§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Horsbrugh)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 4, after "medicine," to insert:or supply any such article as a sample for the purpose of inducing persons to buy by retail the substance of which it consists or which it comprises.This Amendment deals with a point which was mentioned on the Second Reading. It deals with medicines which are sent as samples.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I beg to move, in page 7, line 6, to leave out "any wrapper or," and to insert "a."
This Amendment is in order to see that the disclosure is on the actual container of the medicine. This and the following two Amendments ensure that it is on the container and not merely on the superficial wrapper.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made:
§ In page 7, line 6, leave out the second "wrapper or"
In line 7, at the end, insert:
or, if the article is sold in more than one container, on the inner container or a label affixed thereto."—[Miss Horsbrugh.]
§ Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 8, after "statement," to insert" in English."
There are several Amendments to line 8, and it might be for the convenience of the Committee if all were discussed on this Amendment.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I agree. I think that will meet the convenience of the Committee and of the Minister. The purpose of this Clause is to prevent people being defrauded. If people are to be protected against fraud, it is essential that when they buy medicine they shall be told in a language which they understand what is the composition of the medicine. They can understand the composition only if 650 they are told it in language which they understand. If it is written in medical jargon, or in Latin, what protection is there for the average man? Ordinary people do not know that "aqua" means "water" or the meaning of any of the terms usually used, and the Clause will aid rather than prevent fraud unless there is a protection of this kind. Without this Amendment, I do not see how the Minister is to achieve the object he has in this Bill, which is to prevent people being exploited and defrauded.
§ Sir Patrick Hannon (Birmingham, Moseley)
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether in the Welsh language there is equivalent teminology for the Latin terms which are used in these matters?
§ Mr. Griffiths
I am not claiming in this connection that it should be in Welsh, although I see no reason why Welsh should not have the same status as English. I am not asking English people to learn Welsh—although they might do worse—but I am saying that these compositions, since they are to be stated with the object of preventing people being defrauded or exploited, should be stated clearly in the English language. I cannot see any objection to the Amendment and I am sure that it will commend itself to the Committee and the Minister.
§ Dr. Russell Thomas (Southampton)
I support the Amendment. If the prescriptions were stated in scientific language as proposed by the Minister, they would add to the mystery of the patent medicines. We all know how people are impressed when they get prescriptions written in Latin terms, and if remedies are described in Latin, or in scientific language, they will be the more impressive to those who buy them. There is a famous pill which I will not name, and I will not say whether it is worth a guinea or any other sum. If its composition were written in Latin or scientific language it would go something like this:Sap. moll, Ext. Aloin, Zingiberis.That is not gibberish, as indeed it sounds, but if that were written on the wrapper in plain English it would discredit the status of the pills, for the plain English would be:Soap, Aloes, and Ginger."If these plain words were put on the wrapper this particular product would probably not flourish quite as much as it does.
§ The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)
We have had two interesting and amusing speeches on an important subject. I have shown by my Amendment on the Order Paper that the object that my hon. Friends and other Members have in view, namely, that the disclosure should be made in the clearest possible terms, is also mine. It is desirable that the disclosure should be made in the clearest possible terms to all those concerned, that is, those who have scientific knowledge of what the description of the composition means and, so far as possible, those who buy. What we call English may be not merely everyday English, but also foreign words adapted to the English language. There are some fairly common words of this sort such as sassafras, julep and quassia. My problem, therefore, is not quite so simple as that stated by my two hon. Friends. If I adopted the simple Amendment of my hon. Friend, I should not secure as effectively what he and I want to do, namely, the disclosure of the composition in the clearest possible terms. May I call attention to my own attempt to improve the position? I have an Amendment on the Paper to leave out "composition" and to insertaccepted scientific name, or other name descriptive of the true nature.That makes the matter more precise. That is a sincere attempt on our part to meet the real point, which is to let the public know what is in the preparation. I think it is quite impossible to describe every single preparation sold as a medicine in such simple English as is used in my hon. Friend's illustrations because it cannot be so expressed. We have tried to express the desire of the Committee in this Amendment, in view of the impracticability of expressing it otherwise, except among a nation of pharmacologists. If every one of our people was a pharmacologist it might be done, but they are not, and I have done my best in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. What we want to do is to prevent any evasion of the spirit of the Clause by an attempt to disguise the composition of the preparation in deliberately obscure phraseology. What I have done is to replace the rather vague word "composition" by the plain statement that it must bethe accepted scientific name, or other name descriptive of the true nature652 of the preparation. If we said the names were to be "in English," though some of them were in English it might be English of a kind which is not easily recognisable. For example, the scientific name sulphopyridin, for M. and B. 693 would be unintelligible to most people. I have the greatest possible sympathy with the desire to make the disclosure to the public as wide as possible, and I think I have gone as far as a practical man can, since for many substances, no simple English term exists. I could give the Committee a whole list of illustrations which would prove that point. The ideal would be that every single thing used in the making up of the medicine should be described in such simple English terms that Shakespeare might make a poem out of them. We have seen in the case of modern poets such as Ezra Pound attempts to turn into poetry the jargon which experts use to make simple things sound mysterious. The great poets who lived in simpler pre-scientific days were able to describe things by using the kind of language which my hon. Friends desire to see under the simple heading of "English."
