HC Deb 23 March 1863 vol 169 cc1791-3

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, it was intended to supply the defects of various other Bills which had been passed within the last thirteen years. Within the last few years there had been a great falling off in the number of children vaccinated in Ireland, and he proposed to assimilate the law in Ireland to that in England, employing for the purpose the machinery of the Registration of Births and Deaths Bill, which had recently passed through the House. England was not the only country in which vaccination was compulsory, for in most countries of Europe there was a compulsory system. From the Census Returns he found that no fewer than 50,000 persons had died of small pox in Ireland since 1841; and in 1860 there was a diminution of 33,000 in the number of vaccination cases as compared with those of the previous year. The cost of the proposed measure would be very trifling. The Registrars of Births and Deaths would also act as Registrars of Vaccination. The Treasury would bear the expense of the books, but in cases in which the registrar himself was not the vaccinator he was to be allowed a fee of 3d. for making the registry. Under an existing Act dispensing doctors were allowed about a shilling a head for each child they vaccinated. There were about 200,000 children born in Ireland each year, and it was calculated that, of these, three-fourths, or 140,000, would receive gratuitous vaccination. The total expense imposed on each of the Poor Law unions (of which there were 163) by the Bill which he now proposed would be about £3 16s. 8d.—a mere trifle compared with the benefits which it would confer on the country. He begged to move the second reading of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


thought, considering the Bill had been so short a time in the hands of Members, it ought to be postponed till the opinion of the people of Ireland on its provisions could be obtained by their representatives.


said, this was the third Bill on the subject which had been introduced within a very few years, and he thought it was quite unnecessary.


believed the measure would mischievously disturb the existing arrangements. He moved the adjournment of the debate.


appealed to the hon. and gallant Member to allow them to proceed. The measure would be of great benefit to the poor of Ireland. The burden imposed by the Bill would be only 1–21 of a farthing in the pound on the total valuation roll of Ireland.


said, the expense of the measure was not the most serious objection to it. To attach a legal penalty to non-vaccination would tend to make that very important and necessary operation exceedingly unpopular. Moreover, the Act of 1858 had not yet had a fair trial. All that was wanted at present was, that the Poor Law Commissioners should take care that the dispensary doctors did their duty.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

The House divided:—Ayes 16; Noes 37: Majority 21.

Original Question again proposed.


said, when the right hon. Gentleman brought forward a Bill of a novel character at one in the morning he must expect to see it opposed. He thought there ought to be time for further consideration. He moved that the House do now adjourn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."


thought it not courteous to the Irish people to bring in a Bill on the Friday and read it a second time on the Monday.


said, he would withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed.

Debate arising; Debate adjourned, till To-morrow.

House adjourned at a quarter after One o'clock