I beg to move, in page 3, line 36, after "with," to insert "or derogate from."
In the opinion of some of us, the words "rights or functions" were rather restrictive, and we wanted to make it quite clear that it was not intended to derogate from the functions or to interfere with the rights and functions of the various categories of persons covered by the Clause.
There is a close connection between this Amendment and my Amendment in page 3, line 37, after the second "of," to insert:
Or the carrying out of any operation normally carried out by.
I prefer the addition of the form of words which I propose because, as has been pointed out, there is a doubt whether the use of the term "rights or functions" may not be too restrictive. I am advised that that view may be held by lawyers. At least, the doubt exists that they may be regarded as rights and functions statutorily determined in one form or another. Since most of the bodies named in the Clause are bodies which have rights and functions prescribed by Act of Parliament, it would follow that if "rights or functions" remains, even with the addition of "or derogate from", it might be that the Institute of Trichologists, which also appears in the Clause, would not be covered by "rights or functions" because that institute has no rights or functions determined by statute. I hope that my hon. Friends will be prepared to accept my Amendment in order to put the matter beyond any doubt.
I beg to move, in page 3, line 39, to leave out "a male or female nurse," and to insert:
an enrolled assistant nurse within the meaning of the Nurses Acts, 1919 and 1943, or any person authorised by regulations made and in force thereunder to describe himself as a nurse or any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physio-therapy.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The definition in regard to nurses which is now proposed is that asked for by the Nurses General Council. We also seek to ensure that physiotherapists shall in no way be prejudiced by the provisions of the Bill. To some extent they do certain work which is done by hairdressers and there is the possibility of some confusion. Our object is to protect them and to exclude them from the provisions of this Bill.
I beg to second the Amendment.
As we are also considering the second Amendment, I want to point out to my hon. Friends that the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists are not now in favour of the Amendment and that they have written to say that they accept the words which we have incorporated in our Amendment and accept the description:
Any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy.
They indicate that they do not desire their name to be incorporated in the Bill. Therefore, I hope in the light of that, my hon. Friends will not press the second Amendment.
The explanation by the seconder of the Amendment regarding the position of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists does not alter the importance of the matter I have in mind, which is that the use of the words in the Amendment is no kind of protection for the qualified and registered physiotherapist. There is nothing whatever to prevent anybody who wishes to evade the general purposes of the Bill, from calling himself a physiotherapist and setting up in practice under that title, thereby evading the purpose of the Bill.
The Clause is much too widely drawn. If we are to protect physiotherapists in their proper rights and functions, it is essential precisely to state in the saving Clause to what we are referring. While I hear with regret that the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists—who put their case to me the other day quite strongly in favour of this Amendment—have now apparently communicated with the sponsors of the Bill in a contrary sense, I cannot accept that statement as being in any way decisive on this point.
We are dealing here not merely with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists but with another body of physiotherapists, the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain, which is composed largely of ex-Service men—[An HON. MEMBER: "And women"]—who have turned to this profession, have undergone a strenuous and severe training, and have
qualified in a proper way to exercise the profession. It seems to me extremely likely that there may be objections on the part of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, who have now taken this belated move to being included in the Bill because we have included the other society in our Amendment. I am not largely concerned about the claims of rival practitioners; what I am concerned about is that people who have a proper claim to be considered in this way should be included in the saving Clause of the Bill. Therefore, I ask my hon. Friends whether they would not be willing to get rid of the loose, ill-defined and meaningless phrase, "The process or practice of physiotherapy," which anybody can do, and substitute the precise definition in my Amendment,
or a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists or of the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain.
I support what has been said by the hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton). As the promoters of this Bill are determined to make the hairdresser's craft a closed trade by refusing to accept the Amendments on the Order Paper in the names of my hon. Friends and myself, they should give the right to those practising ancillary trades to get on with their jobs. It seems to me an evil step that we are taking. Hitherto it has been the job of the promoters of the Bill to try to make it suitable for those engaged in the trade; now they are deliberately excluding those practising ancillary trades. It shows a meanness which is contrary to what this House desires.
I do not know on what grounds the hon. and learned Gentleman has stated that the physiotherapists are now prepared to support his view, but when I was in my constituency recently I had consultations with ex-Service men practising this craft, and they were strongly opposed to not having the saving Clause for their profession. I earnestly hope that the promoters of the Bill will have second thoughts, which are generally best, and accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Norwich.
