HC Deb 06 March 1929 vol 226 cc526-8

"It shall be lawful for any county council or for the town council of a large burgh to incur expenditure in making contributions to the central council or committee of an organisation approved by the Department of Health which provides services of the nature of publicity or educational propaganda for any purpose relating to public health, or in the provision by themselves of such services."—[Major Elliot.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This Clause is put down in consequence of an interesting discussion that we had when the Bill was in Committee before, as to the power of local authorities to spend money on propaganda in connection with venereal disease. I then undertook to go into the matter again with my right hon. Friend, it being understood that any proposals made would deal, not solely with that disease, but that general powers would be given for propaganda publicity in respect of health education as regards any kind of disease, and this proposed new Clause meets that undertaking. It is an interesting proposal, and one that I can confidently recommend to the Committee, more particularly as it allows local authorities themselves to undertake this expenditure, and I understand that it is particularly desired by the City of Edinburgh.


I am very glad that we are to have this New Clause, as far as it goes, though it is not quite what was asked for in the Amendment on which the discussion arose. I would have liked some national effort either by the Department of Health, or some central organisation whereby national propaganda would have been effectively carried out. It has not been proved that to depend on the efforts of local authorities in this matter is satisfactory. However, I welcome the word "propaganda." I think it is right that it should not be confined to any disease. We know that in regard to cancer, for example, there is a great deal of ignorance and if public health propaganda as to the importance of the early treatment of cancer were carried out, many lives would be saved. While in this, as in other respects on this Bill, we have not got all we want, I welcome this concession as bringing in the principle that public health propaganda is the duty of public authorities.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended (on Recommittal), be reported to the House."




I do not quite see what question can arise.


The question you put from the Chair is: "That the Bill, as amended, be reported to the House." Before the Bill is reported to the House, I wish to direct your attention to a Clause which I allege is out of order.


It is not in order to do that. Nothing can arise on the Question that I report the Bill, as amended, to the House. I presume that hon. Members can divide against it. Everything in the Bill now has gone through. I think hon. Members in the past have attempted to raise points on this question, and invariably it has been ruled that it is not in order to do so.


May I submit that on this Question, "That the Bill, as amended, be reported to the House," it is very important that these points should be raised. The matter which I am raising is not really the function of a Member of the House, but the function of the Chair, and I am drawing your attention to the fact. Recently, I may inform you, that in the House itself Mr. Speaker drew attention to the fact that a question of this kind should have been raised in Committee. We are now in Committee.


We are in Committee for certain specific purposes and no others. Now our function is discharged by having dealt with the business for which we have gone into Committee, and there can be no possible point of Order on any Clause now.

Bill reported; as amended, on recommittal, considered; to be read the Third time upon Monday next.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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