HC Deb 21 June 1951 vol 489 cc65-6W
Mr. Scott

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the misuse of surgical spirit; and if he will consider taking steps to enable him to prevent its sale by a chemist other than on a doctor's certificate.

Mr. Ede

I am aware that there is some misuse of this spirit on a very small scale, but the only way in which I could control its sale in the manner suggested would be to list it as a poison under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act. I do not think that it would be appropriate to use the powers conferred by that Act merely to prevent the misuse of surgical spirit by a few abnormal people. I understand, however, that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise have certain powers with regard to the sale of methylated spirit and I have asked my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider whether these powers can be used to prevent this abuse.