Like the hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton), I cannot see
why there is difficulty on the part of the promoters about the inclusion of this safeguard. In their own Amendment the words
or any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy
are much too loose a definition. My hon. Friend and myself have used only words which would be applicable to recognised associations or societies of people practising physiotherapy; we are not concerned with the dispute between organisations representing different groups of practitioners.
As far as my knowledge goes, those are the only two recognised organisations of physiotherapists, but if there is still a doubt in the mind of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), he would be reassured if he could get into touch with the Ministry of Health which has formed recently a consultative committee for the practice of this side of medical work. Notwithstanding what has been said by the Chartered Society, I hope that, on second thoughts, it will be found possible to agree to the inclusion of this helpful Amendment.
This Amendment seems to epitomise some of the drawbacks of this Bill. Either we can have the first Amendment, which makes the Bill meaningless because then anybody who wishes to practise as a hairdresser outside the provisions of this Bill has only to write up over his shop "Hairdresser and Physiotherapist"; or we can have the alternative Amendment which tries to define to which physiotherapist we are referring. If we have that, we are asking Parliament to plunge straight into blind interference with the rights of citizens without having any knowledge of the subject.
We do not know whether the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists or the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain include all the physiotherapists. We have not the remotest idea whether they have passed any examination or have any qualifications—indeed, as to about four-fifths of us, we probably do not know what a physiotherapist is. We are asked in this slipshod, idiotic way to interfere with the rights of people. I humbly submit that both these Amendments are perfectly hopeless and that we should not act in this irresponsible way.
If by leave of the House I may say another word, there is only one point on which I agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). That is when he says he knows nothing about physiotherapy. His speech demonstrated that up to the hilt. He says that all one has to do is to put over the door of one's shop that one is a hairdresser and physiotherapist, and one can avoid the whole of the provisions of this Measure. What utter nonsense. That not only shows that my hon. and learned Friend knows nothing about physiotherapy, but also that he knows nothing about the Bill. If he will read Clause 17 he will see a very clear definition of "hairdresser." It is true that in the context of Clause 17 there are one or two items included in the practice of physiotherapy, but that does not make the man practising those things a hairdresser, but merely means he is what he says he is, a physiotherapist. To say there is any confusion is to fail to understand the Clause.
Before my hon. and learned Friend departs from that point will he read Clause 12 and see what it says:
Nothing in this Act"—
—and I presume Clause 17 is in the Act—
shall interfere in any way with any of the rights or functions of a registered medical practitioner, a registered chemist, a member of the Institute of Trichologists, a registered nurse or a male or female nurse.
Then my hon. and learned Friend would add in place of "a male or female nurse":
an enrolled assistant nurse within the meaning of the Nurses Acts, 1919 and 1943, or any person authorised by regulations made and in force thereunder to describe himself as a nurse or any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy.
Therefore, anyone who applies that phrase in any way, would have nothing in the Act applying to him.
Now that my hon. and learned Friend has read the Clause he had better study it. The reason why this Amendment was moved was that this is a Hairdressers Bill. It is not a Bill to regulate the vocation of physiotherapy. If there is anything wrong with their house, they had better put it in order by
promoting a Bill of their own. We are only concerned here about hairdressers and the idea of incorporating something into this Bill, to put right something which is wrong with the occupation or vocation of physiotherapy is all wrong. If we started to do that we would have to do the same for everyone else excluded. The Chartered Society, who have been agitating about this matter all along, have now said quite candidly and definitely, that their point is met by this Amendment. In a letter dated 30th June, they say:
Our clients consider that their interests are sufficiently protected by the concluding words of your Amendment.
They say that the Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton) is quite unnecessary, having regard to the general words in our Amendment. It is a case of "save me from my friends" so far as my hon. Friends the Members for Norwich and East Harrow (Mr. Skinnard) are concerned. As for the solicitude of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton, if he had acquainted himself with elementary knowledge about physiotherapy, he would have supported our Amendment.
Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the phrase that he wants to employ renders the whole Measure null and void and permits anyone to escape by simply calling himself a physiotherapist?
