asked the Minister of Health if, when making the agreement with the Retail Pharmacists Union relating to the National Insurance drug fund, described in the Annual Report of the Ministry of Health, 1927–28, the British Medical Association was consulted; if the approval of that agreement was obtained; and if, in the view of the unanimous condemnation of the agreement as being against public policy recorded by two full sessions 1927 and 1928 of the annual conference of panel committees, he will rescind that agreement.
Before the agreement with the Retail Pharmacists Union was actually concluded, the Insurance Acts Committee of the British Medical Association were made acquainted with its terms by letter, and subsequently a conference took place at the Ministry when various criticisms and suggestions were fully discussed. The approval of the British Medical Association to the agreement as a whole was not invited, and has not therefore been obtained. At the conference of panel committees in 1927 a considerable difference of opinion was manifested although the resolution mentioned in the question was ultimately passed and reaffirmed without discussion in 1928. I am not prepared to rescind the agreement.