§ 82. Colonel WOODCOCK
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the recent action of the General Medical Council in striking off the medical register one of its members for what is described as infamous conduct in a professional respect; whether he is aware that the General Medical Council is now composed wholly of medical members; and whether, seeing that the statute does not require that the General Medical Council should be composed exclusively of medical men, he will in nominating members of the council take steps to add members representing the public?
The answer to the first and second questions is in the 2511 affirmative, except that the practitioner to whom I understand my hon. and gallant Friend to refer was not a member of the General Medical Council. The answer to the third question is that members of the council other than those representing certain bodies specified in the Acts are nominated by His Majesty with the advice of his Privy Council. The Minister departmentally responsible is the Lord President of the Council.
§ Colonel WOODCOCK
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is no appeal whatever against the punishment inflicted by the Council, and will he, therefore, set up a Committee to investigate the procedure of the Council and its relation to modern usage and methods?
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is it not worth while taking steps to make the Trade Disputes Act apply to these people?
I think the answer to the first supplementary question is that I am not the Minister departmentally responsible.
§ 83. Sir ROBERT GOWER
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the action of the General Medical Council in removing the name of Dr. William Lloyd from the register of medical practitioners for having given treatment to certain patients; and whether he will consider the necessity of introducing legislation restricting the power of the General Medical Council to strike off the medical register the names of practitioners who have not been proved to be guilty of actual misconduct and giving him power to replace on such register the name of any person which, in his opinion, has been capriciously or unreasonably removed?
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
I have consulted my Noble Friend, the Lord President of the Council on this matter, as responsibility rests with him 2512 and not with me. The name of Mr. William Lloyd was not, as I understand it, removed from the Medical Register by the General Medical Council for having given treatment to certain patients, but for having sought to obtain patients and promote his own professional advantage by unprofessional methods. I am. furnishing my hon. Friend with a copy of the charge on which Mr. Lloyd was summoned to appear before the Council. In answer to the second and third parts of the question, I am advised that the General Medical Council have statutory power to direct the erasure from the Medical Register of the name of a practitioner who has been convicted in England or Ireland of any felony or misdemeanour, or in Scotland of any crime or offence, or has after due inquiry by the Council been judged to have been guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect. I am further advised that there is no evidence that the Council have directed the erasure of the name of any practitioner without his having been thus convicted or thus judged after due inquiry to have been guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect, as defined by Lord Justice Lopes, Lord Justice Davey and Lord Esher. In regard to restoration, it has been the practice of the Council to replace names on the Medical Register when they are satisfied that such a course will not be prejudicial to the public interest. My Noble Friend has no reason to believe that the Council has acted capriciously or unreasonably, and as at present advised does not consider that the introduction of further legislation is necessary, there being already power under the relevant Acts for the Privy Council to issue its directions to make good any defaults in practice of the General Medical Council.
Are we to understand from that reply that this is a penalty inflicted on Dr. William Lloyd for having acted as a blackleg to his trade union?
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
Do we understand that questions which come within the purview of the Lord President of the Council are answered in this House by the Minister of Health, and, if not, to whom should we address questions affecting the public which can only be answered on behalf of the Lord President of the Council?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I cannot answer it without notice. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put it to me later, when I have had time to look into it.