HL Deb 28 June 1921 vol 45 cc835-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this Bill deals with a simple matter upon which, I believe, there is no controversy. It has passed through all its stages in another place without any difficulty. It is intended to give security of tenure to two classes of public servants—medical officers of health and sanitary inspectors, which, I understand, includes also inspectors of nuisances. The Bill is confined to certain of these individuals. It is necessary that some security should be provided under the law to those who occupy important positions, such as senior medical officers of health and senior sanitary inspectors. These men often have difficult duties to perform, and unless they have security of tenure there is a danger, consciously or unconsciously, of their being under some restraint in the performance of their dutes.

Seven years ago, when I was a Minister of the Crown, I received a deputation asking that this security should be provided. I was impressed with the case put forward by representative medical men, and though I cannot speak on behalf of the medical profession—I see that Lord Dawson of Penn is here—I can speak from practical experience, having served on many of these local authorities, and I am satisfied that medical officers have a feeling that in condemning property there is a possibility that their own position may suffer; or the duties which they ought to perform may suffer. There is a danger of their not dealing with slum property and nuisances in the way they should be dealt with from the public health point of view. It is in order to provide security to these public servants that the Bill has been drafted, to help them in the performance of their duties, and so secure a proper and efficient administration of the public health.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª —(Lord Gainford)


My Lords, the noble Lord has stated that there is no opposition to the Bill, and so far as the Government are concerned that statement is perfectly correct. We are quite ready to support him in passing the Bill, as did my right hon. friend in the House of Commons. In. its present form it does not substantially alter the position, as in the case of the majority of existing appointments security of tenure already exists.

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