« AnteriorContinua »
Question put, "That the word 'now stand part of the Question."
The House divided:-Ayes 57; Noes 154: Majority 97.
Words added; Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
Second Reading put off for six months.
MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS (No. 2) BILL.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
sciences of medicine were so encroaching on their antiquated system that it was absolutely necessary to put a stop to them. Ile did not think that the medical profession could be at all aided by placing restrictions on medical study, and the medical schools of this country must be subjected to competition, otherwise they would rank lower than those of any other country of Europe.
Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee," instead thereof.
COLONEL DUNNE said, he should oppose the Amendment, for the medical profession of Ireland generally approved the provisions of the Bill. He was, however, bound to say that the Bill did not so much affect Ireland as this country, for in whatever part of Ireland a man might be, he could be certain of receiving proper medical attendance; but he, although there were many eminent men in the medical profession in England, would rather go into the heaviest fire of a battle than submit to the medical treatment he would generally meet with in an English village. He thought it absolutely necessary that the means provided by the present Bill should be adopted, in order to protect the public from those not duly qualified to practise in the medical profession.
MR. CRAUFURD said, he rose to move, as an Amendment, that the House should resolve itself into a Committee upon the Bill that day six months. His opposition to the Bill was simply grounded upon the fact that it was defective in principle, that it was not a progressive but a retrogressive measure, that it would prove injurious not only to the medical profession, but to the public at large, and that it would only confirm the anomalies and increase the difficulties of the present state of the law. The Bill proposed that every person who was registered under this Act should be entitled to practise as a medical man; but it imposed no educational test whatever as the groundwork for being registered. He could come to no other conclusion than that the Bill was simply devised for the purpose of creating registration fees throughout the country to be given to some persons or other-whom he knew not. The Bill would create three new places, MR. PHINN said, he hoped that this and give increased patronage to the Go-measure would not share the fate of many vernment. The medical profession in of the "innocents' on the Wednesdays Scotland were strongly opposed to this Bill, owing to the manner in which it dealt with Scotch diplomas, and he believed that his right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate also entertained serious objections to the measure. He would not further detain the House, as he had now pointed out the principal defects of the Bill, and he trusted they would reject it.
MR. WARNER said, in seconding the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend, he considered that the present Bill would not only increase the patronage of the Government, but that its great fault was, that it proposed to deal with one of the most important of the human sciences in a way which tended, not to encourage its advancement, but which would materially check it. The real motive which had induced the corporate bodies mentioned in the Bill to agitate for a measure of this kind was, because they felt that the new
of this Session, and, having passed through a second reading, he trusted the noble Lord the Secretary for the Home Department would not now ruthlessly put an end to it. He had been requested by many gentlemen of the medical profession to support the present measure, thereby advancing the cause which they had at heart, that the public might see who had and who had not received a medical education. Taking the analogy of other professions, they found that an attorney could not practise without having his name on the rolls of court, that a barrister must be a member of one of the Inns of Court, and that a clergyman must be ordained; therefore, he considered that this proposed registration could not be objected to. It might not be the best qualification; still persons would see from it those persons designated by the Legislature as qualified to practise, and would in some degree be protected from those quacks who
had not the slightest pretensions or qualification for practising. His hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Craufurd) had said that the present Bill would create further patronage for the Government. If this were so, then the Government would, no doubt, receive the Bill with open arms; but he was very much afraid that they would disclaim the patronage which it was supposed this measure would give them. He could not say that this Bill dealt as comprehensively and efficiently with medical reform as he could have wished, still he trusted that, as there existed so great a difficulty in reconciling the opinions of the medical profession on this subject, the House would regard the Bill as a step in the right direction, and decide that registration should be adopted. MR. HENLEY said, that there was some difficulty in knowing what really was the principle of the present Bill. If it were intended merely to make a list of doctors, there would be very little good or harm in that; but he suspected from the last clause that it was intended to give a discretionary power to those who made the registration as to whom they would enter and whom they would leave out. In fact, the Bill appeared to him to be an attempt to set up a very extensive machinery to tax every doctor in the country, and to put upon Government the not very enviable task of selecting three doctors to be the objects of the animadversion of the whole profession. He knew that medical reform was a difficult subject to deal with, but, as he did not think that the present Bill would render it one jot the less so, he should vote against it.
