§ MR. P. A. TAYLOR
, in rising to call attention to the Laws relating to Vaccination; and to move—That, in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient and unjust to enforce Vaccination under penalties upon those who regard it as inadvisable and dangerous,said: Mr. Speaker, I think it is likely that there are many hon. Members who regard the question that I am about to bring before the House as a somewhat unimportant one, and who look upon me as having no right to take up a portion of the time of the House for its consideration in a Session that stands marked by the great block in its Business and the great difficulty of progression. I hope to be able to show that this is not entirely true, and that I hold a very different opinion. In my opinion, hardly a more important question could possibly come before the House of Commons than that upon which I have now to ask their attention. Whether we regard the question as a question of individual right against medical tyranny, or whether we regard it as a question of national health—because now it can no longer be denied that there is the possibility of the accumulated corruptions of our ancestors being transmitted to the coming generation—or whether I point to the view of the extreme suffering and wrong under which individual protestors against the law are now suffering, or to the view of the question taken by the statesmen of the past period, or by the statesmen of the present period, its importance cannot be denied. George. Canning and Sir Robert Peel declared, 40, or 50, or 60 years ago, in almost identical words, that whatever might be the opinion of the value of vaccination, nothing should induce them to make it compulsory, being a thing so entirely contrary to the spirit of British liberty and British privilege. Also, our own Premier gave utterance to these words—I regard compulsory and penal provisions, such as those of the Vaccination Acts, with mistrust and misgiving and, were I engaged on an inquiry, I should require very clear proof of their necessity before giving them my approval.It is quite clear, therefore, from the 987 statements of these statesmen, that the question is one of very considerable national importance; and if I could convince the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister—I am sorry I have not the honour of seeing him hero at this moment—[Mr. WARTON: Hear, hear !] —if I could impress upon him the amount of persecution going on throughout the country in consequence of the infliction of these laws; if I could point out to him the number of persons who are suffering under fines and imprisonment for conscience sake; and if I could bring before his mind the hundreds and thousands of children who are suffering disease and death as a consequence of this system, I think I should have grounds for inducing him to make that inquiry of which he spoke in those words. I might point to another matter, although it is an entirely inferior one; and that is the lawless spirit of evasion which is quite sure to spring up in a community where a wrong and tyranny is done. I can tell him of fathers who neglect to register the births of their children, in order to attempt to escape the infliction of this law. I can tell him whore parents flit about from one part of the country to another, in order, if possible, to avoid the surgeons and the police. The late President of the Local Government Board (Mr. Dodson), when appealed to by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood), as to whether, in cases where children had died from the infliction of vaccination, there would not be a just appeal to the magistrate for mercy and consideration, said with commendable kindness that although it would not, of course, alter the law, he hoped that in such cases such a plea would be regarded with respect and consideration. That, of course, was very kind of him; but it leaves us where we were. There have actually been cases where magistrates have asked a father objecting to vaccination whether he has lost any of his children through it, because, otherwise, he could not entertain his objection. This may, indeed, be said to be out-Heroding Herod. Whatever answer the House of Commons may give to my appeal tonight—and I am quite uncertain as to what it may be—ono thing I feel, from my own experience and from what I have heard, that the amount of support I shall get to-night will bear a very 988 close ratio to the number of Members who have thought it worth while to study this question for themselves. That has been my experience. I sat on the Select Committee of 1871 upon these laws, and I entered that Committee with that traditionary conviction that 99 men out of 100 still have, that it was a matter-of- course, and that nothing could be said against it. I signed that Report which defended the excellence of vaccination and its safety. I did, not, however, support the right of compulsion, and I submitted a clause to the Committee which would have removed the difficulties of the case. I merely suggested that anybody should be free from the necessity of vaccinating his family who would sign a declaration that he had a conscientious objection to it; and in answer to a suggestion that there were many who had no real objection to it, and only fell foul of it from apathy, I replied that a small fine in the form of a stamp should be appended to the declaration. Had that been done, the subsequent difficulties that have arisen would never have occurred. But the House will see that, having committed myself to sign that Report, it became a matter of conscience with me. I had done may little best to endorse and to maintain the opinion of the excellence of vaccination. I was led by my political objection to this compulsion to look more and more into the medical and scientific side of the question; and I was brought to the conclusion that not only was there some evidence against vaccination, but that there was nothing whatever to be said in its favour—that it was an absolute delusion, a positive superstition, an unscientific error to begin with—and a foolish practice from the very first. It became, therefore, my duty to devote myself to the solution of this question, and I have done so to my humble best, and I will not cease until this law is removed from the Statute Book. Now, I have questioned many people since I came to that conclusion, both medical and lay, and I can say I have not found one man who really took the trouble to examine this question for himself who came out of the consideration with the same fulness of conviction with which he entered it. Now, I should like, if the House will allow me, to give the opinions of some persons who are of infinitely greater importance than my- 989 self. [Mr. WARTON: Oh, no!] acknowledge the kindness of the hon. and learned Member for Bridport; but I will not stoop to be flattered by it. Dr. G. F. Kolb, a distinguished German, and a member extraordinary of the Royal Statistical Commission of Bavaria, says—From childhood I have been trained to look upon the cow-pox as an absolute and unqualified protective. I have from my earliest remembrance believed in it more strongly than in any clerical tenet or ecclesiastical dogma. Open and acknowledged failures did not shake my faith; I attributed them either to the carelessness of the operator, or the badness of the lymph. In the course of time the question of vaccine compulsion came before the Reichstag, when a medical friend of mine supplied me with a mass of pro-vaccination statistics, in his opinion conclusive and unanswerable. This awoke the statistician within me. On inspection I found the figures were delusive, and a close examination left no shadow of doubt in my mind that the so-called statistical array of proof was a complete failure.Dr. Vogt, Professor of Hygiene and Sanitary Statistics in Berne, and probably the largest collector of statistical information, entered into an examination of the figures firmly believing that they would confirm his conviction; and, having registered and abstracted the particulars of the deaths of 400,000 cases of small-pox, he was compelled to admit at the end that his belief in vaccination was absolutely destroyed. Here is the case of a German physician going into the question for the purpose of defending the practice of the vaccination. Dr. Boing, stung by the assaults of anti-vaccinationists, set himself to prove its value, and has to present with unfeigned grief the reverse. He candidly states—No one can lament more than I do that the results of investigation should fall out in disfavour of compulsory vaccination. It is certainly not pleasant to be obliged to change one's convictions on so important a subject; and it is the more painful because it involves the relinquishment of a legislative measure by means of which we believed ourselves able to cope with one of the most fearful scourges of human society.Now, Sir, this question naturally divides itself into two portions—vaccination and compulsion. It is quite possible to conceive that vaccination might be good, and compulsion unjustifiable. At the same time, if I can prove that vaccination is an evil, I shall, of course, weaken the basis of compulsion. I will address myself, with the leave of the House, 990 for a short time to the question purely of compulsion. I think that even were vaccination to provide all the benefits that its defenders maintain, the grounds against compulsion are amply sufficient to justify its abolition. I object, then, to compulsion, because it is the most absolute invasion of the sacred right of the parent, of the right of individual liberty, at the bidding of medical supervision, that this country knows. There is, in my opinion, no law upon the Statute Book, not obsolete, of so tyrannous and crushing a nature as that which compels vaccination. Let the House look for one moment to what extremities such a law leads. It amounts to the State declaring that families shall not choose their own medical men. There are plenty of medical men now who are opposed to vaccination; and yet, if such a man enters a family and gives his advice against vaccination, the State declares that the parent shall not have the right of taking such advice. A distinguished physician, not only in this country but elsewhere—Dr. Wilkinson—was the medical adviser of a man whose child was ordered to be vaccinated. The doctor remonstrated, and said—Apart from any question of my belief in vaccination, the child is not fit to be vaccinated. It is suffering from a severe skin disease; and, in my opinion, no decent doctor would venture to have it vaccinated.But the vaccinating officer and the magistrate at Westminster laughed at the opinion of the medical man, because they found he was Vice President of the Society for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination. It did not much matter in this case, because the man paid the fine; but in the case of a poor man the declaration of the magistrate would have sufficed to condemn the child, perhaps to death. I object, then, again to compulsion, quite irrespective of the effects of vaccination, because, ex hypothesi, on the very ground on which it is defended, it is proved to be not needful. No one will say that the State has a right to interfere with the medical treatment of particular children. It is said that an unvaccinated child is a source of danger to the public. How can it be so when all the community are protected by vaccination? Everybody can be protected and assisted who desires to be protected and assisted; and when, there- 991 fore, you call this unvaccinated child a centre of danger and disease to the whole community—the whole protected community—I say that is an insult to the common sense of Englishmen. I object to compulsion—or rather I should object to it if I believed in vaccination—because, under any circumstances, it must be highly impolitic, because the course of a particular medical system, even if it were the best ever invented, would be sure to have many opponents. Those who really believe in vaccination, who believe in pure lymph, in good administration, in careful operation, and so forth—it is their business to bring to the homes of the poor all these things freely, and not to make them antagonistic to every favourite system by a compulsion which, under no circumstances, can be justifiable. I object to it, again, as a flagrant case of class legislation. It is a flagrant case of the oppression of the poor. The wealthy and those well-to-do do not suffer from these laws. At the worst, they have to pay a fine which is nothing to them; and in nine cases out of ten, or in 99 cases out of 100, the courtly medical man does not trouble his client with more than a simple remonstrance. That is not the case with the poor. They cannot afford to pay the fine. They are sent to prison. If I could give to the House in a few words the numberless letters I have received of remonstrance and complaint and indignation, many of them accompanied with the hideous photographs of their mutilated infants dying from the infliction, I think I should have the most powerful argument I could produce. There is the case of our workhouses. There go the surgeon and policeman. There go the infants vaccinated when but a few days old, and the mothers, too, a day or two after their confinement. A witness at an inquest the other day said he had vaccinated 1,500 women in that condition, and it was said that they did not object. They did not object. No; the order is—"Strip your arm," and the operation is performed, and there is an end of the affair. I really think it makes one's blood burn within one's veins that they should go on so in a civilized country. May I ask what hon. Members of this House would say if their wives were to be ordered to be vaccinated on the day of, or the day after, their confinement? Then, it is said—"Well, these opponents of the 992 system must not stand in the way of saving thousands of lives." It saves no lives at all under any theory. As an element and a factor in the national mortality small-pox is nowhere at all. These