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Contraceptives (Sale)

Volume 436: debated on Thursday 1 May 1947

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42.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate the extent of the public sale of contraceptives, with a view to introducing legislation to make such sales to young persons under 18 years of age illegal.

Proposals to prohibit the sale of contraceptives to young unmarried persons have been considered in the past but have been found impracticable, largely because of the difficulty of enforcement.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that people of both sexes of the ages of 16 or 17 can go into chemists' shops and buy these contraceptives, and why is it not possible to adopt the same kind of restrictions on this kind of sale as is adopted in the case of young people going into public houses to buy liquor?

I think the answer is that substances bought in public houses in a form ready for immediate consumption cannot be taken away and handed over to another person, whereas there is no such difficulty with these particular articles.