I hesitate to enter a discussion between the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels). I am sorry the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester did not pay more heed to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). I think the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester has given a more accurate interpretation of what it is intended to do than has the hon. and learned Member for Northampton. The former has been connected with the Bill from the start, in March when we considered it in Standing Committee and, no doubt, in three months the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester, with the great assiduity he always brings to bear to any task he takes in hand, has been studying the Bill almost night and day. That is why I think his interpretation of what it is intended to do in regard to physiotherapy is more likely to be the proper interpretation than the view outlined by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton. In saying that, I do not intend to be so impertinent as to pass any aspersions on the hon. and learned Member for Northampton as far as legal ability and training are concerned—very far from it but, I think perhaps he has not applied his mind to this matter as much as his hon. and learned Friend.
I accept the interpretation of the Amendment given by the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester and only hope that the point put by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs in regard to ex-Service men who may be indulging in the practice of physiotherapy, whatever that may be, has been fully met. My hon. and gallant Friend and I could never be parties to anything which would prejudice the livelihood of ex-Service men, particularly ex-Service men who have suffered grievous hardship as a result of their gallantry in the last war or the war of 1914–19. This matter may have been troubling their minds and, although the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester is not prepared to accept the Amendment in the name of his hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton), I hope he will pay heed to what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend and that he will be able to relieve any further anxiety on that score.
To get the position a little more clear, I wish to put a question to my hon. Friends the Members for Norwich (Mr. Paton) and for East Harrow (Mr. Skinnard). Their objection to the Amendment under discussion is that the phrase,
Any person engaged in, or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy.
would allow any Tom, Dick or Harry who chooses to do so to call himself a physiotherapist—
And escape the consequences. They suggest that their phrase,
a member of the Chartered Society … or Association..
would give some limitation. I want to know whether there is any limitation on the membership either of the Chartered Society or the Association. In other words, are there any qualifications for membership because, if there are none, there is no safeguard at all and a person like myself would not be prevented from paying a subscription and thereby getting the protection of this Measure.
In actual fact both organisations exist on the passing of tests and examinations and confer different degrees. I know only that of the second one, which is L.P.M.E.—Licentiate in Physiotherapy and Medical Electricity.
I very nearly find myself in disagreement with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and, what is even more rare, find myself in agreement with the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). Thus I have had two unexpected experiences this morning. This is not a Bill which has come to the House quite unexpectedly or without thought, or on which the House has been asked to decide without a good deal of investigation. The Hairdressers' Association and their profession attach great importance to this exceedingly important Bill, and it is designed also to be of value to the public. Clearly, when any occupation, trade or profession is seeking what is tantamount to substantial exclusive power—I appreciate the apparent inherent contradiction in the phrase—it is right that they should treat with the greatest tenderness the existing practitioners of reputable organisations.
It is all very well to say that the Clause makes nonsense of the Bill; it does not. It is clearly part of the normal duty of a male nurse in a hospital to shave a very sick patient; it is not part of his normal duty to open a shaving shop. It is clearly part of the duty of a physiotherapist to give massage treatment; it is not part of the normal duty of a physiotherapist to give shampoos or sell hair restorers. It is therefore right and proper that the Clause should have been drafted in as wide a form as possible so that the promoters can say to the House, as they are saying, "We are not seeking to interfere with reputable occupations properly conducted. We are not seeking to acquire any powers which can be criticised as destroying other people's livelihoods or affecting the ordinary and proper operation of their powers." This Clause is so drawn as to go no further than is desirable in that respect.
We are now confronted with the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs, which is a perfectly fair point. If hairdressers say they want protection they must not, by inference, destroy the protection enjoyed by physiotherapists, and I am sure that they do not intend to do so. I am sure that when the first of the two Amendments which we are discussing was drafted it was not intended to do that. Certainly it was an Amendment dealing with the physiotherapy part of the question which made the position much more clear and gave existing protection to existing societies. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton says that there may be another society. I have been in touch with hairdressers and physiotherapists, and if such a society exists and has not expressed its views, it cannot complain. In any event, there remains another place where any such complaint can be made known.
