HC Deb 04 November 1949 vol 469 cc767-8

Any person who, not being a person whose name is included in the list, takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that his name is so included shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding, in the case of a first offence, ten pounds, and, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, fifty pounds.—[Mr. Blenkinsop.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

11.6 a.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Blenkinsop)

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

The object of this new Clause is to impose penalties on persons who falsely represent themselves as being included in the list of nurses kept under Section 18 of the 1943 Act. It will be remembered that this matter was raised in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley (Mr. Diamond). At that time, I resisted his proposal that we should impose these penalties as we were desirous, while we understood the difficulties of the position, that we should not use this occasion to impose new penalties, particularly in view of the fact that the list was gradually going out of existence. As the matter had been raised and ventilated in the House, the point obviously gained further publicity, and, on reconsideration, we felt it desirable to include this Clause.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot (Scottish Universities)

We on this side do not propose to raise any objection to the inclusion of the new Clause. While in general deprecating the creation of new offences, we welcome the sign of grace on the part of the Government that at last, though they mourn the necessity of it, they carry out the Act. We feel, however, that there is great uneasiness among professional people in case a list like this, which it is a life's work to get on to, should be falsified by unauthorised persons. Consequently, I think that under the circumstances the weight of argument is in favour of the inclusion of the Clause.

Mr. Diamond (Blackley)

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for introducing this new Clause, which entirely satisfies the point I have in mind. I realise that it was through my intervention that more publicity was given to this point than would otherwise have been the case. But I am sure that my hon. Friend will think that that intervention was not in the worst possible form, and that this new Clause will improve the Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.

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