MR. LASLETT said, he felt it his duty to oppose the Bill, as it was a measure affecting unfavourably a large majority of the medical profession.
MR. DIGBY SEYMOUR said, he could not agree with the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member who had moved the Amendment, who, admitting that the principle of registration was good, thought that the measure ought to be larger, and should be kept back until some uniform educational test could be introduced, and the medical profession could be brought under one system. This, under the present state of things, was nearly impossible. He considered that the principle of the Bill was unexceptionable, and should therefore support it.
VISCOUNT PALMERSTON said, he was afraid that he must perform the ungracious duty which the hon. and learned Member Mr. Phinn
for Bath (Mr. Phinn) had said he was sometimes in the habit of discharging ; but he did not know that he could quite concur with the hon. and learned Gentleman in thinking this Bill one of the "innocents;" on the contrary, he was inclined to think that, if it were to have any effect at all, it would be rather mischievous than innocent. But he must beg, in the first place, to defend the medical profession of England from the charges and imputations brought against them by the hon. and gallant Member for Portarlington (Colonel Dunne). He was happy to think that that misapprehension on his part as to the merits and qualifications of the English medical practitioners must have arisen from a circumstance in which they all of them must greatly rejoice, namely, the enjoyment by the hon. and gallant Member of the most perfect health while he had sat in that House. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been visited by any of those constitutional maladies which sometimes afflicted Members of that House, and prevented them from attending to the discharge of their legislative duties, whether he had sought advice in London or had fled to the purer air of the country, he would in either case have acquired practical experience of the skill and ability of the medical profession in England. To pass from that point, he thought this measure, as it stood, would have the effect of giving a Parliamentary sanction, as it were, to a number of persons who were not, perhaps, qualified in the manner in which persons ought to be qualified, who ought to enjoy the benefit and privilege of a Parliamentary sanction in the way of a registration. No doubt, the object ought to be to register those medical practitioners who were duly qualified, by education and attainments, to follow their profession; but he did not think this Bill would accomplish that object. It would register a number of persons who had obtained their diplomas from a multitude of bodies, many of which were not well qualified to give diplomas that ought to be a proof of the qualifications of the persons who held them. He granted that the medical profession required some considerable alteration; it was at present a chaos that quite bewildered a non-professional man who attempted to find a remedy for existing evils. It was very true, with reference to the majority of the medical body, that they did not much aid those who had for their object the improvement of the profes
sion. It often happened to others, as it had frequently happened to him, that a number of medical practitioners waited upon him and assured him that the provisions of this Bill would be of great public advantage, and was approved by the profession generally, but at no very distant period he would find that a large portion of the profession differed from and disapproved the measure. He spoke with all deference to those better informed on the subject than himself, but, from the consideration which he had given it, he thought that there were some general principles which might guide them in seeking to improve the medical profession. He said it with great deference, but, as far as the matter had been brought under his consideration, he should say that what they wanted was some uniform system of education, and some uniform test of qualification in the different branches of the profession. At the present moment there were, he believed, twenty-two different bodies entitled to give diplomas, and, as had been stated in the course of the debate, some of those bodies lowered their fees and their standard of examination in order to outbid the others, and the result was, that many persons were practising who were not competent to perform the duties which they had undertaken to discharge. He would be happy if he could be able, on communication with the leading members of the different branches of the profession, to propose to Parliament some measure that at least would lay the foundation of an improvement in the medical profession. He could not pretend to say at present that he was prepared with such a measure, but he thought a part and consequence of that general arrangement would be a system of registration. He thought a system of registration would be of advantage to the profession, and to the public at large; but this Bill put the cart before the horse, and made the consequence the preliminary to the cause. He was therefore disposed to support the Amendment.
MR. NAPIER said, that the House having sanctioned the second reading of this Bill, he did not think it was a very fair course to oppose the Motion for going into Committee. The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) seemed to have some idea in his mind regarding a uniform plan of giving medical certificates or diplomas. How was that notion to be carried out? Did the noble Lord mean to convert all the institutions which now granted diplomas
into one great medical university? He admitted that diplomas should only be given to properly qualified persons; but that object could only be effected by means of an improved system of education, and were the people to be left in the hands of quacks until such time as Parliament should find itself able to establish a better system of education? He hoped the House would proceed to consider the Bill in Committee.