I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker. It seems to me that a combination of the two Amendments would meet the point which has been made. As I understand the feeling of the House, subject to the exception of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton, the first Amendment is generally accepted down to the word "nurse" towards the end. We then have the final few words which conflict with the Amendment down in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton), because it is quite clear that the first Amendment destroys the effect of my Friend's Amendment. The first Amendment covers all he wishes to cover in the way of widening the provision, but so widely as to destroy the protection which their organisations give to the physiotherapists. It seems to me that on this important subject I should not be misrepresenting the clear
feeling in all parts of the House if I said that if the two Amendments could be combined by a manuscript Amendment, which would insert the whole of the words of the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich in place of the last line of the promoters' Amendment after the words "as a nurse," we should meet completely the sense of the House. The combined Amendment would then read:—
.…as a nurse or a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists or of the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain.
As this is really an attempt to meet the very real needs and desires of existing associations, I wonder whether it would be possible for you, Mr. Speaker, to say whether, in the somewhat exceptional circumstances, you would consider accepting a manuscript Amendment to that effect, even on the Report stage? It appears to me that it meets the whole sense of what has been said on both sides of the House, and would meet a point which would otherwise have to be dealt with in another place, with the possibility of Amendments having to come back to us later in the Session, when there would be pressure on the time of the House which might have an adverse effect on the future of the Bill.
Perhaps, with the leave of the House, I can shorten consideration of this matter a good deal. Up to today the point has been made that the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists should be included. For the first time the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain has been introduced this morning in the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. Paton). I cannot resist the persuasion of my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale). I am prepared to look at the matter again and to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend, and further, to adopt the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, and delete the words from "nurse" in the last line of my Amendment, and to substitute for the deleted words the Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend.
Question "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill" put and negatived.
Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
Amendment made in the proposed words, to leave out
or any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy."—[Mr. Hale.]
While not opposing in any way what is proposed, I should like to hear a further statement from those interested in this matter on behalf of the physiotherapists. Are we endeavouring to organise physiotherapists or hairdressers? It sounds to me as though we are here organising physiotherapists, and we ought to have some statement on behalf of the physiotherapists' organisations as to whether that is correct. I wish to know whether under this Clause, physiotherapists are or are not allowed to practise. We have not been told, but it seems odd if this Bill should endeavour to regulate the occupation of physiotherapy.
The hon. Gentleman is under a complete misapprehension about what is proposed. The Amendment before the House is an Amendment to the saving Clause of the Bill, which seeks to except from the operation of the Bill a number of specified professions or crafts which it is not intended to bring within the scope or operation of the Bill, since, in practice, physiotherapists, in the exercise of their profession, do some of the things which are defined as hairdressing in Clause 17. It is necessary to give physiotherapists protection against being compelled under this Bill to register as hairdressers. That is the sole intention and purpose of this Amendment. If there are physiotherapists up and down the country who are not qualified and registered, who practise what they call physiotherapy, they are perfectly entitled to do so, but if they are unlicensed, unregistered and unqualified they may find themselves in trouble through the operation of the Bill. It is to prevent that happening to registered qualified people that the Amendment has been put forward.
I said in regard to this part of the Bill. I want everybody to realise that it is now suggested that this House is legislating to confer benefits on two bodies of physiotherapists but not on any other body of physiotherapists, and I want to know if these two particular bodies in fact cover all physiotherapists or not.
I am sorry if I have not made the point clear. We are not imposing anything on anybody connected with physiotherapy. What we are trying to do is to prevent people who are practising it properly, from being affected by this Bill. We are offering them a protection, and not imposing on them any fresh duty.
I think it is necessary that the House should understand what exactly it is doing by this Amendment. If there is a person who says that he is practising physiotherapy and he is not a member of either of these associations, and, in the course of that practice of physiotherapy, he does something which is described as within a form of hairdressing in Clause 17 of this Bill, he will have committed a breach of the Bill.
No, I do not think that follows. If, in fact, that situation occurs and some unqualified and unregistered physiotherapist should engage in some of the practices included in the definition Clause, it would still not follow that it was a breach of the Bill, because it would have to be proved on the facts.
Undoubtedly, it would have to be proved on the facts, but I think the whole House should realise that my hon. Friend keeps talking about unqualified and unregistered physiotherapists. Physiotherapy is not a controlled occupation, and so far as I know anybody can describe himself as a physiotherapist, and, with good muscles and plenty of energy, he can make a number of his patients very uncomfortable. Whether he does them any good or not may be open to question. Such physiotherapy as I have suffered has been inflicted on me by members of the other sex, and I am bound to say that they have discovered places on my body into which they could insert their fingers which I had always regarded as solid.
