HC Deb 23 April 1913 vol 52 cc369-71W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that when he signed the Closing Order for medicine for the borough of Portsmouth 324 chemists signed a petition asking him to withhold his signature and only 61 chemists were in favour of the Closing Order; and whether he will state exactly

what is meant by the words chemist shop, in order that chemists may be quite clear as to their position and so avoid the prosecutions which occur as matters stand at present?


I received no such petition, but after the Order was confirmed a local association sent me a letter saying they had the signatures of 324 persons who were opposed to the Order. Before the confirmation of the Order the

same association had sent me a petition against the Order signed by fifty persons; but on a consideration of the report which was submitted to me by the town council as to the manner in which the register of shops had been prepared, I was satisfied that great care had been taken to include all persons who were entitled to vote on the Order, and that the persons represented by the association carried on the business to a small extent only and were not entitled under the provisions of the Act to be placed on the register. Of those who carried on the sale of medicines as their principal business or as a substantial part of their business a large majority were in favour of the Order. As regards the last part of the question, the Order applies generally to the sale of medicines and medical and surgical appliances, and does not specifically mention chemists' shops.