HC Deb 13 March 1905 vol 142 c1191

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the number of deaths which have recently occurred through accidental poisoning; whether he is aware that a locking poison bottle has been recently invented by which, at a trifling cost, accidental poisoning can be prevented; and, if so, whether he will take steps to compel distributors of carbolic acid and other virulent poisons to refrain from selling poisons except in some kind of locked bottle.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.) My attention has been drawn to several recent cases of accidental poisoning, and also to several inventions designed to minimise the risk of such accidents. Under the regulations made by the Pharmaceutical Society under Section 1 of the Pharmacy Act, 1868, and approved by the Privy Council, it is at the present time required that all liniments, embrocations, lotions, and liquid disinfectants containing poison must be sold in bottles rendered distinguishable by touch from ordinary medicine bottles, and that each such bottle must bear a label giving notice that its contents are not to be taken internally. The Lord President of the Council is of opinion that it would be undesirable to prescribe the use of any special form of bottle which might give a monopoly to the patentee, and further, that the inconvenience of a locked bottle might not improbably lead careless purchasers to transfer its contents into some ordinary vessel.