years of small-pox epidemic are not the years of the largest general epidemic. One zymotic disease succeeds another, and the most deadly of them is not small-pox. I will read in this sense a few words from the late respected Dr. Farr, who poured contempt on the idea that vaccination could eradicate a particular zymotic disease. He said—To operate on mortality, protection against every one of the zymotic diseases is required, otherwise the suppression of one disease opens the way to others.A vicious system like this can only exist, like slavery in America 40 years ago, by indefinite extension; and we actually have the recommendation that the whole community of infants is to be vaccinated against every zymotic disease, and, under the pretext of the national health, the whole country would be made one vast hospital. Less, perhaps, than at any other time can the demand of compulsion be maintained now, because a wiser and a truer school of medical science has arisen of late years which preaches that doctrine which was preached by the late Lord Beaconsfield—the advantages of sanitation. There are now men such as Dr. Richardson, Dr. Alfred Carpenter, the celebrated surgeon, Mr. Lawson Tait, of Birmingham, and others, who are adverse to vaccination, and whose opinions I do not in any degree misrepresent when I say that they declare that vaccination never can, or will, stamp out small-pox; but that small-pox, and all other zymotic diseases, can, may, and shall be stamped out by sanitation. What is the argument used by hon. Gentlemen, both in and out of Parliament, in favour of this system? They say that the opinion of the Medical Profession is unanimous in its favour. I have sought medical opinion on this subject for many years, and I can answer for it that it is by no means unanimous. In the first place, medical men, like laymen, had for the most part not examined into the question at all. They simply had taken the tradition as they found it, and they had not examined into the particulars of the case. But I have found many medical men who were doubtful in their opinion, some who were anta- 993 gonistic to it altogether; and I do not hesitate to say that it is, at least, my firm conviction that not only might compulsion go, but that vaccination might go altogether, without causing any great stir amongst the large body of the Medical Profession. Now, it must be remembered that medical men—I do not say more than, but as much as, any other class of the community—are subject to the public opinion that surrounds them, and to the public opinion of their confiéres; and they dare not, therefore, take a step that would be hostile to the prejudices of the day. Dr. Alfred Carpenter, explaining the other day how it was that all medical men were not teetotallers, after giving some reasons for their prejudices, their traditional opinions, and their mistakes, and so on, uttered these pregnant words—The medical man would do what is right if the public made it worth his while. All medical men cannot afford to be total abstainers, because, if they were, they would be tabooed and 'Boycotted.'The same thing applies here; and I have not the least doubt that many medical men are very doubtful about vaccination. I have appealed to one or two young men—medical students—and I have said, "Won't you examine this question? Don't take the traditions of your predecessors." I am sorry to say the reply has been—" We can't afford it. We have our livelihood to make, and we must take the course open to us. We are made to say these things, and to assert the truth of vaccination before we are allowed to pass, and to make 60 practical operations. We cannot, therefore, afford to take up your abstract theories." Now, I have thought it worth while to get the opinion and advice of a number of men whom I might call the medical attendants of the poor —the chemists in our large towns—and I have received a large number of expressions of opinion from them entirely adverse to compulsory vaccination. I will not trouble the House with them; but I will venture to give the House one as a sample—I have had many opportunities of witnessing the evil effects of vaccination, as large numbers of mothers bring their children to me for advice when suffering from vaccine inflammation, and I have seen scores of the most distressing cases, where the poor child's arm has been one mass of scab and corruption; and in not a few cases I have known it to prove fatal. 994 Consequently, for years I have believed the law of compulsory vaccination to be a curse and a disgrace to our 19th century civilization.Now, there is one class of the community for whom I entertain no high opinion, and that is the small body of highly-paid medical gentlemen who sit behind the throne of the President of the Local Government Board, and who are more powerful on these matters than is the President of the Local Government Board. They are, I have not the slightest doubt, honourable and intelligent men; but they are men whose raison d'être is vaccination. They are irresponsible in the advice they give, or they are only responsible to the President of the Local Government Board. My right hon. Friend has probably not very deeply studied the question of vaccination. It is very natural that he should not have done so; and if I may be permitted to say so, from the answers he has given in this House, I should assume, certainly, that he had not done so. But surely it is a most unfortunate and painful position for the right hon. Gentleman to be put in, to be the mouthpiece of a set of medical experts upon doctrines upon which he has had, and can have, no sound opinion of his own. I will venture to refer to an answer given the other day. In answer to the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) he declared that cases of vaccinated syphilis were of the most trifling description in point of number. He also declared, in answer to my Question, whether it was not a fact, as tested by the highest medical authority, that it was impossible in many cases to detect syphilitic taint in a child from whom the lymph is taken, that he understood the Report of the Committee was that such facts must be taken in proportion to the number of cases. Now, if my right hon. Friend had taken the trouble to ask the opinion of one very talented member of that Board—Dr. Ballard—he would have come to a very different conclusion. Many years ago Dr. Ballard wrote an excellent essay upon vaccination, which gained a prize, and Dr. Ballard said—There were numerous cases on record to prove that vaccine virus and syphilitic virus may be introduced at the same spot by the same puncture of the vaccinating lancet;but since his appointment we have heard nothing on that subject from Dr. Bal- 995 lard. Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson told the members of the Chirurgical Society, in April, 1871, first, that a child born of syphilitic parents may exhibit no signs of disease for months after its birth; second, that the public vaccinator may operate on the child and use lymph taken from it without being able to detect the presence of syphilitic poison; and in October last Mr. J. Brindley James, a public vaccinator, felt it his duty to warn the British Medical Association that any practitioner might be misled by the plump, clear-skinned, and healthy appearance of a syphilitic child. Nor can the tainted character of the lymph be more easily discerned, if at all. Dr. Warlomont the late eminent Director of the Belgian Government Animal Vaccine Depot, stated before the Vaccination Conference, held in London, December, 1879, that—A vaccine vesicle highly syphilised presented an appearance perfectly irreproachable;and it is believed that it was owing to this circumstance that the French Government distinctly exculpated the military surgeon at Algiers, who infected and practically ruined by vaccination 58 unfortunate recruits. There can be, I think, no doubt, that if the French Government had not entertained the same idea, they would have severely punished the operator who spread dismay and disease amongst the 58 unhappy Algerian soldiers. It is, however, impossible to obtain a fair representation of the views of anti-vaccinationists. They are said to be only half-a-dozen fanatics, the real fact being that the upholders of the present system are really only some dozen fanatics who occupy official positions. The defence of vaccination is conducted, not by scientific methods, but like a case at Nisi Prius. Now, these gentlemen who sit behind the right hon. Gentleman have great power over him. They command, too, absolutely, the Medical Press, if not, to a great extent, the Lay Press also. Nor is that all. Not long ago a correspondence took place, to which I was a party, in the London newspapers, and a little article was sent round to numberless country papers, not printing my letter, but professing to give an account of it; but it was such an account as to induce people to say—"What idiots these people must be." I think this body is to be 996 blamed for that; and also, I think, in that they do not assume the dignity which they ought to do as scientific men and judges, but rather have become noisy Press advocates. With great difficulty I persuaded the Government to have an inquiry into the lamentable Norwich case last year. There was nothing now in such a case. Such cases occur again and again. We got an inquiry upon it, and that was a great gain. The Government sent down two Inspectors to examine into the case. These Inspectors acted with the utmost justice and impartiality. They endeavoured honestly to bring out the truth of the matter, although, doubtless, they would have been glad for some excuse for the system of vaccination. The theory was broached and worked out, whether or not blame attached to the operator for using a certain class of lymph. It was discussed, and it was disproved—disproved, because all the cases had not had that lymph used. The Inspectors naturally said—"We give it up; we want no more examination into that part of the case." They gave their Report, which was naturally antagonistic to us, inasmuch as it did not admit the evil of vaccination. But a discontented supporter of vaccination goes down, and after an inquiry, during which he did not see the witnesses, he stepped in and struck in the face the Government officials, and brought up this theory again which had been disproved. There is, I say, no maintaining such a law as this, even by so good a Tory as the hon. and learned Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton), because it is based upon neither truth nor equity. It is based simply upon this—that because a certain Act, no matter whether good or bad, has got upon the Statute Book, thereby it is made almost impossible to remove it. These Bills forming the Vaccination Law were passed by a small band of experts using their influence throughout the country. Public opinion was not exercised at all. The country did not in the least know what was going on, and with our present experience it would be impossible to pass the law at this moment. Then, why have we to move heaven and earth to get it blotted from the Statute Book? But this compulsion was the fruit of a fluke. It was not in the Bill introduced by the Government after the Committee of 1871. It was added in 997 the House of Lords by a majority of 1, and it was not struck out of the Bill when it came back to the House of Commons, only because it was thought the Bill was an admirable one in itself, and that to do so would be to prevent its passing; and yet that fluke of flukes has now become a sacred pillar of the Constitution. Does it not strike the House that it is an astounding theory to inoculate with poison every human being that comes into the world under the idea that you are protecting it from a disease—putting into its veins poisoned matter which medical men now acknowledge it is perfectly impossible to decide as to what may be called its purity, either chemically or by the miscroscope, so that the healthiness of the lymph can only be tested by the result which it produces? You see a coffin as the result! There is the first evidence of the ill-conditioned character of the lymph. Vaccination is no longer thought of as merely a little scratch that does not affect the constitution. And yet you are to be told that the whole community is to be poisoned for the chance of a very small number avoiding small-pox. Because the stories that are told us of the universal danger of everybody taking small-pox, except they are protected by vaccination are a myth, dispersable in a moment. The largest mortality known in London in the last century, during an epidemic of small-pox, was 4,000, out of a total number of 20,000 cases. That would be equivalent to 2 or 3 per cent of the population. Now, it is contended that in the problematical hope of saving 2 or 3 per cent, the whole population is to be poisoned by vaccination. But the failure of vaccination as a prophylactic is shown by the fact that in the Metropolitan hospitals, during the years 1870–1–2, out of 14,808 small-pox patients, 11,174 were vaccinated. Indeed, it is affirmed that throughout the country 90 per cent of the population had been vaccinated, and yet during that epidemic 44,840 died. Nor is this confined to this country alone. The same statistics prevail all over the world. Dr. Kolb says—In the Kingdom of Bavaria, into which the cow-pox was introduced in 1807, and where for a long time no one except the newly-born escaped vaccination, there were, in the epidemic of 1871, no less than 30,742 cases of small-pox, of whom 29,429 had been vaccinated, as is shown in the documents of the State Department.998 But I appeal to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron). He has told us the same thing. He says—The recurrence, therefore, in the latest period of mortality almost as high as that experienced prior to the Vaccination Act, shows either that the protective virtues of vaccination are mythical, or that there is something radically wrong in our national system of vaccination.