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The Minister's Amendment speaks of "accepted scientific name." Accepted by whom? Does the Minister reserve to himself the right to accept that scientific description as being satisfactory to him, or has it to be accepted by somebody else?
§ Sir P. Hannon
Will the accepted scientific name and the other name, descriptive of the true nature of the medicine, both appear?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I must not anticipate a discussion upon that point, which will come later. The Committee will notice that later there are certain Amendments dealing with the enforcement of the provisions of the Measure and I would prefer to deal with that point when it arises.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The Minister suggests an Amendment which speaks of the "accepted scientific name," and he is the authority who is to decide whether it is to be accepted or not.
§ Mr. Watkins (Hackney, Central)
The Minister's Amendment talks aboutthe accepted scientific name or other name descriptive of the true nature.I should like to know whether in the case of the pills referred to they will be described under that Amendment as being made of soap, aloes, and ginger or be described by the scientific alternative, which would be very mystifying to people buying them. Which will operate?
§ Mr. Brown
I could not be expected to give a ruling in a hypothetical case. It occurs to me, for example, that there might be several kinds of soap. As far as I am concerned, the pills could have either the general description or the scientific description, but the enforcement of the law and the interpretation of this provision must lie with the courts, which would have regard, I suppose, to the generally-accepted meaning of words as denned in some standard dictionary.
Mr. David Adams
Will the names mentioned be abbreviated, or will they be given in full? If they are to be abbreviated probably the public will not be any wiser.
§ Sir Robert Bird (Wolverhampton, West)
The Committee will have welcomed the declaration of the Minister that he is doing his best to provide a method of disclosure of these medicines which will be complete and clear. Both he and the Parliamentary Secretary said a good deal to show that they have in mind disclosure for a double purpose. The first purpose is something in the nature of a caution. The purchaser should be able to make himself acquainted with the composition of the remedy concerned so that, either on his own judgment or with advice from a medical man or chemist, he can decide whether to employ that remedy or not. The second purpose is the need to counter- 654 act tendentious, sometimes misleading and sometimes lying advertisements. The Parliamentary Secretary, meeting objections which had been raised, said it was impossible to adapt the Bill to control those undesirable advertisements, but she advanced an argument that they would be largely counteracted by the proposed method of disclosure. She said:The very fact that disclosure is being insisted upon will go a long way in this direction. How long will the public continue to pay money for a particular cure, if they are informed on the bottle or on the packet what are the contents? If as a result of disclosure the public are not attracted to buy these things, we shall see a gradual disappearance of these advertisements. I do not think hon. Members realise the extent to which most of us believe disclosure will go towards stopping what, in a great many cases, may be a racket. We cannot say for certain, but it is my own opinion, and the opinion of those who advise us, that this step will go a long way towards attaining this object. Suppose the ingredients in one particular mixture were very ordinary, such as salt, bicarbonate of soda, dandelions or cloves, and a few things like that. Gullible as the public may be, how long would anyone go on buying such mixtures?—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th" July, 1941; col. 125, Vol. 373.]I must point out that acceptance of the Amendment will make impossible the practical application of the view expressed by the Parliamentary Secretary.
