police will endeavour to bring offenders to justice, but I have no information that the provisions of the law as regards laudanum are evaded. The case in Derry is pending for trial, and I abstain from making any statement in respect to it; and in the Belfast case, the coroner's jury found that death was due to an accidental overdose of chloroform.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that ether is sold in half pint bottles at a lower price than whisky?


I am not.

SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cornwall, Camborne)

Does ether do more harm than whisky?


I have no information beyond that which the hon. Baronet is likely to possess.