HC Deb 25 October 1960 vol 627 cc2222-3

Lords Amendment: In page 11, line 44, at end insert: and

  1. (b) the number of the representative members of each board exceeds by one the number of the other members of the board; and
  2. (c) the number of the members of the Council required by the First Schedule to this Act to be registered medical practitioners is equal to the number of the representative members of the Council;
and in this subsection representative member' has the same meaning as in that Schedule.

6.45 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Edith Pitt)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

It may be for the convenience of the House also to take the Amendments in page 14, line 25, leave out "persons" and insert "registered medical practitioners"; in line 27, leave out "persons" and insert "registered medical practitioners"; and in line 29, leave out "person" and insert "registered medical practitioner".

Mr. Speaker

Yes, that will be convenient.

Miss Pitt

Those Amendments are consequential on the Amendment in page 11, which would not be fully effective without the three following ones.

As hon. Members who have taken a particular interest in the Bill will know, Clause 10 provides for additions or deletions of the professions supplementary to medicine by order of the Privy Council. The Bill is so worded that such an order would provide for the necessary additions or deletions to the First Schedule. That means that equality would be preserved on the Council between the representatives of the profession and the medical members, and that on the boards the majority of one for the representative members would be maintained.

The Bill therefore provides for what we are now discussing, even without the Amendment; but, because so much importance has been attached to the preservation of the balance of the interests concerned, because so much work was involved in arriving at an agreed balance, and because of the great importance of the principle, we feel that the Amendment puts the question without any doubt that equality shall be preserved.

The effect of the consequential Amendments in page 14 is to leave out "persons" and insert "registered medical practitioners". It has already been assumed that the English Colleges, the Scottish Corporations and the General Medical Council would appoint registered medical practitioners; but, arising out of the importance of equality and because this point was raised in another place, the Government have tabled an Amendment to establish quite clearly what is intended. We hope that it improves the Bill and that the House will now accept it.

Question put and agreed to.