There are no qualified and registered physiotherapists so far as the law of the country is concerned. The two bodies named in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. J. Paton) are doubtless very reputable bodies, set up to provide means by which the public may be more or less assured that they are being treated by skilled therapists. There is really nothing more in these two associations than that. It is true that they may have their examinations and that they may even recognise examinations conducted by other people, but they have no statutory position at all, and what we are now being asked to say is that, if a person who practises physiotherapy desires, as a physiotherapist, to practice anything that comes within Clause 17 of the Bill, that person must become a member of one or other of the two associations that are named.
That may or may not be so. After all, I am not proposing this Amendment; my hon. Friend is. It may very well be that, in the course of time, some other body, a voluntary body like these two, may be set up, and to which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health may feel it advisable to go in order to get advice in these matters, but it would mean an amendment of this Bill, if it ever becomes an Act, to ensure that persons in such an association should then be allowed to practise those parts of their own profession which they are prevented from practising by Clause 17. I am not offering any advice to the House, but I think the House should know what it is doing.
If I might reply to what my right hon. Friend has said, first of all I think it is rather a pity that the Home Secretary did not intervene when the first Amendment was being dealt with, because then we might have had the advantage of what he has just said. However, advantage or not, with great respect, I doubt very much whether in practice it amounts to very much. I am now satisfied that these two organisations are responsible for physiotherapists, and that anyone outside these two bodies is probably a person with no competence at all.
It is my opinion, and it is based upon the assurances I have received that these are the only two organisations which cater for physiotherapists. It also appears that there is a certain course which physiotherapists have to take in order to qualify, and it is very unlikely that any competent physiotherapist is to be found who is not within these two organisations. There may or may not be certain therapists outside it, but the Amendment merely says that anyone who is not a member of these organisations should not be able to practise anything which comes within the definition of hairdressing. That does not exclude them from being physiotherapists, and, therefore, with all respect, the objection of the Home Secretary is not a good one. This is confined in such a narrow compass that I do not think the fears expressed have any substance at all.
That last remark of my hon. and learned Friend certainly seems to me to be a very remarkable one. We do not say, when we pass an Act of Par-
liament, that, because it concerns hairdressers, the English language shall have a quite different meaning. What Clause 17 says is that the term "hairdressing" means a number of things, and included in the list is—
the hand or vibro massage of the scalp, face, hands or arms.
Anybody who does not come within that definition and who massages my arm because it has a sprain will be committing an offence under this Bill.
I am enjoying this very devastating reply of the hon. and learned Member for Northampton to the speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton 10 minutes ago when he said that the Bill was so wide that it did not stop anybody doing anything. The only Amendment we are proposing to make is to give a slightly narrower definition of the physiotherapist exception, and to leave every other exception standing.
If my hon. Friend had been listening to what I said, he would have known that I dealt with the two Amendments which were then before the House, and that I pointed out the difficulty in each. I said that if we accepted the first one, we should then make the Bill meaningless because, simply by describing himself as a physiotherapist, a man would put himself outside the Bill. If we accept the second Amendment, then we are not merely organising hairdressers, but are forcibly organising physiotherapists without any information on the subject. The hopelessness of the first Amendment has, I gather, been recognised.
My hon. and learned Friend told the House—I do not know where he has acquired his information in the interim—that he did not know what the word "physiotherapy" meant. If he does not know what it means, it is surely impossible for him to argue that the word "physiotherapy" restricts a whole series of activities which, in point of fact, if he knew what it meant, he would find had nothing to do with physiotherapy.
I hazarded a guess, but because four-fifths of my colleagues did not know what it was, I do not include myself in the majority.
The first Clause has been dropped. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The wide words which made this Bill meaningless have been dropped, so that objection is now dealt with, and we come to the other side. What we are being asked here—and, if we are not to make the Bill meaningless, we are bound to come up against this sort of difficulty—is to regulate the physiotherapists' profession, if that be the right word, without any adequate knowledge of that profession or its organisation. We are excluding this Chartered Society and this Association because we do not think they would be injured by this Bill. We are leaving in physiotherapists who are not members of either of those associations, and, therefore, they are injured by this Bill. That being so, we are, as between physiotherapists, providing these two associations with advantages as against other people practising in this profession. We are giving the Association and the Chartered Society this great and valuable advantage.