§ Dr. W. B. Carpenter
, in an article in The Nineteenth Century, is actually driven to apologize for the enormous mortality by small-pox in the last epidemic by saying that it was such a severe one. That is hardly a satisfactory explanation. I should like to give the House, in a few words, the real history of this tradition of small-pox. The tradition was that small-pox was widely disseminated before Dr. Jenner came to save the world, and that the moment vaccination was discovered small-pox was checked. But anyone who takes the trouble to go back to Jenner's time, and to view it critically, will find that the ideas entertained as to this science, and as to the valuable deductions which grew from his experiments, were to the contrary effect. Before vaccination was heard of, small-pox had begun to decrease. We have the authority of the late Dr. Farrar for that. After 1800 there was little vaccination for many years, and small-pox gradually decreased. No thanks, however, to vaccination for that. From the time that Jenner's hospitals were in such a condition that he dare not open them to the public—from that time the records are links in the long chain of evidence I in and out of both Houses of Parliament, and in medical works, &c., all bearing testimony to the failure of vaccination. I will not trouble the House with too many instances; but I will just put one or two in order to show that I am correct. Barron, in his Life of Jenner, says—From 1804, reports of failures in vaccination had begun to multiply.Dr. Birch, surgeon of St. Thomas's Hospital, says—Every post brings me accounts of the failures of vaccination.I will ask the House to let me read a little longer extract from The Medical Observer, published in 1810, in which are recorded the particulars of 535 cases of persons having small-pox after vacci- 999 nation, including their names, with an index pointing to the authorities as witnesses; also similar details of 97 fatal cases of small-pox after vaccination, and of 150 cases of injury arising from vaccination, together with the addresses of 10 medical men, including two Professors of Anatomy who had suffered in their own families from vaccination. Concerning these remarkable evidences, Dr. Maclean observes—Although numerous, they the are few in comparison to what might be produced. It will be thought incumbent on the vaccinators to come forward and disprove the numerous facts decisive against vaccination here stated on unimpeachable authority, or make the amenae honourable by a manly recantation. But experience forbids us to expect any such fair and magnanimous proceeding; and we may be assured that, under no circumstances, will they abandon so lucrative a practice until the practice abandons them.There is a great similarity between the vaccinators of 70 years ago and of the present day. Things went on in this way. Vaccination was not very heavily practised, and yet not in one instance was there an increase of small-pox. about 1853, the experts resolved on compulsion. They gave a long list of towns where they said vaccination was not worth keeping up at all, in consequence of its being greatly neglected; but they did not attempt to show in those towns where vaccination was practised that small-pox did not exist at all. Now, it happens that in the year 1853, when they began this crusade, there was the lowest number of deaths from small-pox ever known within the memory of man, being only 211. In England and Wales there were 3,151, against 6,000 or 7,000 in the previous year. Well, they got their compulsion, and what happened then? Why, since then small-pox has increased by leaps and bounds. There have been three epidemics since that time. In the one of 1857–9 there were 14,244 deaths in England and Wales; in that of 1863–5 there were 20,059; and in the last, which was a very heavy one, that of 1870–2, the deaths were 44,840. I know that it is possible to manipulate these figures in various ways, so as to make them have a different appearance. The Registrar's Returns of 1851 was another case in point; and how anyone after that can hold up his hand and say there is evidence that vaccination has an effect upon small-pox requires a firmer 1000 faith than most men in this House possess. With reference to Scotland. In 1861–2 about 20 per cent of births were vaccinated; there was no epidemic at the time, and deaths by small-pox were moderate. On January 10, 1864, compulsion came into force; there was no epidemic, and the low rate of mortality and the advantageous condition of mortality were attributed to the Compulsory Act. In 1868, instead of 20 per cent vaccinated, there were 97 per cent; and surely now Scotland should have been safe? But what is the result? In the four years, 1871–4, there died of smallpox in Scotland 6,260, or 50 per cent more than died in the four years prior to compulsion. The fact is always the same. Whenever there is no epidemic people do not die of small-pox, and whenever there is an epidemic people die, whether they have been vaccinated or not. In the Committee of 1871, Dr. Corrigan declared not only that small-pox was being stamped out, but was stamped out in Ireland; and, in fact, that during a whole quarter of the year there had not been a single small-pox death through the length and breadth of Ireland. But an epidemic came in the next few years, and burst out in increased force, and killed a larger proportion than in the last century, when everybody was not vaccinated. Just in the same way my right hon. Friend (Sir Lyon Playfair) said small-pox was "stamped out" in Scotland; but it was only stamped out when there was no epidemic, and not when there was an epidemic. What are the answers we get to these tremendous facts? They are of a monstrous description, and I am almost ashamed to hear how they influence men in this House. There is the old and ancient fable, that nurses in small-pox hospitals who are re-vaccinated do not have the small-pox. In the first place, I may be permitted to say it is not a fact. Some of them have had small-pox and some have died. But everybody who has studied knows that that has nothing to do with it at all. People of the age of the nurses are not usually susceptible to small-pox, and if nurses and surgeons were all liable to attack it would be very serious for the patients. But, taking it as a fact, what can it prove? 45,000 persons died, most of whom were vaccinated within the last decade. You say the nurses who were 1001 vaccinated did not die. Why did they not die? The elements of vaccination were the same to both. You, therefore, fall into the mistake of proving too much, for you prove that the small-pox hospital is a greater protection than vaccination. Then, it is said, you never see people marked now. That is a roundabout argument to prove that small-pox has diminished. This would only show that there was not a great diminution of quantity, but only of severity. The Medical Profession take a little credit to themselves when they can fairly get it, and they declare it is due to the purity of lymph used in vaccination. They also attempt to divide small-pox deaths into the vaccinated and unvaccinated. But it is impossible, in a great number of cases, to detect whether a person has been vaccinated or not. We know, moreover, that these statistics are not fairly and honestly taken. I will not use the word honestly, but say not fairly taken. I received a communication only three days ago from the master of a Workhouse Infirmary during the small-pox epidemic, and he declares to me that it was the regular course to put "unvaccinated" at the bed head of everyone who died of small-pox. [Cries of "Name!"] Certainly not. We have to bear in mind—[Renewed cries of "Name!"] The fact is—[Loud cries of "Name!" and" Order!" during which the remainder of the hon. Member's sentence was inaudible in the Gallery.] But whether it is a fact that vaccination was performed before or not, the doctors look upon it as proved that it was not; and in other cases, where the contrary is proved, it is looked upon as of no value at all. I charge upon vaccination, then, in the first place, that it is not successful; I charge upon it, in the second place, that it gives disease in many cases by the inflammation it produces; and I charge upon it—and it is now proved beyond all doubt—that it can taint the cleanest blood with any blood disease that exists in the infantile blood from which the lymph has been taken. I have been told by medical men, who have turned their specific attention to cancer, that that disease has been largely increased by the poison of vaccine; and as for that other, and more dreadful disease, there can be no doubt of its action in regard to it. I say 1002 nothing of what has occurred at the leading vaccine establishment, in London, because that proves nothing new; everything that occurred there was known before. The President of the Local Government Board declared a few days ago that the cases in which disease was contracted were infinitesimally small; and Dr. Carpenter speaks of millions of people vaccinated, and disease being hardly known through it. But this is not in accordance with the testimony of higher medical authority. Dr. Brudenell Carter says—I think that a large proportion of cases of apparently inherited syphilis are in reality vaccinal.While my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) says—I suspect that isolated examples of syphilitic infection, through vaccination, are much more common in this country than is generally admitted.And, speaking of the blindness of the Medical Profession in this country on the question, he said—In France, where the chief of the National Vaccination Service clung less closely to this theory, he saw the danger much earlier, and in 1867 published a list of upwards of 160 cases of syphilitic infection through vaccination, which had been brought under his notice in little over a year.I can appeal also to the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Hibbert), who, writing to his constituents in 1880, said—This Return shows an increase of deaths from syphilis of infants under one, from 255 in 1847 to 1,554 in 1875,—or six times as many—In my opinion, one of the most unsatisfactory features in connection with vaccination, and one which leads me to support the proposed modification of the Vaccination Law now before the House of Commons.Had he not been an official, I am sure that, with the courage which distinguishes him, he would say this must for ever put an end to vaccination. I do appeal to the House to once and for ever put an end to compulsory vaccination. We owe it to ourselves and to foreign countries to do so. The curse originated with us—let us not be the last to remove it! Switzerland has throw off the yoke. France is agitating against it. Germany is rising against it, with a power se great that our friends there believe that when the real discussion 1003 comes on in the Reichstag, they will have a majority against it. Our Colonies are against it, and only five years ago the Town Hall at Montreal was razed to the ground to show that the people would not endure it; and hostile opinion was ripening in the United States. A hundred and fifty years ago the quackery of inoculation was in full blast; and 40 years ago it was held to be a misdemeanour not to comply with vaccination. But that, too, has been changed; and if we are not prepared to sweep it away altogether, at least let us now, and at once, do away with this shameful and infamous tyranny of compulsion. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution.