The original wording of the Bill gave pretty general satisfaction. We felt the need only for some Amendment to make clear the scope of the Clause and for extending the scope a little. The proposed Amendment takes out the key word "composition," a good English word, perfectly understandable, and replaces it with a string of words which are tangled in their meaning, vague and elastic. The wording should be made comprehensive and capable of adaptation to each case, but if it is in general terms it lays itself open to serious abuse and invites ingenious minds to devise methods of evading the purpose of the Clause. I have ventured to apply my mind to this question and tried to put myself into the position of a proprietor of one of these remedies, in order to see what I could do to apply the Clause with the least inconvenience to myself and prejudice to my remedy. We have heard about the composition of a well-known and widely advertised pill. I suggest to the Minister that the provisions of the Clause would be met, under his Amendment, by some such wording as this: 655The ingredients of this pill, except in quantity, are identical with those of the compound rhubarb pill of the British pharmacopoeia.That is only one example of a very easy ingenuity, but I maintain that such a declaration would entirely defeat the purpose of the Clause. Such a statement would also entirely defeat the second purpose of the Clause, that of counteracting misleading advertisements, to which the Parliamentary Secretary referred. Would it be permitted to the proprietor of the remedy under the Minister's Amendment to select which of the two methods would be more convenient, and whether he should use the accepted scientific name, or the alternative provided for by the Amendment? The Minister said nothing on the point of the quantitative disclosure of ingredients. It is obvious that unless the disclosure is quantitative it is not possible for anyone to ascertain the dose of the active constituent or constituents among the ingredients. What is the objection to a quantitative disclosure? It is generally known that a group of reputable remedies has, for many years past, made a quantitative disclosure of their composition, and many of these medicines are not advertised except in the medical and pharmaceutical Press. But there are several remedies, including one particularly widely-sold eye lotion which is advertised on a big scale in the public Press, and if, therefore, the voluntary practice of the proprietors of these reputable medicines is to disclose the quantities of the ingredients, what objection can there be to making it a statutory obligation in respect of all medicines? I feel that these medicines should be sold on their merits and not because of their advertising, and I believe that with a complete and clear disclosure, as the Parliamentary Secretary herself said in her speech, that object can be attained.
§ Professor A. V. Hill (Cambridge University)
The Minister, I am sure, has exactly the same object as we have. But I am not sure that the method he proposes will be successful. Firstly, dealing with the quantitative side, his Amendment does not suggest that a quantitative description of the substance should be given at all. To take a reductio ad absurdum, if one had a substance containing, in every 100 grammes, one 656 gramme of hydrochloric acid and 10 grammes of sodium hydroxide, that would be very different from one containing 10 grammes of hydrochloric acid and one gramme of sodium hydroxide. One would be strongly acid and the other strongly alkaline, and without a quantitative description the names of the constituents would give a perfectly meaningless formula. This of course applies also to other things besides these simple substances. There is another point, namely, that it would be perfectly possible for the manufacturer to vary the composition of his remedy from week to week unless he was tied down to some quantitative description of it. Unless the word "quantitative" can be, somehow, inserted in the proposed Amendment, I feel that we shall fail in our purpose of making clear what we are doing.
§ Mrs. Tate (Frome)
I am sorry to interrupt, but in view of this wish to have a quantitative description, who is to verify whether the quantities are rightly stated on the label? Does my hon. Friend suggest that there should be a large number of inspectors going around to find out whether the contents are as described? That might, of course, be a good way of giving employment after the war.
§ Professor Hill
It was suggested by the Select Committee in 1914 that the analyses should be controlled by the Government chemist, and there is no reason why that should not be done today. You would not need to take every bottle and analyse it; an occasional sample, as in the inspection of stores of all kinds, ought to be sufficient. As regards the description of substances in intelligible language, the danger is that in my right hon. Friend's Amendment the preference is expressed for the "accepted scientific name," which may after all be difficult for the ordinary man to understand. The manufacturer may use some "other name descriptive of the true nature," but if the accepted scientific name is the less intelligible, he will presumably choose that. The art of writing descriptions of contents in unintelligible terms has been very highly developed, and it should not, therefore, be permissive to express the substance in intelligible terms, but rather should it be regarded as necessary. I know, of course, that the constitution of a great many products cannot be simply expressed, and in 657 that case we have to put up with the scientific terms, but there are other things, for example, soap. It has a perfectly good description, which does not make the thing seem so mysterious. Therefore, the Amendment which we suggest to line 8, which say" so far as possible in common terms," would cover our general purpose of making it possible to express it in scientific terms where necessary, but otherwise to express it in common language. I do not know whether my right hon. Friend would include those terms in his Amendment, or whether he could, for example, omit the words "or other name descriptive of the true nature," inserting in their stead" so far as possible in common terms comprehensible to the general public." The accepted scientific name could be in terms comprehensible to the general public when possible. I see no reason why that should not be done.
