HL Deb 22 April 1847 vol 91 cc1155-6

House in Committee.


feared that from the immensely disproportioned size of some of the poor-law unions in Ireland, they would be put by the provisions of this Bill under totally insufficient medical supervision. He would wish to submit to his noble Friend and the House some Amendments which might have the effect of rendering its operations more efficient; but as he did not wish to give anything like opposition to the measure, he would give them in private in a written shape to his noble Friend; and, if, upon due consideration, his noble Friend should think them unfitted for the purpose for which they were intended, he would be quite satisfied to press them no further. But he regretted that a larger measure had not been brought under the notice of the House; one which should have for its object the improvement of the whole of the medical charities in Ireland, which, for want of some improvement, were curtailed of half their usefulness. He should say that there was no objection on the part of the Irish landed proprietors to tax themselves for the wants of their suffering fellow-countrymen. He himself had had considerable experience in the management of those medical charities, and he had never applied for aid towards the extension of their usefulness to any of the local proprietors but he had received assistance which was given with the utmost cheerfulness. A measure for the improve- ment of the law relating to those medical charities had been introduced before; but it was lost, in consequence not of any neglect on the part of the landed proprietors, but owing to the disputes which had arisen amongst the medical men themselves, in consequence of petty professional jealousies. He wished that some measure could be introduced regardless of those professional squabbles. It would meet with the most earnest general support in Ireland.


said, that the professional disputes and jealousies alluded to by the noble Lord had arisen in consequence of the facilities which existed for obtaining diplomas in England and Scotland being so much greater than in Ireland. He thought it would be the better course to place some restrictions upon persons having those easily obtained diplomas.


regretted that the Government had not brought in a measure founded on the Medical Charities report. The noble Lord (Lord Monteagle) had spoken of the impediments thrown in the way of legislation on this question by medical men; but he owed it to the medical authorities of Ireland to say, that whatever difficulties might have been thrown in the way of legislation by others, those distinguished medical professors who came before the Medical Committee Inst Session evinced a very different spirit.


said, the present measure was entirely of a temporary nature, and it would have been impossible to meet the evils which unhappily existed to so great an extent at present by a general and more comprehensive measure. He was glad that there was no intention of delaying this Bill, as the accounts received from Ireland every day showed more and more the necessity that existed for a measure of this kind. The Government would not be neglectful of bringing forward a Bill to regulate the medical charities at the proper time; but the noble Lord who had spoken had admitted the difficulties which at all times beset such a subject; and he was convinced that those difficulties would be greatly increased were the attempt made now.

Bill reported.

House adjourned.