§ MR. HOPWOOD
My hon. Friend has left me no easy task to follow him; but I trust the House will allow me a few minutes, while I express my own belief in the cause he has championed, and while I say that, like him, but without concert with him, I came to the conclusion that vaccination is a myth and a delusion, and is productive of constant mischief to the community. This was brought about by having my attention called to the injustice of accumulated penalties. These penalties, I am sure the House will see, are insupportable, being productive of most cruel wrong to the population; and I am glad that this is one of those social questions which this Parliament has found time, at last, to deal with. It has heard the plain truth on this subject spoken to-night, and an accumulation of facts such as I think my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) will find it difficult to destroy. I have no doubt that he will meet it by statistics. Probably the House has not altogether followed the statistics of my hon. Friend (Mr. Taylor). Why? Because it is impossible to deal with the statistics advanced on either side unless hon. Members will apply their own intelligence to them, and, after investigation, decide for themselves who is right. This social question must be determined on its merits. But it is said by hon. Friends of mine to whom I have spoken on the subject—"My medical man tells me you are all wrong." Well, I have great respect for the Medical Profession when it is engaged in scientific inquiry, unpaid by State emoluments, and untempted by the fees extracted from a vast community of 1004 patients whenever a rumour of smallpox epidemic presents itself. But the Medical Profession has been marked in the past by many absurd errors, many differences of opinion, and men of successive generations have gradually emancipated themselves from old superstitions. Therefore, if I say anything to-night respecting the Medical Profession, it is in the most respectful manner to invite it to use its uninterested powers in the settlement of this great scientific question. My friends say—"How can you argue in this way? I assure you my old mother or aunt used to tell me that people were always pock-marked, and you never see anything of the kind now." And yet the same persons ought to be aware that at that period we did what we could to propagate small-pox by almost universal inoculation, which is now an unheard-of evil, and prohibited by law. Every Member of this House is wise enough now to see it was an evil. Why not then? Because the Medical Profession pursued and promoted the practice, and did everything, short of obtaining an Act of Parliament, to perpetuate it on the Statute Book. Happily for us, it was not so perpetuated. My hon. Friend (Mr. Taylor) has shown that small-pox began to decrease in the beginning of this century. Why? Because people became cleaner than their ancestors. They began to pay more attention to sanitary precautions. If you want any proof of it, where do you find small-pox? Is it in the handsome mansion, with the luxuries of modern civilization about it? No. You go into the crowded courts and the rookeries of the great cities. Why, this is a disease of great cities; but it is, happily, yielding to sanitation. Clear away your rookeries, open out your alleys, and clean your dirty ways, and small-pox will die out. That is the remedy that is obvious, and I can scarcely bear to speak of any other that depends on poison. Inoculation seems to have come like a fetish from the East, as something which was to be worshipped here; and the people of England fell down on their knees and worshipped it. That went on from the middle of the last to the early part of this century. And what was offered to the public instead? The author of the new remedy, in effect, said—"Here is something which I cannot explain, which 1005 is to be found in sores on the udder of the cow. I have a shrewd suspicion that it may have been an infection conveyed to the animal by the rough hands of the horse boys employed in milking who came from the stable, and brought horse grease from the festering, suppurating heels of the horse, thus communicated to the cow." No one to this day can say what cow-pox is; and if you want it renewed you are obliged to depend upon some mythical account of a case of cow-pox being discovered in some Province of France or part of Belgium. Some of our medical men have actually inoculated the cow with the small-pox, and then, treating the result as lymph, have vaccinated thousands—aye, hundreds of thousands—of our fellow-countrymen. Nobody can tell where the genuine article began—this "benign vaccine lymph," as it is called in the phraseology of vaccination. Instead of inoculating an infant, a surgeon could say—" Here is a simple matter that will create, possibly, a swelling on your arm, and possibly cause some constitutional disturbance; but I promise you it will give you immunity from small-pox." That was a tempting offer. What wonder, then, that the practice of inoculation died down, that small-pox became less frequent, and that vaccination was gradually and surely taken up in its place? At first immunity was promised. A few years went by, and they found it would not give immunity for a lifetime. Then they said—" You must be vaccinated every seven years." Next it was said—" You must have four or five marks from the operation, and according to the extent and proportions of the cicatrices so you will have immunity." But that did not do. Here are signs of a great Profession failing in their own belief, tottering in their faith in this extraordinary remedy; and so my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) points out to them that they will avoid all difficulties if they will use calf lymph. That will not transmit syphilis and skin diseases, he says; but who knows what else it may transmit? Has it been scientifically investigated? There are diseases in cattle, and there are states of health in cattle which may become disease when put into au infant. The President of the Local Government Board, when answering a Question from me on this subject—frequently he an- 1006 swers a Question by only seeming to answer it—said it was quite true that calf lymph does create even more constitutional disturbance, inflammation, swelling, pain, &c., than the human lymph. Why, Dr. Seaton, one of the doctors of the Poor Law Board, was of that opinion, and was against introducing it for that reason; and nothing but the hon. influence of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) induced the Board to procure a calf and station it somewhere in the neighbourhood of Holborn, to enable those who preferred it to try this benign vaccine lymph. Many Members of this House can relate sad instances of suffering among their own friends from the effects of vaccination; and if they suffer, what wonder that the poor are made to suffer, and that their prayers and entreaties go up in vain to the magistrates, who, sitting on the Bench, and having the power, "if they think fit," think fit to the extent of crushing the poor men, and causing them, in many instances, to be sold up, because they resist this inhuman law. The notice taken of this question may be useful to the Medical Profession. We do not disdain outside criticisms in my own Profession. We have had to submit to them many a time, and have benefited by them. The same may be said of the Military Profession. Anti-vaccinators have been called fanatics; but they are only defending their hearths and their homes and their innocents. It has been said that they tell untruths. How many untruths have been told on the other side? I can name a medical gentleman, living near Birmingham, who states that where a child died from erysipelas caused by vaccination, the fact was suppressed, because it might give rise to an unjust feeling against vaccination! The same thing was done in the Norwich case recently. Now, those hon. Gentlemen who called "Name, name!" when my hon. Friend was speaking will please to take that fact, and I will give them any reference they choose. Our poor brethren stated loudly that they suffered from disease owing to this practice of vaccination, and the Medical Profession to a man rose up and denied it. But what happened? Why, before the Committee of the House of Commons, Mr. Simon, the head of the Department of of which Dr. Buchanan is now the head, 1007 denied it and jeered at it. But, in a few days, it transpired that Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson, one of the greatest authorities on syphilis, could give evidence on the subject. He came before the same Committee, and stated that it was too true that syphilis was conveyed by vaccination, and gave it as his opinion that it was impossible to tell in all cases whether the child from whom lymph was to be taken was or was not syphilitic. A Member of this House described to me the results of re-vaccination upon himself. He was urged to be re-vaccinated some three years ago, and at last, on the persuasion of his doctor, he gave way. What was the result? The doctor said—"I have found a good subject—a most beautiful child—I know all its history—from which to procure the vaccine. The child is a perfect picture of health." My friend was vaccinated from that child, and in a fortnight or three weeks he broke out with a most loathsome eruption, extending from head to foot. There was nothing to justify or account for it but the vaccination. The disease would not yield to treatment, and my friend was sent to Harrogate to take the waters. There he put himself under another physician, who informed him that he had been vaccinated with impure lymph. Here was a Member of this House, possessing every security that wealth could give him, and able to obtain the highest medical services. Then, compare the case of a poor man compelled to bring his child to the public vaccinator, and who cannot help himself. A police magistrate for London told me that more than once he has had a child brought to him who was one mass of sores. The mother said—"The child was well till it was vaccinated," and the magistrate believed it. This is testimony as to suffering which is still going on. Now, this is what the anti-vaccinators protest against, and it is what the whole Medical Profession has denied. Even Mr. Simon, who had denied the possibility, admitted that among the replies he got to some 500 or 600 applications he had sent out to medical men abroad, two or three of them had mentioned similar facts to him. The famous French surgeon, M. Ricord, referred to already by my hon. Friend, gave his testimony that it was so. I should like, as my hon. Friend