HL Deb 22 July 1875 vol 225 cc1797-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, its object was to institute a Pharmaceutical Society, and to regulate the qualifications of pharmaceutical chemists and of chemists and druggists in Ireland. At present no person could keep open shop in Ireland for the sale of medicines and the compounding of medical prescriptions, unless he were a Licentiate of Apothecaries' Hall, under an Act of Parliament passed in 1791. The examinations under that Act were somewhat severe, and the consequence was that, comparatively speaking, few persons in Ireland had applied for licences; so that in many parts of the country there were places where medicines could not be properly compounded. In view of this state of things a Bill was introduced into the other House of Parliament by Mr. Errington last Session. It was referred to a Select Committee, upon whose Report the present measure was based. The Bill originally proposed that there should be reciprocity between the Pharmaceutical Society of England and the Pharmaceutical Society which it was intended to establish in Ireland under this Bill; but in consequence of considerable objection being taken by the former Society, his right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland had struck out that clause. The main provisions of the Bill were as follows:—It constituted a Pharmaceutical Society in Ireland; it named the first Members of the Council, providing that the President should be Sir Dominic Corrigan, baronet, and the Vice President Dr Aquilla Smith; it empowered the Council to make rules and to regulate the examinations; and it provided that there should be two grades of chemists, one class to be called "pharmaceutical chemists," and another, which was required to pass an inferior examination, to be called "chemists and druggists." The Act would not come into operation until the rules had been approved by the Lord Lieutenant and the Privy Council of Ireland. After providing for the registration of the persons who might be found after examination qualified for either of the two grades, the Bill repealed so much of the Act of 1791 as prohibited keeping open shop in Ireland for the sale of medicines and the compounding of prescriptions, except by Licentiates of Apothecaries' Hall. Further, the Bill provided that no person should keep open shop for such purposes unless he belonged to either of the two grades, or was a licentiate of Apothecaries' Hall, or a duly qualified medical practitioner. It saved existing rights, however, and allowed persons of the grade of pharmaceutical chemist to fill the post of apothecary to the county lunatic asylums. The latter clause he should, in Committee, propose to extend to the post of apothecary in county gaols. Most of the provisions of the measure were taken from the English Pharmacy Act of 1868.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Lord President.)


said, that having had a good deal to do with the legislation on this subject in England, he desired to express his general approval of the present measure. As, however, the standard of examination for the first grade might be lower in Ireland, it was possible that some damage might be done to the English title of pharmaceutical chemists. When the Bill went into Committee he would move an Amendment, providing that the examination of pharmaceutical chemists in Ireland should be of the same standard as in England. By an arrangement between the two societies there might advantageously be reciprocity between them.

Motion agreed to:—Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.