MR. BRADY said, he would not imitate the personalities of the hon. Gentlemen who had moved and seconded the Amendment. He thought the House was sufficiently aware of the anomalous and unsatisfactory state in which the medical profession was at the present moment. The noble Lord had told them that there were twenty-two bodies who had the power of granting diplomas, but they had no regular standard of qualification or examination; and, as a measure of justice alone, the measure was imperatively called for. With regard to the patronage which it was said the Bill would confer, he should like to know how such a measure could be carried out without machinery, and he had adopted his from the Bill proposed on a former occasion by the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty. The objections and opposition to his measure had been got up, in the first place, by the Provincial Medical Association, which was so well represented by the hon. and learned Member for Ayr (Mr. Craufurd). They had sent circulars to all parts of the country and to the metropolis. He would not trespass further upon the time of the House, because the principle of his Bill had been already recognised and sanctioned by the House. He could not understand what objection could be urged to a medical man being the proper person to register the professional men of this country, and he would conclude by observing that, if the present measure passed, it would be a great blessing to the profession and the community.
MR. HUME said, he felt bound to do justice to the motives of the hon. Gentleman who had introduced the Bill. It was to provide for the registration of dulyqualified medical men, so that the public would be able to discriminate them from the pretenders. He thought no hon. Member could find fault with such a step, and he trusted that they would yet be able to accomplish some reform in a quarter in which it was so much required.
Question put, "That the words proposed | MR. THOMSON HANKEY said, he beto be left out stand part of the Question." lieved it would be satisfactory to many perThe House divided:-Ayes 69; Noes sous interested in this matter if some fuller 118: Majority 49. explanation were given on one important
Words added; Main Question, as amend-point. In the statement made by the ed, put, and agreed to.
Committee put off for six months.
WAYS AND MEANS-SUGAR DUTIES. Order for Committee read; House in Committee of Ways and Means.
MR. WILSON said, that it would be recollected that on a former evening, in passing Resolutions with respect to the sugar duties, it had been found impossible at the moment to arrange exactly. the manner of dealing with the duty of sugar in breweries. That difficulty was overcome, and he had therefore to move a Resolution making the duty on sugar used in breweries correspond with those agreed to in Committee the other evening. He had another Resolution to move also arising out of an omission, but an accidental one, on Monday night. That Re
solution ran thus:
"That, towards raising the Supply granted to Her Majesty, there shall be raised, levied, collected, and paid, on and after the 9th day of May, 1854, an additional Duty after the rate of fifteen pounds per centum upon the produce and amount of the Duties of Customs upon Sugar, which are now due and payable to Her Majesty."
It would be observed by the Committee that the word " and molasses were omitted. He doubted whether this omission was of any moment, as 'sugar" really included molasses; but still, to put an end to any doubt, he proposed to move a Resolution extending the additional 15 per cent to the duty on molasses, making that additional 15 per cent payable from and after the 8th May, so as to commence with the additional percentage on sugar. The Custom-House authorities had already considered themselves justified in taking the 15 per cent to extend to molasses, they being advised by their counsel that sugar included that word. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving Resolutions in accordance with his statement.
MR. HUME said, the House had passed an Act declaring that the duties on sugar should remain at a given rate until the 5th of July, 1854, and he did not think they had any right to add 15 per cent to those duties before that time. He thought they ought to be very cautious not to violate existing laws in which other parties were concerned,
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the other night, he did not clearly explain whether he proposed to make any alteration in the standards of quality of sugars in this new system of duties. The importers of sugar would be affected by any alteration that might be made in the standard of quality, and he had, therefore, to ask the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury to explain more fully the exact mode in which it was proposed to alter the scale of duties, and how far the new proposed scale
differed from the one now in existence?