has done, 1008 to call attention to what vaccination really is; and I hope the House will not surrender itself entirely to medical opinion, but that it will consider for itself. Let us see what certain medical men say as to this horrible poisoning. Many are shocked at this practice already; and, if not, I believe they will be as soon as they are fortified by inquiry into the matter. The famous John Hunter, no doubt, by some, may be said to be old-fashioned; but the Medical Profession regard him still as one of the greatest physiologists. He did for himself what Dr. Corey has done, inoculated himself to test scientific results, and gives his opinion that—Any extraneous substance introduced into the blood modifies the vitalized or living fluid. The introduction, by communication, of minerals or vegetable poisons is hazardous, and in certain cases may be destructive; but the introduction of animal products from any living body, be it a man, a cow, or an ass, is infinitely more pernicious, because, like it, it is vitalized.That will be recognized as being true in the future. Many of the Medical Profession are opposed to that opinion, because they believe that such stuff as this is a preventive of a disease of which they exaggerate the proportions, and in regard to which they deny their own powers of treatment. A medical Staff officer in the Prussian Army, referring to the effects of vaccination on disease, says—I myself have been vaccinated, and twice successfully re-vaccinated; and yet, in the exercise of my official medical duties during the late outbreak in Prussia, I have been attacked with small-pox in the most virulent and confluent form.These who have been congratulating themselves on being re-vaccinated will, perhaps, take that piece of evidence, and discuss it in relation to their own case. Dr. Buchanan has taken upon himself to deal very hardly with the reputation of a brother medical man, Dr. Guy, the vaccinator in the Norwich disasters, in regard to this matter. Dr. Guy has in his time been rewarded and complimented; but Dr. Buchanan first ascribes malpractice to Dr. Guy in the use of ivory points, and then admits that there is an inferior sort of ivory, unknown to the operator, which might possibly retain that which would infect the vaccine. See how that points in the direction we are indicating—that there 1009 are many possible chances in this operation to communicate disease. There may be neglect on the part of the vaccinator, for whom it is to be said that he has to get through a large number of cases in a short time. And yet you ask us to accept vaccination by compulsion, when you have not taken the commonest precautions of science to ascertain whether the operation may be safely performed! You are forcing this upon our population, when you have no right to do it. Dr. Buchanan wrote a Memorandum some time ago, in which he demonstrated the extraordinary benefits of vaccination. He said—Of course, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated live under the same conditions.He ought to have known that there are a large number of persons who cannot safely be vaccinated, either from ill-health, or from proneness to inflammatory disease, and who are more likely than any others to catch the small-pox and die of it. The unvaccinated class consists of those who cannot be vaccinated because it is dangerous—children and others. But it consists also of all your nomad population, of your arabs, tramps, and poor people, who live under the conditions most opposed to health, and most likely to render them liable to this disease. Now, what do you think of the reasoning laid before the British public by the head of the Medical Department of the Local Government Board? It is that, from a medical and statistical point of view, the unvaccinated and the vaccinated live under exactly the same conditions. I hope before we have gone on long we may begin to use our own judgment, as well as rely on eminent medical men. I would call the attention of the House to a case in which a poor woman, an inmate of St. Pancras Workhouse, in this Metropolis, was, by order of the medical officer, vaccinated within a few hours of her confinement; and I would ask if the Department will stop that most inhumane practice? I do not believe that the Medical Profession, as a body, approve of the practice. It is monstrous that poor waifs and strays, in such circumstances, should be subjected to vaccination when admitted to a workhouse. You will be surprised to hear that small-pox is 72nd in the order of diseases and in the order of fatality last year. It is said that last century, during an epidemic in London, 1010 when that City happened to possess 1,000,000 of inhabitants, some 4,000 persons died in one year of small-pox. Therefore, these vaccinators now say that the deaths before vaccination was introduced into London were 4,000 per 1,000,000. It is quite as unfair as if I took the epidemic years of 1871–2, and said so many thousands had died under vaccination, and had given that average per 1,000,000. The House may be surprised to learn that in 1881 there were 57,000 deaths from bronchitis, 48,000 from phthisis, 33,000 from heart disease, 17,000 from scarlet fever, 13,000 from whooping cough, and 13,000 from cancer. I will not mention such causes as drowning by accident; but pleurisy caused from 1,200 to 1,300 deaths, and boils 1,066. I come on to small-pox, the deaths from which are given at 648. [Ironical cheers.] Will hon. Gentlemen tell me why, in 1871–2, there died 44,000 of small-pox? Then the population had been vaccinated, for vaccination had been brought into perfect play in 1857, and the population was enjoying its unrestricted advantages. Now, I want to point out the increase of the deaths from infantile diseases in one year owing, as we contend, to vaccination. The argument on the one side is, small-pox once very rife; now very greatly reduced. The catechism founded upon that is this—What is the cause that scarlet fever is so rife? The answer is—"Nature." What is the cause when it diminishes? "Nature." What is the cause when cholera increases? "Nature." What is the cause when small-pox is abundant? "Nature." What is the cause when small-pox is scarce and rare? "Vaccination." It is a question of statistics founded upon very doubtful evidence. How do you find out the unvaccinated? You have Returns from the hospitals; but in confluent small-pox you cannot find the marks if there has been vaccination. People, too, have been admitted with 16 or 17 marks; but how do you tell? They may ask the poor patient when he is nearly dying. It may be poor Joe, from Tom-all-alone's, and the medical man naturally says—" Write it down 'unvaccinated.'" But people say to you—" Do you accuse the whole of a respectable Profession of being in league and falsifying all the statements? I do not say wilfully falsifying; but they have something else to think about than 1011 investigating these matters, and if a thing is doubtful they will, according to their prepossession, put it down this way or that way. ["No, no!"] It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen to say "No, no;" but will they put themselves in the position of those who are collecting these facts? Do they imagine that a medical man, whose time is busily occupied with the living sufferers, will go searching the arm of a poor dead patient? Why, he would do it at risk to himself. Even in the last year or two a surgeon has fallen a victim, though he was vaccinated; and nurses have been attacked and died of small-pox. The Report of the Registrar General, who is not a medical man, contains pages of reasoning facts in favour of vaccination. They are all possessed with a belief in vaccination, and they stand by it. Now, there are seven or eight diseases specially inoculable by vaccination; and all or most of these have increased the number of deaths of children under one year of age, as shown by a Return moved for by me (No. 433), 1877. Among them syphilis. Another disease is cancer, which has greatly increased in the population of all ages. It has increased 70 per cent. Now, the House would like to pause, and turn to the medical gentlemen and ask them, can they guarantee us against the possibility of this fearful disease being propagated by vaccination? The study of this question by medical men is yet in its infancy. They are busy with microscopes, and saying that certain diseases can only be conveyed if there is a speck of blood in the vaccine. They really know little about the subject yet, and until they have amply satisfied us that they are agreed among themselves, we ought not to approve of these compulsory laws. Diseases of the mesenteric glands, or internal scrofula, have increased 30 per cent; and it is highly probable that that may have been caused through vaccination, until the contrary is ascertained. Twenty-fourth in order of fatality on the list of diseases comes scrofula, which has maintained its previous rate. The next is the disease of syphilis; this has increased 127 per cent, and has multiplied four-fold in proportion to the births, as compared with the rate in 1847, when the statistics were first taken. The 61st cause of death is one of phlegmon or boils; this has just 1012 doubled. This heading formerly included pyæmia or blood poisoning, now separated; and we can easily see that boils and pyæmia are the sort of disease that could be easily conveyed by vaccination. In these circumstances, is it to be wondered at that the law is evaded and prosecutions take place? I hope this House, as the guardian of public liberty, will sot itself with determination to have these prosecutions stopped. They have amounted to thousands. Poor men have had their beds sold from under them, both here and in Ireland, and have been forced to endure cruel poverty, because, in their own simple language, they had seen So-and-so's child dying, or little Mary suffering dreadful pains in consequence of vaccination. And yet the magistrates are called upon to perform these duties under a law so little supported by scientific knowledge, and so discredited by competent persons. I believe it is tottering to its downfall, and I hope this House will not be the last of the Legislative Assemblies—I hope it will be among the first—to take off this iron grip from a suffering population, and say that no man shall, against his will, incur the dangers to his offspring which this practice offers.
Motion made, and Question proposed,That, in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient and unjust to enforce Vaccination under penalties upon those who regard it as unadvisable and dangerous."—(Mr. P. A. Taylor.)
