HL Deb 25 March 1952 vol 175 cc912-4

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

2.43 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a Third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª.—(Lord Woolton.)


My Lords, I hope the Lord President will give your Lordships some assurance that the point raised by the noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, will receive careful consideration before the Bill returns to this House, because I find that there is still considerable uneasiness among Jewish refugees lest the possibility of their reaching the dentists register has not been properly safeguarded by the clauses in the Bill. It is a matter of legal interpretation which no doubt will appeal strongly to the legal members of your Lordships' House. All I am asking is that the matter shall be carefully considered, and that those in charge of the Bill shall be satisfied that the aspirations of these people, who have been so hardly treated in the past, will receive sympathetic consideration.


My Lords, as I have been implicated in the progress of this Bill from its initiation, I should like to say a few words. I wish sincerely to thank the noble Lord in charge of the Bill and those who have assisted him for the kindly way in which they have accepted Amendments put forward by those of us who were closely in touch with the dental profession. Although we have not obtained all we wanted—and that is perhaps good for us—we have had a number of important Amendments accepted. In my view, the whole thing will to a great extent depend upon the way in which the General Dental Council use their powers. I hope that, with the judicious appointment of suitable people to the Council, we shall secure good results, for the betterment of the teeth of the whole nation. I again thank your Lordships for the way in which you have received our Amendments, and I beg to support the Motion for the Third Reading of this Bill.


My Lords, as your Lordships know, in the course of the proceedings upon this Bill I have been speaking as best I might as the voice of the Dental Board, in the sense that I have been in association with them on the matter. I would say to the Lord President of the Council that I feel that the changes hat have been made in the Bill should go far, even if they do not go the whole way, to meet the views of the Dental Board. I am sure I shall be expressing their views if I say to the noble Lord that there is appreciation of the manner in which the Government have accepted the suggestions which have been made and which are now in corporated in the Bill. I am grateful to the noble Lord for the way in which he has dealt with this matter.


My Lords, following upon what the noble Lord, Lord Webb-Johnson, has said, I should like to say that I hope that the noble Lord, the Lord President of the Council—and I, too, tender him my congratulations—will see whether the point which I raised is fully met. I do not pretend to know. I received a letter from someone in this country who was a dentist practising dentistry in Czechoslovakia, and when Hitler overran that country he, being a Jew, anticipated the fate that awaited him, and was fortunate enough to be able to come here. So far as I know, he is a highly trained, perfectly competent dentist, and, in view of the shortage of dentists, it is obviously desirable that people of that sort—always assuming that they are as I believe this man to be, fully trained and perfectly competent—should be able to practise dentistry. That man wrote me a letter explaining that he found some difficulty in getting on to the dental register, although he was able to get on to the medical register. I passed that letter to the noble Lord, the Lord President of the Council. The fact that he did not write to me again made me think that the matter had been dealt with. I do not pretend to know the details of the Bill, and, therefore, I express no opinion. But if, by chance, the point raised in the letter is not covered, I shall be most grateful if, while the Bill is ping through another place, the noble Lord wild see that steps are taken to put right what seems to be an injustice.


May I intervene once more to say—


Order! Order!


I rise to correct an omission—namely, my omission to thank the liable Lord, the Lord President of the Council, for his consideration. I thought it was covered by the fact that I raised only the comparatively small point to which I drew the noble Lord's attention.

2.50 p.m.


My Lords, I am obliged to your Lordships for the way in which you have received this Bill. In reply to the noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, I would say that I received the letter he was good enough to send me, and the gentleman concerned has been written to. We have not had any further communication from him, and my opinion, which I express with much hesitation, is that we have already covered the point raised. I have no hesitation in giving the assurance to the House that the matter raised by the noble and learned Earl and by the noble Lord, Lord Webb-Johnson, will be considered afresh, and if it is necessary to do anything to meet the very few exceptional and unfortunate cases I am sure that my right honourable friend will be glad to do all he can in that direction in another place.

On Question, Bill read 3ª; Amendments (privilege) made; Bill passed and sent to the Commons.