HC Deb 21 October 1908 vol 194 cc1140-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the evidence of Surgeon-Colonel Lawrie before the Royal Commission on Vivisection, with reference to a vivisection performed by Dr. Gaskell, now a member of the Royal Commission; and whether, in consequence of that evidence, he will remove or advise the removal of Dr. Gaskell from the Royal Commission, which is now engaged in considering its Report.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. The Answer to the second is that I see no grounds for taking any such action as is suggested.

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

Are we to understand that one who has taken part in a cruel experiment is to remain a member of a Commission inquiring into the cruelty or otherwise of vivisection?

[No Answer was returned.]

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the evidence before the Vivisection Commission that the object of the operation performed by Dr. Gaskell was to enable a respirable anæsthetic to be administered and regulated, he will undertake that in cases where anæsthetics are only partially administered experiments will be confined to such animals as guinea pigs and absolutely forbidden on domestic animals.


My hon. friend is, I think, under a misapprehension. In all experiments on living animals which are calculated to cause pain, except those of the nature of inoculations, it is the established practice that the animal must, during the whole of the operative procedure, be under the influence of an anæsthetic of sufficient power to prevent the animal's feeling pain. This applies to all animals, whether domestic or not.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a largo number of the medical profession are distinctly opposed to these experiments on domestic animals.


The whole question is now under consideration.