HC Deb 15 February 1934 vol 285 cc2079-80

asked the Home Secretary the number of prosecutions for breaches of the law relating to the sale of poisonous drugs in each of the preceding three years; and whether he is satisfied that the inspection as carried out by police officers is adequate in view of the provisions of the Poisons and Pharmacy Act of 1933?


The Pharmaceutical Society initiated proceedings in Great Britain for breaches of the Poisons and Pharmacy Acts in 170 cases in 1931, in 169 cases in 1932 and in 161 cases in 1933. In addition, the police in England and Wales, who have power to intervene only in cases in which they have reason to suspect a breach of the law, prosecuted in 18 cases in 1931 and in 10 cases in 1932. The figures of police prosecutions in 1933 are not yet to hand, nor has there been time to obtain information in regard to such prosecutions in Scotland. As regards the second part of the question, the duty of enforcing the provisions of the Act of 1933 is placed by the Act upon the Pharmaceutical Society and the local authorities, according to the classification of the poison in the Poisons List. Both are given full powers of inspection.


Have the Home Office any jurisdiction in regard to the number of inspectors to be appointed, and will they take part in the appointment of the inspectors?


Under the provisions of the Act, routine inspection has been confined to the Pharmaceutical Society, with undoubtedly inadequate powers. The new Act considerably increases those powers but it has not yet come into force, and we shall have to wait to see whether those powers are sufficient.