10 APRIL 1936, Page 21


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

Stn,—May I be permitted to support the expression of your regret that the House of Commons should have been "talked out" on the date appointed for the Second Reading of the Medical and Surgical Appliances (Advertisements) Bill ?

It seems to roe that the Bill would deal with a serious evil. The sale of patent quack medicines on a large scale must be fraught•With'a Certain danger of pecuniary loss, as well as of physical injury,. to many sufferers; especially among the poor. Some time ago I Made a catalogue of• the advertisements which were published within one week in the columns of a welt-known monthly magazine ; and it is not, I think, an exaggeration to say that there was no disease, from cancer downwards, which could not; according to the advertisements, be easily Cured, whoever, the sufferer from it might be, by the use of the medicinesor other remedies so prescribed.

No doubt it is possible that the medical profession may be, as you say, suspected of a .rigid conservatism, but that evil, if it exists, must be almost negligible in comparison with the public laudatory notification of cures, which do not rest upon any scientific experience. Is there any good reason why advertisements of quack medicines should not be subjected to heavy taxation, or, better still, be legally prohibited alto- gether ?—I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, • The Dell, Secenoaks, Kent.