Vivisection Experiments.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 10th May 1922.

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Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I beg to move, That leave be given to introduce a Bill to prevent the application of public money to vivisection experiments. This is a Bill which I claim is a practical attempt at economy, and its object is to prevent the spending of public money on vivisection experiments. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent vivisection experiments being continued at the hands of any learned societies or others who provide the money, but in these times I do not think it is right that public money should be granted for this purpose, especially as it must come in part from persons who have scruples against vivisection. The sum of money, I believe, is substantial, though I have not been been able to get the actual figures. Before the War the amount of money spent on medical research was round about £60,000 a year. It is now over £120,000, of which a considerable sum, I understand, is spent on these experiments. I believe the figures are round about £30,000 or £40,000. I think that is money which could well be saved at the present time, and I hope I shall have the support of the House in introducing this very simple and very short Bill. There is talk of more money being demanded for these experiments, and the salaries which are being paid to the researchers, all of whom, of course, are not employed in vivisection, though a good many are, come alone to £38,000 a year. That is a very substantial amount, and I believe it could be saved without any harm to the body politic. It will not prevent a single vivisection experiment which is necessary because the learned societies who think it is necessary will undoubtedly be able to supply the funds to enable the experiments to be carried on.