HC Deb 04 December 1951 vol 494 c2197
3. Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how long Margaret Proctor, who was recently hypnotised at a public entertainment in Airdrie Town Hall, has been detained in hospital; and what steps he will take to protect the public against illness of this type.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)

This girl has been in hospital since 12th November. I have no powers under which performances of this type can be prohibited, but I hope that this case will serve as a warning to parents and the public of the dangers involved in stage hypnotism.

Dr. Stross

Noting the answer that the Secretary of State has given, may I ask whether he has the power to suggest that, at least, no other adolescents or no people under the age of 30 should be subjected ever to this type of assault?

Mr. Stuart

I am afraid that I have not got the power, and I believe that it would probably present difficulties to define hypnotism legally in any Act, but I shall be glad to consider the point.

Mr. Ede

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs with regard to seeing if something cannot be done jointly for Great Britain?

Mr. Stuart

Yes, Sir.

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