HL Deb 15 December 1919 vol 38 cc86-7

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a second time. It also is identical in regard to its provisions with the other Bill with the exception that the phraseology is different in order to meet what is customary in Scotland. The council will be responsible to the Scottish Board of Health, and will be composed of fifteen members. My noble friend (the Earl of Kintore) raised two points. One was that the Scottish nurses objected to there being three registers and three Bills, but the reason for that is that the powers of the Ministry of Health in England do not apply in Scotland. That explains the reason for the three Bills. In regard to the possibilities of interchange, I perhaps rather too hurriedly explained the reciprocity proposal. The No. 2 Bill requires the Council to confer with the Scottish and Irish councils with a view to identity of standard. It is desirable that there should be a uniform standard for all parts of the Kingdom, and that is essential for reciprocity. In regard to what the noble Earl said respecting not taking the Committee stage at once, I have had a message from the Scottish Office to the effect that the Secretary of State desires that I should not press this Bill in Committee to-morrow, and so I shall await his further views before putting down the Committee stage. That applies to the Scottish Bill. I propose however to put down the other two Bills for Committee to-morrow.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.— (Viscount Sandhurst.)


Perhaps my noble friend will allow me to ask one question in regard to the Scottish Bill. I gather that the Bill is the same as the English one, but it seems to me that there are one or two differences. One is as to the regulation for appointing examiners. It is provided in the Scottish Bill that one of the examiners shall be a registered female medical practitioner; I fancy that there may be some objection taken to that in Scotland. However much we wish that women should have equal opportunity in the professions, I do not think that at the present moment women medical practitioners have any experience in teaching, lecturing or examining. I do not think that they have interested themselves much on the subject, and it is difficult to see why the clause should appear in one Bill and not in the other.


I am unable to answer that question at the moment, but there will be ample time to go into it in Committee.


I should also like to ask a question. Why is it that what is described in the English Bill only as a misdemeanour is described in Clause 8 of the Scottish Bill as a crime and an offence?


That is what I thought I had tried to explain. It is due to difference in the legal expressions of the two countries.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.