§ Mr. W. Griffiths
I beg to move, in page 19, line 9, after "death", to insert:or such longer period as the General Optical Council may in any particular case allowThe Amendment deals with the position which arises in an optical practice where the optician dies. The Bill as drafted gives the widow or children or personal representatives or trustees the opportunity of using the title for three years. The Amendment proposes that the General Optical Council shall have discretionary powers here, and the object is to enable the Council to assist a widow or a son or a daughter who, on the basis of his or her age and academic background, is within striking distance of qualifying in his or her own right and therefore succeeding to the title and carrying on the practice.
It would be undesirable to extend the term without discretion because a widow or a son or a daughter might seek to carry on the practice, employing a registered optician, by saying that he or she wished to qualify and yet make no 568 serious attempt to do so. Three years is clearly inadequate because the minimum period within which a student commencing now could expect to qualify would be four years. If he failed some parts of the examination and had to take them again, it might well be five years.
This matter was referred to the Committee and the proposal won general approval. I hope the House will agree that this form of words shall be inserted to give the General Optical Council the discretionary powers to which I referred, bearing in mind the object for which it should exercise the discretion.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In line 39, leave out subsection (4).—[Mr. Russell.]