§ SIR JOSEPH PEASE
, in rising to move, as an Amendment, to leave out all the words after the word "That," in order to insert the words—A Select Committee of this House be appointed for the purpose of ascertaining whether a limitation of the accumulation of penalties for non-vaccination can be effected without endangering the practical efficiency of the Vaccination Acts,said, that when he saw his hon. Friend's Notice on the Paper he assumed that the hon. Gentleman would dwell rather on the question of penalties than argue how far the law relating to vaccination had been successful or otherwise. For his own part, his voice had been always raised against cumulative penalties upon those who had refused to have their children vaccinated. The whole action of that House had, generally speaking, been against cumulative penalties. There were several arguments against such penalties as sanctioned by the pre- 1013 sent Vaccination Laws. In the first place, they worked most unjustly. The rich man was able to pay them; but the poor man, who was unable and was unaided by his friends, was obliged to go to gaol. And yet what they wanted to do was left undone, because they dared not take the child out of its mother's arms and have it vaccinated according to their Statutes. It was in the Consolidation Act of 1867 for the first time that the cumulative penalty was laid down, and ever since there had been a great outcry against the hardship and injustice of the infliction. In 1871, a Committee appointed by the House, and composed of very able men, sat to consider this subject. On that Committee were, among others, the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), the late Mr. Stephen Cave, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), Lord Robert Montagu, the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright), the right hon. Member for Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hibbert); and they came to the unanimous conclusion that when two penalties or one penalty of £1 had been imposed on the parent, no further penalty should be inflicted in respect of the same chill. That recommendation of the Committee was based upon the opinions of the ablest authorities that could be obtained by the House. A great deal of feeling existed as to these Penalty Clauses, and the popular dislike of them had occasioned a long series of difficulties. In 1875 a Blue Book was published, which contained statistics of the prosecutions under the Act. If these figures were brought down to date they would show that an enormous number of persons had since been prosecuted and fined, and that very many children still remained unvaccinated. Indeed, so great were the difficulties experienced by the Boards of Guardians that the Local Government Board, while the late Government was in Office, sent out a Circular begging the Guardians not to prosecute the same person more than once, lest "fruitless contests" with the parents should tend to defeat the object of the Act by exciting sympathy for the persons prosecuted. Surely the Local Government Board must have felt, when they issued that Circular, that the law as it stood was very unsatisfactory. He 1014 was one of those who had been vaccinated and re-vaccinated without finding any benefit or any harm from it. For his own part, he held that the balance of evidence was decidedly in favour of vaccination; but it seemed certain that the operation was not always harmless. A well-known authority on the subject had, in fact, admitted this, and had said that it was impossible to guarantee either perfect safety or perfect care in the performance of the operation, and cases had even been known in which syphilitic eruptions had been caused by vaccination from an apparently healthy child. These and similar facts naturally created alarm; and he thought, therefore, that while the law should be enforced quietly and judiciously the accumulated penalties did more harm than good. The hon. Baronet concluded by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice.
Amendment proposed,To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "a Select Committee of this House be appointed for the purpose of ascertaining whether a limitation of the accumulation of penalties for non-vaccination can be effected without endangering the practical efficiency of the Vaccination Acts,"—(Sir Joseph Pease,)—instead thereof.
Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ SIR LYON PLAYFAIR
Sir, if the Resolution of my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) meant nothing more than it expresses, a very short argument would be necessary to meet it. But it must be read between the lines, as a distinct attack on vaccination, root and branch. When my hon. Friend began his agitation, he did not dispute the protective powers of vaccination; but he objected to its compulsory application. That is all that is implied in express terms in his Resolution now; but his speech shows it means much more than it expresses. In the mind of my hon. Friend, vaccination itself is an evil thing, and ought to be extirpated. If he so believed, his Resolution ought to express his belief, and he should bring in a Prohibitory Act, as was done in the case of inoculation in 1840. My hon. Friend and the Association with which he acts attack vaccination on two grounds. The 1015 first is, that it is positively injurious, as a means of introducing disease into the bodies of the vaccinated; and the second is, that it has no protective power against small-pox, which it is supposed to prevent or mitigate. I will deal with these fundamental objections in order. The assertion that vaccination produces disease was carefully examined by a Committee of this House in 1871. An active Member of that Committee was my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester; and he will bear me out when I say that we carefully heard the evidence of the anti-vaccinators, and formed a unanimous conclusion upon the evidence which they produced. The allegation that vaccination has been known to produce syphilis was practically proved, in a few cases in which vaccine lymph had been taken from children suffering from congenital syphilis. The possibility of such infection is a terrible fact; but, fortunately, one of the extremest rarity. We had it in evidence that, among 151,316 re-vaccinations of soldiers, not one such case had ever been observed, although among them syphilis is far from rare. Since 1852, about 17,000,000 infants have been vaccinated in England and Wales; and among these, if there were any large truth in the allegations, not tens but hundreds of cases must have been observed; and yet it is extremely doubtful whether half-a-dozen central cases of propagation have been reasonably suspected. But though this offensive disease is only possible by the grossest neglect, certain skin diseases, such as erysipelas and eczema, are alleged to be consequences of vaccination. Admittedly, they may follow the irritation of vaccination, just as they follow the irritation of teething, or as erysipelas frequently appears after a surgical operation. Generally, they are instances of post hoc; but, in a few cases, as at Norwich, they are propter hoc. Very rarely have they been fatal. That they have been so in very rare instances does not constitute an argument against vaccination. Who would forbid the use of anæsthetics in surgical operations, because patients have died from their use? Who would stop the use of narcotics, because to some persons they produce the sleep of death? Who would prevent men drinking water, because sometimes polluted water produces typhoid fever? So the Committee of 1871, after 1016 hearing all the evidence tendered against vaccination as the producer of disease, came to the conclusion, in the words of the Report, that—There need be no apprehension that vaccination will injure health or communicate any disease.It is true that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester moved the omission of these words; but what were those which he proposed to substitute? They were these—That some few cases of disease have been communicated by vaccination; but the danger is so infinitesimal in respect of proportion that, subject to the conditions mentioned above, the Committee do not hesitate to express their conviction of the practically safe character of the operation.I think, then, as my hon. Friend himself, acting as a judge, after hearing the evidence, characterized the subject "as infinitesimal in respect of proportion," I need not trouble the House with any further remarks on this branch of the subject. I therefore pass to the second postulate of my hon. Friend—that vaccination is no protection against smallpox. Do not forget what is the nature of the disease against which we seek protection. Sir Thomas Watson describes it, in a few words, as—The most hideous, loathsome, disfiguring, and probably, except hydrophobia, the most fatal also of the various diseases to which the human body is liable.Against this mutilative and hideous disease we seek to erect barriers by vaccination. Individually, persons, since the time of Jenner, protected themselves. The amount of protection, even by its discoverer, was thought to be equivalent—but no more than equivalent—to that of an attack of small-pox. In most cases, when men have had measles, scarlatina, or small-pox, they are protected from future attacks, but not invariably, for there are some persons who are subject to more than one attack. In the call of the House of Lords to the Royal College of Physicians, to report to Parliament on the whole subject of vaccination, this liability is stated in express terms. This Report is dated 1807, or nine years after Jenner had published his discovery. The words are—Where small-pox has succeeded vaccination, it has been neither the same in violence, nor in the duration of its symptoms, but has, with very few exceptions, been remarkably mild, as if the small-pox had been deprived by the previous vaccine disease of all its usual malignity.1017 That is precisely the state of our knowledge now, so that it is no discovery of the anti-vaccinators that there are cases of post-vaccinal small-pox. In examining the state of vaccination, we must compare the mortality from small-pox with that of the last century. This, Dr. Farr tells us, was 3,000 per 1,000,000 of the population annually for the whole country. For the first 40 years of this century, vaccination was promoted among the people by charitable agencies, and the mortality had fallen to 600 per 1,000,000 by 1840, or it was then only one-fifth the amount of last century. Still, 600 per 1,000,000 is a high rate of mortality; and Parliament began, in 1841, to give funds for gratuitous vaccination, so as to spread it more rapidly among the people. This continued till 1853, and the mortality was now 305 per 1,000,000, so that gratuitous vaccination of the State reduced the mortality to one-half. Then, in 1853, Parliament passed an obligatory law, which remained without efficient administrative means of enforcing it till 1871; but still, during this period of obligatory vaccination, the mortality fell to 223 deaths per 1,000.000. In that year a law was passed, making it compulsory on Boards of Guardians to appoint vaccination officers; and, since that time, the average mortality has been 156 per 1,000,000. Every successive step, then, in promoting vaccination has been followed by a great reduction in the rate of mortality. Voluntary efforts reduced the mortality of the last century from 3,000 to 600 per 1,000,000; gratuitous vaccination by the State reduced it to 302; an obligatory law, inefficiently administered, reduces it to 223, and the same law, under vaccination officers, further reduces it to 156. That is the general result as regards England and Wales. Scotland and Ireland did not get a compulsory law till 1863, or 10 years later than England. Their mortality at that time was from 50 to 100 per cent greater than that in England. In the next 10 years there were two years of a very heavy epidemic; but still the average mortality of this decade was 214 per 1,000,000 in Scotland, and only 108 in Ireland. From 1875 to 1882, the rate in Ireland has bean only 72 per 1,000,000, and is scarcely measurable in Scotland, for it is only 6 per 1,000,000. My hon. and learned Friend the Mem- 1018 ber for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood), both in and out of Parliament, points to the epidemic of 1871–3 in Scotland, as a refutation of what they deem a supremely silly remark of mine, that the Vaccination Acts in Scotland were sufficient to stamp the disease out of that country. That is exactly what it has done. The words "stamp out" are borrowed from the Cattle Plague Commission, of which I was a Member. The Cattle Plague Commission thought that the measures recommended by