We have it on the opinion of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) that there are not any other physiotherapists. I do not know; we may find that there are Scottish ones, that there are Northern Ireland ones, and that there are local ones, but I am quite certain we shall find that there are a great number of independent physiotherapists, or let us call them masseurs.
I think, perhaps, that the House has been misled to a certain extent by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary because he concentrated on his own experience of purely manual massage. But, as I mentioned in an interjection when I interrupted my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Symonds) the abbreviations on the diploma of one of the sections of physiotherapists indicate that there is a considerable medical side to their practice.
Certainly; I am merely saying that physiotherapy includes massage. It includes other things, too, There are a great number of independent people going in for massage who are not members of these societies, and who will be very gravely affected. There are a lot of people who have what one might call an instinct or a gift for such work. For instance, there are osteopaths who go in for massage, who have no qualifications, but who do most valuable and useful work. Here we are forbidding any of them to massage people's arms. A boxer or a workman may injure his arm and may want massage. Under this we are excluding a lot of people, and when we give this sort of special advantage to an association, we are giving a vested right to that association which is of great practical value. We shall have these associations going round finding people who are not members of their association, and who do, perhaps, sometimes massage somebody's hand, and prosecuting them.
Within my own profession we have associations which are recognised by the law. So have the medical profession, the dental profession, and a number of other professions. It may be that physiotherapy ought to have associations and qualifications recognised by the law. In point of fact they have not. But if we pass this Bill, they will have the advantages without the disadvantages; they will be placed in a position of having the vested right to control anybody who goes in for massage. They will, in practice—because this always happens—be going round the country prosecuting people under this Bill, when it becomes an Act, for massaging somebody's arm, in order to force them into their association and in order to get control.
Let us see what a hairdressing establishment is. It is a place where hairdressing is carried on. Now let us see what hairdressing is. It means—according to Clause 17:
hand or vibro massage of the face, scalp, hands or arms,
and anybody who massages my thumb in my room makes that a hairdressing establishment.
No, I am criticising incompetent draftsmanship. We have this position created by the Amendments. Anybody who goes in for massage can be prosecuted under this Measure unless he happens to belong to one of those two associations whose qualifications we do not know, whose constitution we do not know, and whose responsibility we do not know.
As these Amendments have been under discussion for some time, and as their purpose is to create exceptions from the operation of the Bill, and further, if they are not carried it will leave the Bill without these exceptions, would my hon. and learned Friend tell us whether he is in favour of the Amendments or not?
It is far too early, and we have got insufficient information to enable us to make up our minds about these Amendments. It may be that it will be possible to accept the Amendments by having a radical alteration of Clause 17 and by having a different definition of hairdressing. On the other hand, if we have a different definition of hairdressing these Amendments will be wholly unnecessary, because as hairdressing will not then be defined to include massage, we need not include masseurs. I submit that this Amendment creates a vested interest in two associations of which this House knows nothing. It makes liable to prosecution unless they join these associations a whole series of people throughout the country who are practising massage, and it is something which no responsible—
I am sorry to interrupt again, but would it help my hon. and learned Friend's point of view if the words which are proposed to be left out—
or any person engaged in or applying the process or practice of physiotherapy
If those words were reinserted we should then have got over the difficulty which I am discussing, and we should be back with the other difficulty, namely, that the Bill would be entirely meaningless, because anybody could do exactly what he liked so long as he put on his notice board: "Practical physiotherapist." We should have completed the circle and we should be back where we started. Both these Amendments are impossible.
It is time we considered this Amendment with a sense of proportion. We all know by now, because it has certainly been dinned into us long enough, that the effect of this Amendment will be that certain physiotherapists outside these two associations will not be able to practise in certain ways, and that if they do, they may be prosecuted for doing so. Are we, because of that, going to lose the whole of this Bill which is desired by a large section of the community and, as the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale) has said, is required by the profession itself? That is the short issue.