§ Mr. E. Brown
As I have made it clear from the beginning, I have no desire except to serve the purposes of the Committee. I have based my draft on expert legal advice. The Committee knows perfectly well that, often, ideas have to be put in legislation in different terms from those in which they are commonly expressed, because of questions of legal draftsmanship. After listening to my hon. Friends I am still of the opinion that my Amendment does what the Committee desires. There are the two alternatives: you can use the accepted scientific term or, if not that, other terms which are descriptive of the true nature. I would ask my hon. Friends to look at the whole Amendment. The hon. Member for Cambridge University (Professor Hill) has said that there are people who have made a fine art of mystification. There are also people who have made a fine art of simplification. Both are jargons, and the short, headline may mislead even more than a long terminology. I will however make this offer to the Committee. If they will now accept the words I have suggested—for I am quite sure, that they are drafted to do what we all intend.—I will look at the matter again, in the light of this discussion, before the Report stage, and will discuss it with my hon. Friends with the intention of introducing at that stage, a phrase which will fit in with the Bill, will be legally construable, and which will do what we want. My hon. 658 Friend has put his name to an Amendment requiring a quantitative disclosure. It is true, as my hon. Friend the Member for West Wolverhampton (Sir R. Bird) has said, that a large number of firms now disclose quantities as well as qualities, but the first thing to be realised is that this Bill marks a very great advance. My advice is that it is far less important to know the quantities, than it is to know the qualities of the substances
§ Dr. Edith Summerskill (Fulham, West)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has considered that if the quantities are not put in, the objects of this Bill may be defeated, by people who will say, "Now we have to put a prescription on the packets. Let us put an attractive looking prescription"? They may put 12 ingredients, but the quantities of the ingredients will be so small, that the cost will be minute and they will have no value to the patient at all. The whole purpose will be to defraud the public.
§ Mr. Brown
If the hon. Lady will pardon me, I was just coming to that very point. The hon. Lady always makes a succinct, and from her own point of view, effective, intervention in debate. I was coming to that point. It is one of the things that have given me some trouble. My inquiries lead me to believe that there is disclosure of quantity in about 75 per cent, of cases. I will go into the matter again before the Report stage to see if I can meet the points put before me, on this as on the other point. I hope, therefore, that my hon. Friend will see his way to withdraw his Amendment. Our aim is to see that disclosure is accurate on the one hand, and as comprehensible to the public as we can get it on the other.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
In view of the right hon. Gentleman's remark, I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Amendment. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will feel the sense of the Committee that something should be done fully to protect the public under this Bill.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendments made:
In page 7, line 8, leave out "composition," and insert:
accepted scientific name, or other name descriptive of the true nature.
§ In line 8, after "or," insert "of each." — [Mr. E. Brown.]659
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr Burghs)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 15, at the end, to insert:
"or(c) in a case where the substance is composed of a non-poisonous plant or plants or any part thereof a statement to that effect without describing the particular plant or part used in the preparation of the substance.I feel that I should express, after listening to the Debate, my appreciation of the Sanity, if I might so put it, the amiability and the receptivity of the two Ministers responsible for handling this Bill. I want to disclose my position fully to the Committee. I am moving this Amendment on behalf of all the reputable herbalists, but particularly on behalf of that very highly respectable body known as the Society of Herbalists. I am not myself a patient of any herbalist and have very little contact with them, except that I have many friends who have been helped and have even had their lives preserved by the knowledge, capacity and beneficient activities of these herbalists. I have a list here of people whose happiness in life has been intensified and who have obtained relief by methods employed by the herbalists. To justify my arguments, I have a pamphlet issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, and so fully alive are they to the value of these excellent people that the only advertisement published in this brochure is on behalf of the Society of Herbalists. That is a very striking testimonial to their work, and yet the Parliamentary Secretary, in her Second Reading speech, certainly gave the inference, maybe quite unintentionally, that there would be fraud in selling mixtures in which dandelion formed a part. In this brochure by the Ministry of Agriculture it is said that the dandelion is considerably used by many practising chemists. It seems to me there has been some lack of co-operation between the Ministry of Agriculture and my hon. Friend if it is suggested that, when used by a chemist dandelion seems to be good, but when used by a herbalist it seems to be bad. There is something wrong about that to my mind.