them were sufficient to stamp out the disease, but not to keep it out, for great epidemics are like huge tidal waves, which may roll over any ordinary embankments. And recollect that these embankments are never continuous, for the residue of the unvaccinated always leaves holes in our embankments, which allow the advancing waves to pass through at all times. Vaccination is, under ordinary conditions, a sufficient protection; but, in the presence of a great epidemic, it is overtopped, and small-pox spreads over a country, attacking the unvaccinated and those whose protection has worn out by age—as it increases in volume, the vaccinated, too, are carried away by it; but vaccination is their life-belt, and they rarely perish. It was so in Scotland, in the great epidemic to which I will allude later on in greater detail. When such an epidemic strikes a population, they become terrified, and they rush in crowds to be vaccinated. At that time, the compulsory law had existed for eight years in Scotland, and only the infant population had come under its influence. But still the people of Scotland, not being blessed with Anti-Vaccination Societies, rapidly extended vaccination among themselves, and stamped out the epidemic. Since then small-pox has scarcely existed in that country. For the last few years, the total number of deaths have not exceeded 10 per annum. These great reductions in the rate of mortality from small-pox I believe to be wholly due to vaccination; but my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester attributes them to the improved sanitation, and to the improved habits of the people. But, if that were true, this sanitation must equally affect other diseases, besides small-pox; and no doubt it does, but to what amount? If we compare the period of gratuitous vaccination with that of efficient compulsory vaccination, 1019 the Registrar General tells us that, among children under 5, the small-pox mortality has decreased by 80 per cent; while that from all other diseases has only decreased by 6 per cent. As ago advances beyond 15 years, mortality does decrease in other diseases, probably from sanitation; but it increases as regards small-pox, showing how little influence that has as a factor in governing the progress of that disease. The cause of the increased mortality in small-pox at advanced ages is, probably, that there are still many unvaccinated, and that among the vaccinated the protective power wears out as age advances. The fact, however, conclusively shows that improved sanitation has little connection with the large reductions in the rate of mortality from small-pox over the whole community. The results which I have described are the figures of the Registrar General, and are derived from an examination of long periods, so as to include the epidemic and non-epidemic years. How is it that they sound so differently from the figures given by the Mover of the Resolution? He startles you with large figures, such as 40,000 deaths in the Metropolis during an epidemic, and he rarely throws them into comparable rates of mortality. He also relies chiefly on the Returns of London mortality, and puts on one side the saving of life throughout the country. But I intend to meet him on his own ground, and to show that the case for compulsory vaccination is best supported by epidemic periods. Modern science tends to show that such diseases as small-pox arise from the growth in the blood of minute organisms. Now, like other crops, there are good and bad years fur this growth. Just as there are good years for pears, apples, and plums, so there are good years for small-pox, measles, and scarlatina. In the case of small-pox, these good years come every fourth or fifth year, and then the crops are good, or excessive. There are three varieties of small-pox, which represent themselves in the epidemics. The first is discreet small-pox, where the pustules are separate and distinct, and it is rarely fatal. Then comes the confluent smallpox, where the pustules run together. In this form nearly half, or 50 per cent, of the unvaccinated die. Of the vaccinated, when attacked, 15 per cent die. Thirdly, comes the black, or malignant 1020 form, which rarely attacks the vaccinated; but when it does it proves as fatal to them as to the unvaccinated, for 95 per cent of the persons attacked by this form of small-pox die. It rarely visits this country now in an epidemic form; but it did appear in a marked manner in the epidemics of 1871–2, and the London epidemic of 1881. It was largely seen in the epidemic which devastated France in 1870, and which passed all over Europe in that and the two following years. Just as "Black Death" followed in the train of the Wars of the Red and White Roses, so did malignant small-pox follow the camps of the French and German Armies in 1870. Both Powers had about 500,000 men in the field, but under very different conditions. Germany was quite prepared for the war, and had its troops under perfect organization. All its recruits were re-vaccinated. In ordinary times, France also encourages the re-vaccination of the recruits; and in the year before the war about 40,000 recruits were so treated. But Prussia does it more systematically, and in the same year vaccinated 216,426 of its soldiers. Nevertheless, in the earlier part of the year 1870, the Paris garrison had scarcely any small-pox, while 1,000 of the civil population had already died. The recruits, who were hurried in from the Provinces, soon added to the military deaths. Dr. Leon Colin, the Physician General of the French Army, has published a work on the small-pox epidemic during the war. He tells us that the levies hurriedly raised were unvaccinated. I give his own words—The different. Armies raised thus in haste, and placed in the field without time for revaccination, were exposed, both at their places of gathering and in their marches, to the attack of this epidemic;and the consequence was that during 1870 and 1871 no less than 23,469 French soldiers died of the disease, of whom 1,600 died in the garrison in Paris, out of an Army of 170,000. The smallpox followed the German camps also; but only 263 of their well re-vaccinated soldiers died. It was not because they were Germans that small-pox spared them; for it attacked the City of Berlin in January, 1871, and was nearly as fatal to the civil population there as it was in Paris during the siege. Ger- 1021 many had an obligatory law; but it was inefficient, and without penalties. I contend that the German soldiers escaped on account of their re-vaccination. Many hundreds of them were prisoners in Paris during the siege, and only one of them was attacked by a mild form of small-pox. Could a more pronounced experiment on a large scale have been made in regard to the value of vaccination? This epidemic became pandemic; for it not only devastated Europe, but invaded both North and South America, as well as the South Sea Islands. Before describing its ravages in this country, I may as well say how far it influenced our 90,000 re-vaccinated soldiers. It entered our Army, as it did this country, in 1871, and lingered in it during 1872; but during these two years it only killed 42 soldiers. The epidemic of 1871, however, struck the civil population of England and Wales strongly, and was exceptionally severe in the Metropolis. With the exception of local outbursts in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Salford, the small-pox, since 1873, has been very small in all our large towns, except London, where it has lingered, and came as a renewed outburst in 1877 and 1881. Most of the arguments of the anti-vaccinators are derived from Metropolitan small-pox. Thus, in 1880, the total deaths in England and Wales from small-pox were 648, out of which London alone was responsible for 71. The epidemic of 1871–2 was general and severe; but the recent epidemics of 1877 and 1881 have been mainly Metropolitan. I mentioned that, before vaccination was introduced in the last century, the deaths from small-pox throughout the country were 3,000 per 1,000,000, over periods embracing epidemic and non - epidemic years; but, in the heavy malignant epidemic of 1871–2, the death-rate was 928 per 1,000,000 over the whole country. The average death-rate from small-pox in the Metropolis before vaccination was above 4,000 per 1,000,000, and in the great epidemic year 1871 it was 2,420 per 1,000,000. So that, even in this exceptionally severe epidemic, the death-rate was only about one-half of that of average years in last century. The anti-vaccinators say—Why did it enter into a Metropolis, of which, at least, 95 per cent of the people are vaccinated? But that 5 per cent means 1022 a residue of 190,000 unvaccinated persons, besides all the imperfectly vaccinated, and those in whom the protective effects have worn away by age. Surely, that is soil enough for a good harvest of small-pox. While, therefore, other parts of the country seem to have recovered from the great epidemic influence of 1871, London has not yet gained control over the disease. It had practical immunity in 1873–4–5; but outbursts came in 1877 and 1881—in the latter year, to about one-third of the extent of 1871, but still amounting to 640 per 1,000,000. That, large as it is, represents only one-fifth the average mortality of the last century. The other parts of England and Wales, during the same year, had only a mortality of 100 per 1,000,000. The anti-vaccinators point to the fact that there were absolutely more cases of small-pox among the vaccinated than among the unvaccinated during the epidemic—a fact which obviously must arise when 95 per cent are vaccinated. Looking at the epidemic generally throughout the Kingdom, the argument may be put in this way. When the 1871 epidemic went over the country, there was an infant population of more than 3,000,000 under five years of age. It consisted of two classes in daily intercourse with each other; but one class (the vaccinated) was 30 or 40 times more numerous than the other. They, however, lived intermixed, residing in like houses, eating the same food, and breathing the same epidemic air. In the class which was 30 or 40 times the size of the other, 413 deaths occurred; while, in the smaller class, 1,780 deaths occurred—that is, four deaths occurred in the smaller class for every death which occurred in the class which was 30 or 40 times larger. If you convert that into a rate of mortality for each class, you will find that the rate of mortality was from 120 to 160 times greater among the unvaccinated, than among the vaccinated children. The only circumstance which differentiated these millions of children was vaccination; and, as the incidence of small-pox was so enormously different in its mortality, according as the class was or was not vaccinated, the conclusion as to a very large amount of protection in the case of children is irresistible. If you carry the argument to the general population of all ages, the Registrar General 1023 tells us that, in the same number of people, the vaccinated give one death, and the unvaccinated 44 deaths. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester bases his argument also on the fact that the town which he represents, though so badly vaccinated, has had little smallpox, or practically none at all, in recent years. That is equally true of well-vaccinated and badly-vaccinated towns throughout the country. In 1872, Leicester was not a badly-vaccinated town; and, perhaps, my hon. Friend might argue that was the reason why it had 313 deaths. Well, I earnestly hope it will not soon come under an epidemic wave; for I can give him an instance of a large town which did neglect vaccination amongst its people, and of the results which followed when an epidemic struck it. Leipsic was the centre of a most zealous propaganda against vaccination, in which the Anti-Vaccination Associations were powerfully assisted by the Press. The result of their agitation was that infantile vaccination had been greatly neglected; and Leipsic was in that happy state which Leicester now rejoices in, of having refused to vaccinate its children. Leipsic had been singularly free from small - pox, as Leicester now is. In 18 years, from 1851 to 1870, it had only 29 deaths from this disease, and the Anti-Vaccination Propaganda pointed to it with triumph. But the pandemic reached this town of 107,000 inhabitants towards the close of 1870, and killed 1,027 of its people, or at the rate of 9,600 per 1,000,000. The infantile death-rate was terrific. There were 23,892 children living under 15 years of age; and among them were 715 deaths—actually 3 per cent, or at the terrible rate of 30,000 per 1,000,000. I have given an example and a warning; but I doubt whether my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester will profit by it. If my hon. Friend cares to know my authority for these statements, I refer him to accounts of the Leipsic epidemic by the German physicians, Wunderlich and Thomas. The Vaccination Acts are not sufficient to resist a great epidemic wave; but they act as a breakwater and lessen its force. In the last Metropolitan epidemic of 1881, it was found that 90 in every 1,000,000 of the vaccinated died from its effect; but no less than 3,350 per 1,000,000 of the unvaccinated perished. 