HC Deb 07 June 1917 vol 94 cc353-4W
General CROFT

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether the properties of flavine were known to the medical profession in January last when a preliminary report was published in the British Medical Journal; and whether up to this time substantial quantities of flavine cannot be obtained for the treatment of wounded soldiers in any hospital either at Home or abroad; and (2) whether the War Office has received information as to the properties of the new antiseptic flavine; if so, what steps have been taken to obtain it; to whom was the order given for the supply of flavine and within what time was the order executed; whether there has been any delay in the execution of this order; and, if so, what is the reason?


The antiseptic properties of the substance referred to were described in a Preliminary Report published in the Medical Press in January last, giving the results of experiments with a small supply of this complex substance specially made for these experimental purposes in a Government laboratory. Arrangements were made at the same time for further trials in various military and other hospitals and steps were taken with a view to a commercial supply being made available in the event of these trials proving sufficiently favourable. The trials have been in progress since January, and the effects so far obtained are under careful comparison with those of other antiseptics. Before the substance can be placed on the market a licence must be obtained from the Board of Trade as the substance was already the subject of a patent obtained before the War. Applications were made to the Board of Trade by various firms in the middle of last month. The hearing took place on the 24th ultimo, and I am informed that the requisite licences are now being issued to five firms. There would, therefore, seem to be no doubt that the supply of the substance will be made available as rapidly as the several firms can produce it.