HC Deb 13 March 1930 vol 236 cc1483-5

asked the Minister of Health whether he has received any protests respecting the terms of his recent Order affecting the relations of the master and medical officers in Poor Law institutions?


The Order to which the hon. Member refers has not yet been made, but has been published as a Draft. I have received a number of representations in regard to the Draft Order which will receive my careful consideration.

88. Mr. MORLEY

asked the Minister of Health whether he will amend Regulations 144 and 145 of the Poor Law Regulations Draft Order of 31st January, 1930, in order to permit a pharmacist to rank as principal officer in Poor Law infirmaries and hospitals?


The answer is in the negative. I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave on the 5th December to the hon. Member for South Battersea (Mr. W. Bennett) on this subject, from which it will be seen that the Draft Order continues what has been the general practice.


Has not the right hon. Gentleman received a number of representations from pharmacists to the effect that they consider that this is derogatory to their professional status, and will he reconsider the matter?


I have received a number of representations, but I do not see any advantage in changing the present procedure.


Does not the Draft Order depart from this practice, and does it not lay down that pharmacists cannot be principal officers, so that local authorities under this Order cannot employ pharmacists as principal officers?


In this respect I understand that the Order does not depart from the existing practice.


Was not some indication given to pharmacists that these positions would be open to them, and is it not a fact that the Regulation now issued excludes them from those positions?


So far as I know, no intimation was given to pharmacists.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider this matter in view of the great concern in many parts of the country?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these men were at one time principal officers, and it was only an Order which robbed them of that position? Is he not aware that they hold very responsible positions to-day?

92. Mr. HARRIS

asked the Minister of Health whether he is prepared to modify Poor Law Order 160, which requires that no person shall be appointed a chief Poor Law officer except he has had previous Poor Law experience; and whether the Order will preclude a qualified teacher being appointed head master of a Poor Law school except he has had Poor Law experience?


The question of modifying the Article of the Draft Order to which the hon. Member refers is receiving consideration. It is not intended that the Order should have the effect stated in the last part of the question.