Are we saying that in order to save these few people—and I do not suppose there can be many of them—from the risk of prosecution—because it is no more than that—and a fine of some 20 shillings, we are going to lose the whole of this Bill? I do not for a moment suppose that the Hairdressers' Association, who after all are a sensible body, will prosecute except in glaring cases. When the matter is put in that way, I say at once that this Amendment is admirable. It is the best Amendment that can be devised in the circumstances. It is recognised that it might make difficulties if we retained the original wording. It might make difficulties for the hairdressers. It seems to me that nobody should have any hesitation in voting for this Amendment.
I have listened with great interest to the
discussion on this Amendment. It would appear to me that the discussion was intended either to befog the issue or deliberately to hold up the Bill, or to protect people whom this House, if this Bill were passed, would condemn for not becoming members of an association. We have in this proposed Amendment the words:
or a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists or of the Physiotherapists Association of Great Britain.
The whole burden of the complaint has been that there is, or there might be, or there probably will be, some people practising physiotherapy who are not members of either of these two associations. It would, therefore, be unjust if we passed this Measure embodying this Amendment, which would exclude from the penalties of this Bill people who are not members of these associations.
I should like to draw the attention of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) to the fact that he is a member of a party which has been the champion of free associations for nearly a century. In this House this party of which he is a member has defended the rights of associations. Now we have the specious plea that the House should go out of its way to protect the individual who says that he intends to practise whatever he likes, against the association of his fellows, in a particular profession or trade.
My hon. Friend may speak for himself. I do not think he knows very much about associations. We are dealing with the principle of free associations and the right of a free association to ask a person to join that association for the sake of the welfare and prestige of the profession.
I am sorry; I cannot give way any more. We have had a Member of the Labour Party—I would not have minded if he had been on the other side of the House—actually proposing that we should not in this Amendment extend to the associations the power to say to a person, "Before you can get protection from the penalties of this Measure you must join one of these two associations." I am going to vote for this Amendment.
There is something extraordinary about a body of the character which my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) talks about who have known about this Bill but have never thought it worth while to write to the promoters of the Bill or to anybody else but himself. A body which professes to be of some account but which has neglected to take action to protect its interests is not worth consideration.
It seems to me that the promoters of the Bill are hampered by two things in this House: one is the desire to stop the Analgesia Bill, on the part of some of my hon. Friends, and the other is the opposition which apparently exists in the Home Office to this Bill because of the fear that it might be extended to other professions and trades. I ask the House to dispose of this matter by passing this Amendment and I look to every hon. Member on this side of the House to support the Amendment. If not, they betray the principles of the party to which they belong.
I think the Amendment is intended to try to clear up the position. In view of the confusion which has been created, I should like to say that there is not at the present time anyone designated as a physiotherapist practising in a hairdressing establishment. This is a body of people practising, mostly but not always, in establishments controlled under enactments and by-laws of local authorities, and we provide for that in the following Clause which we shall discuss later.
The position is that there are in hairdressing establishments persons who carry out hand and vibro-massage of the scalp, face and arms, and what we desire is to see that these persons are qualified persons. But we do realise that the massage of the scalp, face and arms is also practised by physiotherapists in massage establishments and establishments of their own, and we do not want to place them in the position—and this is quite true; it is no use the Under-Secretary shaking his head—of having to register; we do not want to impose upon these persons in massage or other establishments controlled by local authority by-laws the necessity not only of having to be licensed by local authorities but also of having to register under the provisions of this Bill. We are anxious to safeguard their position.
The right hon. Member for Epsom (Mr. McCorquodale) raised the point whether there were any physiotherapists practising who were not members of these two professional organisations. I will give an undertaking to the House that I will look into this matter when the Bill reaches another place so as to make absolutely certain that, if there are any such persons who are not members of these professional societies, then we shall take steps to protect them and see that they are not worse off. I think that clears up the position and I hope, in view of that assurance, that the House will agree to accept the Amendment, on the understanding that we shall look at this matter and put it right in another place if there is anyone affected.
Perhaps I may clear up the doubts expressed by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). Those doubts clearly arose from the fact that he had not read the Bill. After both the First World War and the Second World War a great number of young men, many of whom were partially disabled, set out to equip themselves as physiotherapists. They studied, they trained, they had to equip themselves and they passed their examinations as laid down by these two admirable bodies. Under this Bill they are being protected against the operations of the Bill. They have, therefore, every reason to resent any Tom, Dick or Harry calling themselves physiotherapists and getting the same protection. That is the whole thing in a nutshell.