The object of this Amendment is to render it unnecessary for herbalists to define on the label the component parts of their preparations. My right hon. Friend thinks that he has met this point. I 660 believe he is satisfied that he has met it. But I have discussed the matter, as I know he has, with leading herbalists, and they are equally definite in the view that their work will be made practically impossible under the existing Bill plus my right hon. Friend's Amendment. The reason why they regard this necessity to define each component part as impracticable is, I think, obvious. They say that many herbs are seasonal, and that when they are out of season others, which have the same result, must be used in their place. Also, certain herbs have to be imported and in these days it is not always possible to obtain some of them, and therefore, other herbs with a similar effect have to be used. It would, therefore, they say be impossible to keep changing the specification on every label. They would have to keep running round like scalded cats following up their bottles all the time to fit the labels to the contents, of they would be open to a charge of fraud. I know that my right hon. Friend has expressed, and feels, a friendly attitude towards the work which herbalists have done, and that he does not seek to deprive them of the opportunity of continuing their work and benefiting humanity.
Many of us have been accustomed to waste money on drugs. In fact, I often think that but for the number of diseases which I thought I had, and on the sup posed cure of which I wasted money in drugs, I would have had many an easy moment where I have had painful moments. Once in India when travelling in the bush I got a dose of fever. I could not ascertain the trouble, I had no drugs with me, and so was completely deprived of any method of curing, or killing, my self. But a local witch doctor was called in and said, "All right." He had a look at me—
§ Sir T. Moore
I was coming to the point about herbs. He gave me a concoction which reduced my temperature, and I was as fit as a fiddle next morning. I do think that these are points not fully understood by people accustomed all their lives to having chemist's prescriptions.
§ Sir P. Hannon
I associate myself with this Amendment. All I want to know is whether my right hon. Friend the Minister is satisfied, after the discussions which have taken place with the Society of Herbalists, that protection will be given to those people, who have done so much beneficent work for so many years. I have had a great many letters from all sorts of people, just as my hon. and gallant Friend has had, about the wonderful work accomplished by this society and by individual herbalists. While I will never be a party to anything in the nature of wayside remedies or of interference with the profession of medicine, I think that these people should not be deprived of the opportunity of continuing to render service to humanity. If my right hon. Friend will tell us that in cases where a non-poisonous plant is not part of a prescription, these people will not be deprived of the privilege of presenting their remedies without having to disclose the ingredients, I think that will be satisfactory. If my right hon. Friend is satisfied that the Society of Herbalists are protected in connection with the work they have been doing, I am satisfied. But I have had communications from people in very responsible positions in the social life of this country assuring me that they have seen work of the highest quality by herbalists, and I hope that this work will not be interfered with.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I should like to oppose this Amendment. I agree that then; are reputable herbalists. It was unfortunate that witch-doctors should have been mentioned in the same speech as herbalists—I feel that the herbalists will not be too pleased about that. But I appeal to the mover of the Amendment. The reputable herbalists should be only too pleased to disclose all the ingredients of the mixtures which they are selling to the public, in order that people may differentiate between them and the un scrupulous herbalists. I must say that the argument already put up by the non- scientific nominees of the herbalists—
§ Dr. Summerskill
I beg the hon. and gallant Member's pardon, but I understood that he said he was speaking for the Society of Herbalists.
§ Sir P. Hannon
I was not speaking on behalf of the herbalists, but on behalf of the people who have written to me saying that they have received magnificent help from herbalists.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I withdraw anything I have said about the supporters of this Amendment. But anyone who calls himself a herbalist or who, under some other description, sells mixtures should be only too pleased to disclose the prescription. I might illustrate this by what my medical colleague has said with reference to the first Amendment. He reminded the House that there was a pill on the market, known to most of us, of which one of the chief constituents is soap. He said that if you put a prescription in English on the packet you will put "soap," instead of "saponis." Are the herbalists to put themselves in the position of selling pills without any prescription on them because they are afraid of doing so? If their rivals, the people who sell these pills, put "saponis" on the label, the people who buy the pills will soon know that it is soap. If the herbalist puts the whole prescription on his packet, he will soon be in an advantageous position if his concoction is more efficacious than the pill which contains only soap.
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I can reassure my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) that the position of anyone who sells any mixture which he has sold before will be no different, except that he will be bound to put on the label a disclosure of its contents. There is no distinction between herbalists and anybody else.
