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Cancer Act 1939

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Cancer Act 1939

1939 CHAPTER 13 2 and 3 Geo 6

An Act to make further provision for the treatment of cancer, to authorise the Minister of Health to lend money to the National Radium Trust, to prohibit certain advertisements relating to cancer, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[29th March 1939]

1, 2.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1E+W+S
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3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2E+W+S
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Amendments (Textual)

4 Prohibition of certain advertisements.E+W+S

(1)No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement—

(a)containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof; or

(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3

(2)If any person contravenes any of the provisions of the foregoing subsection, he shall be liable on summary conviction, in the case of a first conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F4fifty pounds][F4level 3 on the standard scale], and, in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F4one hundred pounds][F4level 3 on the standard scale] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such a fine and such imprisonment.

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F5

(4)In any proceedings for a contravention of subsection (1) of this section, it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove—

(a)that the advertisement to which the proceedings relate was published only so far as was reasonably necessary to bring it to the notice of persons of the following classes or of one or some of them, that is to say,—

(i)members of either House of Parliament or of a local authority or of a governing body of a voluntary hospital;

(ii). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F6

(iii)registered medical practitioners;

(iv)registered nurses;

(v)registered pharmacists and [F7persons lawfully conducting a retail pharmacy business in accordance with section 69 of the M1Medicines Act 1968];

(vi)persons undergoing training with a view to becoming registered medical practitioners, registered nurses or registered pharmacists;

(vii). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F8

(b)that the said advertisement was published only in a publication of a technical character intended for circulation mainly amongst persons of the classes mentioned in the last preceding paragraph or one of some of those classes; or

(c)that the said advertisement was published in such circumstances that he did not know and had no reason to believe that he was taking part in the publication thereof.

(5)Nothing in this section shall apply in respect of any advertisement published by a local authority or by the governing body of a voluntary hospital or by any person acting with the sanction of the Minister.

(6)A prosecution for an offence under this section shall not be instituted in England or Wales without the consent of the Attorney-General F9. . ..

(7)Subject to the provisions of the last foregoing subsection, it shall be the duty of the council of every county and county borough to institute proceedings under this section.

(8)In this section the expression “advertisement” includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds.

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Amendments (Textual)

F4Words “level 3 on the standard scale” substituted (S. ) for words “fifty pounds” and “one hundred pounds” in each case by virtue of Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21, SIF 39:1), ss. 289E–289G

F9Words in s. 4(6) repealed (30.9.1997) by 1997 c. 60, s. 3(2), Sch.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48, SIF 39:1), ss. 35 (in relation to liability on first and subsequent convictions), 38 (increase of fines) and 46 (substitution of references to levels on the standard scale) apply (E. W. )

C2Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21, SIF 39:1), ss. 289E (in relation to liability on first and subsequent convictions), applies (S. )

Marginal Citations

5 Interpretation.E+W+S

(1)In this Act the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say:—

  • Hospital” includes a clinic, dispensary or other institution for the reception of the sick whether as in-patients or as out-patients;

  • The Minister” means the Minister of Health;

  • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F10

(2)In this Act references to persons suffering from cancer shall be construed as including references to persons suspected to be so suffering.

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Amendments (Textual)

6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11E+W+S
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Amendments (Textual)

7 Application to Scotland.E+W+S

The following provisions shall have effect for the purpose of the application of this Act to Scotland:—

(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F12

(b)for any reference to the Minister of Health, . . . F13, there shall be substituted a reference to [F14the Secretary of State];

(c)—(e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F15

(f)subsection (7) of section four shall not apply.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3Reference to Minister of Health to be construed as reference to Secretary of State: S.I. 1968/1699, arts. 2, 5(4)(a)

8 Short title, citation and extent.E+W+S

(1)This Act may be cited as the Cancer Act 1939.

(2), (3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16

(4)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

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