MR. WILSON said, he would endeavour to state, in a few words, the distinction which they proposed to make in the new scale of duties. The Committee was aware that almost the only complaint at the present time in regard to the operation of the existing law was this, that the scale of duties did not operate fairly with respect to the various qualities of sugar. The producers of low sugars complained that, although nominally they paid the same amount of duty as the producers of the higher qualities, yet, in reality, they paid a larger duty, inasmuch as the article they produced did not yield the same amount of saccharine matter, and consequently of refined sugar, as that produced by the other parties. Now, he really assented to that statement; but the question was, how to remedy the evil. The Government had been strongly urged to allow refining in bond; but there were so many objections to that system, that the Government had resolved not to adopt it, at least under present circumstances. They had determined, in the first place, to attempt to equalise the duties upon a different plan. At the present moment there were three scales of duties applicable to colonial sugars. The first, 10s. per cwt. for the lowest class; the second, on sugars of the quality of brown and white clayed, 11s. 8d.; and the third, refined sugars, 13s. 4d. With regard to foreign sugars, the Act of 1848 provided for four scales. There was a scale, in the first place, for a quality below brown clayed; secondly, a scale for a quality equal to brown clayed; thirdly, a scale for white clayed; and fourthly, a scale for refined. The duty on the lowest quality of foreign sugar had never been applicable to colonial sugars;
and what they proposed was to attach a duty of 12s. per cwt. to the great bulk of yellow and the best quality of brown colonial sugars, and a duty of 11s. to the lowest qualities, thus making a distinction which had not hitherto been made. By that means they hoped to remedy the evil of which complaint was made. Upon the consideration of protecting the revenue, and making a fair apportionment of duty to the amount of saccharine matter contained, it was intended to modify the standard of white clayed sugars. With regard to the lowest scale-which would be charged with 11s. duty-or sugars of a standard not equal to brown clayed, it was a very low standard, and therefore admitted only a very small quantity-last year, he believed, only 9,000 out of 390,000 tons consumed. The Government proposed to raise that standard considerably, so as to let in a considerable portion of West India sugars not let in by the present standard. The chief object of the alterations would be to modify the standard in such a way that each quality might pay, as nearly as possible, duty in proportion to the real quantity of saccharine matter contained.
MR. GREGSON said, it would be a very advantageous measure if there was one uniform duty on all classes of sugar.
MR. DUNLOP said, he trusted the Government would, in the event of the differential rates of duty, according to quality, being carried, also consider whether differential drawbacks could not be allowed. With respect to the words in the Resolution, "from and after the 8th day of May," he objected to giving it a retrospective operation. On Tuesday night they had passed a Resolution, in which 15 per cent was added to the duties on sugar; nothing was said about molasses. The Resolution now proposed, therefore, became necessary; but according to all preecdent, which it would be unwise for the sake of two days to disturb, increased duties took effect from the date when the Resolutions were passed.
MR. HUME said, he was not aware, until now, that the omission of molasses had taken place, but he remembered a similar omission with respect to the timber duties for one day, and all transactions in the particular class of timber omitted for that day were free of duty. He did not believe it possible they could pass a Resolution on the 10th to come into operation on the 8th. Supposing individuals, know
ing of the omission, had in the two days purchased molasses, they were not to be fined in the duties for the negligence of a Government department. He therefore objected to the 8th of May standing in the Resolution.
MR. WILSON said, that although he had used the precaution of bringing in this Resolution, yet he did not think it was absolutely necessary to do so in order to include molasses, because the Resolution passed the other night declared that certain additional duties should be levied on sugar, and in every Act for regulating the duty on sugar molasses were treated as sugar. The Commissioners of Customs held themselves justified by the terms of the Resolution of Tuesday night in including the duty of molasses in that of sugar, but that there might be no dispute he proposed this Resolution. Had that not been the case he should have yielded immediately to the suggestion made, but as molasses had always been treated as sugar, and as the Commissioners of Customs considered molasses a description of sugar, he thought the Committee would feel no difficulty in passing the Resolution in the form proposed.
MR. HENLEY said, the real question was, not what was the opinion of the Commissioners of Customs, but whether without this Resolution they could introduce into the Act of Parliament power to levy duty on molasses. There could be no doubt it was understood the 15 per cent was applicable to all kinds of sugar and molasses, and if the power of levying it on molasses could be introduced into the Act of Parliament there could be no difficulty.
MR. WILSON said, there could be no doubt about that. The Commissioners of Customs had been already advised that they could collect the duties, and had collected them.
MR. HENLEY said, he was very glad the Government had undertaken to modify the scale, but he thought it was very desirable full notice should be given as to the mode in which they would modify it, because it was a matter of importance to partics interested that the Committee should not be called on to come to any hasty decision. He was one of those who regarded the modification of the scale as a tardy act of justice to a certain proportion of sugar producers, on whose produce there had been a seeming, and not a real, differential duty.
MR. WILSON said, he admitted the