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I am coming to that. The Committee have made it very clear, in the discussion of the last Amendment, that what they want is the clearest possible disclosure of the contents of these mixtures. It has been suggested that herbalists will find it more difficult, 663 because they may not be able to get a particular ingredient. My hon. and gallant Friend pointed out that the ingredients were seasonal, or might have to be imported, but other people also may have to put into their remedies imported ingredients, and it is not always easy to get exactly what they want, especially during war-time. If these mixtures are made up to be sold, those making them up must know at the time what they contain, and the label must bear the names of the ingredients. If, at a later date, a further amount is to be made, and those ingredients are not available but others are used, there seems to be no reason why the other ingredients should not be named. This is no attack on herbalists. Many of us think that the more these herbs are known, the better it will be for the people of this country. They might find a difficulty, but the difficulty is for all and not for one particular class. Hon. Members would agree that it would be unfair to take one class of people who make these mixtures and leave them out of this provision for disclosure. Why should no disclosure be demanded in respect of a remedial pill made by a herbalist, or a blood pill, or a pill for boils because it was made up by one set of people, while a disclosure was demanded in respect of a pill for, say, anæmia made up by another set of people?
I cannot see any reason for this Amendment. I cannot see, if non-poisonous plants have been used, what difficulty there can be in stating the names of such plants. All we ask in the Bill is that the name of the non-poisonous plant or plants should be given. It is exactly the same for everybody. There is no distinction between one set of people and another. There is no need whatever for herbalists to go out of business simply because they have to state that certain bottles or tablets contain herbs, the names of which have to be given. They, like other people, may from time to time have difficulty in getting some of the things they require, and it is absolutely essential that the ingredients should be stated, whether they have been obtained with difficulty or not. I am sure that it is the opinion of this Committee that there should always be a disclosure of contents.
§ Sir P. Hannon
Does my hon. Friend realise the difficulty in which this would place some of the smaller herbalists throughout the country? I agree entirely with the Parliamentary Secretary that she has made a very fair statement of the case as far as the Society of Herbalists are concerned, but there are numbers of small people throughout the country who sell herbal preparations many of whom perhaps do not know the scientific description of the medicine. What is to become of these people?
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I think that there will be no difficulty for these little people. They make up substances from certain herbs of which they know the names, and, if they do not know the ingredients, the very fact that they will have in future to state the ingredients will cause them to make the necessary inquiries. There is nothing against prescribing for a particular patient. Preparations can still be prescribed for a particular patient without the contents having to be stated, whether they are in the form of tablets or medicine.
§ Sir T. Moore
In the circumstances, and as we have had an assurance from the Parliamentary Secretary that the position of the herbalist will be protected, I can see no reason for pressing the Amendment, but I would like to know whether, if I withdraw the Amendment, I shall be in any way prejudiced with regard to moving further Amendments in my name on Clause 7, which have some slight bearing on the position.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Denville (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 18, at the end, to insert:or to pastilles, lozenges, gums or tablets containing medicinal flavourings or other articles of confectionery not sold or recommended as a medicine.The object of the Amendment is to make clear beyond all doubt the position of the confectionery trade. It is felt that the wording of the Bill is not sufficiently strong to make it clear that the confectionery trade will not be affected in any shape or form. I have had certain information conveyed to me that the Ministry are firmly convinced that the confectionery trade will not be affected. I take it that that is what the Minister 665 has in his mind, and, that the confectionery trade will be left in the same position as before. If that is so, I think that the confectionery trade will be delighted to accept the position, and on such an assurance I would not propose to press the Amendment.
§ Mr. E. Brown
My hon. Friend's Amendment speaks ofarticles of confectionery not sold or recommended as a medicine,and I can give him a full assurance on that point. His Amendment is unnecessary, because the Bill makes no change in this respect. There is a clear and precise description of what the Bill covers, and it is made perfectly plain that the whole of these Amendments are unnecessary.
§ Mr. Denville
In view of what my right hon. Friend has said, I take it that it will not be necessary to move a similar Amendment in my name on Clause 7. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendments made:
§ In page 7, line 18, at the end, insert:
§ "(2) In the preceding Sub-section the expression 'container,' includes a wrapper."
§ In line 19, after "sells," insert "or supplies."—[Miss Horsbrugh.]
§ Captain Elliston (Blackburn)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 29, to leave out "January," and to insert "July." The Amendment requires very little explanation. It was hoped that this Bill would come into operation in January next, but it has been found that there are large stocks which cannot be disposed of by that time. I propose that the date be postponed from January until July of next year, in order to give a sufficient period for the disposal of goods.
§ Mr. E. Brown
My hon. Friend's Amendment will make the period before the Bill comes into operation just under one year. I have pleasure in accepting it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.