HC Deb 18 October 1968 vol 770 cc772-3

Lords Amendment No. 1: In page 5, line 9, leave out from "function" to end of line 11 and insert: for purposes connected with medicinal products or related matters, or (c) terminate any function conferred on the Commission by or under this Act, or (d) vary any such function, so however as not to confer on the Commission any new function which could not be conferred on them in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subsection".

12.35 p.m.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Kenneth Robinson)

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

In Committee, the power in Clause 5(4)(b) to confer additional functions on the Medicines Commission was criticised by hon. Members opposite, as being far too wide. The point was also made on Report, and I said then that the power must be exercised within the ambit of the Bill. I thought then it would be better to leave the wording as it was rather than to accept the very narrow wording offered as an alternative.

The matter came up again in another place and on further consideration we decided that an Amendment should be made to make it perfectly clear that any additional or varied functions given to the Commission under this Clause must be related to the subject matter of the Bill.

Mr. Paul Dean (Somerset, North)

Might I wish the right hon. Gentleman well in his new appointment. I am sure that there will be people, inside and outside the House, who will be sorry that he is leaving the health sphere.

We welcome this Amendment. As the Minister said, we had fears that as the Clause stood, it was far too wide and we are glad that he has made it clear that no new powers can be conferred which are not within the compass of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

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