HC Deb 17 April 1877 vol 233 cc1267-8

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he is aware that Mr. Pearse of Andover has been proceeded against for non-compliance with the Vaccination Act on forty several occasions, twenty of them in respect of the same child; and, whether the Government propose to take any steps to stop further proceedings?


I am generally aware that Mr. Pearse, of Andover, has been frequently proceeded against for non-compliance with the Vaccination Acts. My opinions on the subject are well known, having been embodied for the most part in a letter to the Evesham Guardians, which has been laid on the Table, and they have been communicated to the Guardians and to the magistrates at Andover. These authorities, in the exercise of the discretion which the law vests in them, have continued proceedings, and I have no right or power to interfere further. It is said that Mr. Pearse is an active member of the Anti-Vaccination Society, and that not content with declining to observe the law himself, he stimulates others to do the same, and, moreover, that his fines are paid by the Association. In the face of the existing epidemic I am not aware that the Government could usefully propose to take any step in order to stop further proceedings, or that Parliament would be prepared to sanction any such attempt.