1024 The reason for that is, that even when confluent small-pox strikes the vaccinated, it becomes modified or mild in 73 per cent of the cases, and retains its virulent form in only 27 per cent. But when it strikes the unvaccinated, 97½ per cent of the cases pass through the virulent form, and only 2½ per cent become mild. Hence the perils of attack are vastly greater among the unvaccinated than among the vaccinated. An analysis of 10,000 cases in the Metropolitan hospitals shows that 45 per cent of the unvaccinated patients died, and only 15 per cent of vaccinated patients. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester treats these hospital statistics as wholly incredible; but they are verified by the hospital statistics in our Provinces, and also by those of all other countries during the pandemic. He can only deny them by assuming that a huge conspiracy exists among the medical men of all nations for the purpose of injuring mankind at large. A conspiracy has some supposed advantage to be gained by its success. But how can doctors all over the world benefit by keeping doctors poor through making their patients healthy? These statistics of disease correspond in countries which have compulsory laws and in those which have not. Across the Atlantic there is no direct, though much indirect compulsion, and no motive to falsify statistics of mortality. But in America the mortality among the unvaccinated was even greater than in London during the pandemic. In Boston the rate of mortality among the unvaccinated was 50 per cent; in Philadelphia 64 per cent; and in Montreal 54 per cent; while the deaths of vaccinated patients ranged between 15 and 17 per cent. The arguments of anti-vaccinators are so Protean that one never knows where they are. When they assert that vaccination is no protection against small-pox, and does not lessen mortality, our reply is conclusive. But, in the same breath, they admit a largely diminished mortality by vaccination, but say that it does not lessen the sum of human mortality, for when small-pox deaths lessen, other diseases increase; and they seem to invite us to enter a Golden Age, when all of us should take small-pox as of yore, in order to protect us against other diseases. They attach no importance to the discoveries of modern science, which 1025 clearly point to the fact that each disease is specific in its character, and that as little could you produce bronchitis, scrofula, or consumption from vaccine virus as you could produce a rose from a cauliflower or a mastiff from a guinea-pig. That other diseases may produce a greater number of deaths when devastating small-pox is subdued is as certain as the mortality of man, for if he does not die of one thing he will die of another. But an expensive Return was made to the House in 1877, giving the deaths from 15 diseases before and after vaccination. This Return showed that some diseases had an increased, and some a lessened mortality; but for their purposes they are ludicrously perplexing. Thus, the main increase was in bronchitis, which has about the same relation to vaccination as the Goodwin Sands have to Tenterden Steeple. Erysipelas, scrofula, and convulsions, which are the pet outcomes of vaccination, had actually decreased upon the whole population. Syphilis, indeed, had marvellously increased; but the Registrar General has since told us that the classification was different in the first and second period, and could not be compared. While, therefore, fully admitting that man is mortal, and that he must die of something, I believe, both in logic and in fact, that the conclusions drawn from this 1877 Return are just as worthy as if I asked the House to accept as a conclusion that the few deaths from small-pox in Ireland in 1882 were the causes of the increased number of Fenian assassinations in that year. Surely the history of this last epidemic tells us most clearly that the foe is at our doors, stronger and more hostile than he has ever been during this century. It is the same form of small-pox which killed Queen Mary, wife of William III., described by Macaulay in these terms—The Plague had visited our shores only once or twice within living memory; but the small-pox was always present, tilling the churchyards with corpses; leaving on those whose lives it spared the hideous traces of its power; turning the babe into a changeling, at which its mother shuddered; and making the eyes and checks of the betrothed maiden objects of horror to the lover."When he thus described small-pox, everyone was as subject to it as we are now to measles; and happy were the survivors who passed through with unimpaired health or without disfigure- 1026 ment. Now, thanks to vaccination, though its malignity at the present time is as great as then, we have, to a large extent, protected the population by compulsory laws; and it is this protection which it is sought to remove by a Resolution, concealed in its purpose, but obvious in its design. I fear that I have wearied the House by statistical results; but they could not be avoided. To my mind they prove conclusively that small-pox is now as malignant and loathsome a disease as it was 200 years ago, and that it is only kept at bay by the protective influence of vaccination. This Resolution, if adopted, would bring us back to the year 1840, by which time charity vaccination had reduced the mortality of 3,000 per 1,000,000 to 600 per 1,000,000; for I presume it would be followed up by another Resolution preventing State funds being used for optional vaccination. Compulsory vaccination has reduced the mortality, including epidemic periods, to one-fourth this amount; but we are to renounce this advantage because there are certain parents who think the law is unjust and oppressive. We have many laws interfering with personal liberty. We restrict hours of labour to working men, although many of them think our restriction unjust. We punish the rash traveller who jumps into a train in motion, although it would injure no one but himself. If small-pox affected an adult individual only, his right to it could scarcely, however, be disputed. We do not punish a man for burning down his own isolated mansion, if no one is injured but himself. But we do punish him if he risk a neighbour's property by his act. Every case of small-pox is a new centre of contagion. A man may exercise his own personal taste for any disease which he chooses, provided that he does not injure his neighbours by his idiosyncracy. But when he produces the omissional infanticide of his own and his neighbour's children by neglect of duty, the State may intervene to protect the young population from a fatal and mutilative disease. This disease is just as fatal and hideous as it was in the last century; but it has been controlled by wise and beneficent laws. Will you allow the country to slip back to the period of voluntary vaccination, and disseminate many thousands of new centres of contagion 1027 among the community? That is the question which you are asked by the vote of to-night to determine.
said, that as his hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) had made frequent references to him in the course of his speech, the House would consider him entitled to explain his views on the matter. He had never been afraid to express what he considered to be the truth, because it did not happen to coincide with the general opinion of the Medical Profession. He had examined the vaccination question for himself, and had adopted a view resulting from a thoroughly impartial investigation. His hon. Friend had not gone so far as many anti-vaccinators, and had not denied the infectious character of small-pox, which was really the basis of the case of many anti-vaccinators. He had maintained, however, that the disease was one purely due to defective sanitation. While maintaining that, he had omitted to mention, in regard to the last epidemic in London, a most remarkable fact—namely, that during the last small-pox epidemic in London, taking two classes of children, one vaccinated privately, and the other by the public vaccinators, the smaller class — those who were vaccinated privately — the children of wealthy parents, who could afford to pay considerable attention to the operation—suffered three times as heavily as the majority of the children of the poor who were vaccinated at the public stations. He would not traverse the facts so ably laid down by the right hon. Gentleman who had preceded him (Sir Lyon Playfair), but would point out one fact to which the right hon. Gentleman had not alluded—namely, that it had been discovered by Dr. Marston that the effectiveness of vaccination depended not merely upon the operation having been performed, but upon the extent to which it was performed. Dr. Marston had divided his cases into the unvaccinated; those whose vaccination was doubtful—who said they had been vaccinated, but bore no traces of it; and those who had one, two, three, or four marks, and with regard to whose vaccination there could be no doubt whatever. This division of cases had brought out a remarkable fact, which had been followed up by a large number of investigators ever since; and the consequence had been 1028 that during the past 40 or 50 years large numbers of cases had been tabulated in that way. Two years ago he had had occasion for another purpose to analyze these figures, and he found that amongst 27,215 cases of small-pox amongst persons concerning whose vaccination or non-vaccination there was no doubt, of 8,600 persons unvaccinated, 3,400, or 40 per cent, had died; whilst out of the other batch of over 18,000 vaccinated persons the mortality had only been 7½ per cent. Thus, the mortality amongst the unvaccinated was shown to be six times as great as amongst the vaccinated. It was said those statistics were not worth the paper on which they were written, for the reason that when severe cases of small-pox occurred, it was impossible to detect the vaccination marks, and the patients were, therefore, put down as unvaccinated; but the mortality amongst those whose arms bore no traces of vaccination was not 90 per cent, as was the case amongst the non-vaccinated; but 28 per cent. That, in itself, appeared to knock the feet from under this theory of which he was speaking. But wherever it was possible to see the vaccination marks it was possible to count them; and, in the case of vaccinated persons, the question as to whether there were one, two, three, or four marks was one about which there could not be reasonable doubt. The statistics collected within the last 50 years showed that the mortality in cases of small-pox occurring in persons bearing only one mark of vaccination, was twice as great as that in cases where there were two marks, and throe times as great as where there were three or four marks. The hon. Member for Leicester said that was all nonsense, and that if the matter were looked into it would be found that the mortality was really only affected by the age of the persons attacked with the disease—that was to say, that if they took cases occurring in children of the age of five years they would find that there was no correspondence between the amount of vaccination and the amount of protection from the disease of small-pox. In a document which had been widely circulated—his open letter to Dr. Carpenter — the hon. Member had made statements of this kind. He had stated that amongst a certain number of cases of children under five who had only 1029 one mark the mortality had been 22; where they had two marks, '28; three marks, 18; four marks, none; and five marks, 16. He further asserted that the same result was to be obtained in the cases of persons of between 30 and 40 years of age. If these statements had been correct, he (Dr. Cameron) confessed he should have given up faith in vaccination, and have believed it to be the utter delusion the hon. Member said it was; but, on inquiry, he found that the hon. Member took only the statistics for a single year. He (Dr. Cameron) had taken the statistics for 10 years, and he found that the death-rate amongst cases of five and under, and between 30 and 40, exactly corresponded to the law laid down by Dr. Marston. The hon. Member, he found, had made his computation on an absurdly inadequate basis. He had based, for instance, his percentages with regard to four marks in children on seven observations, and with regard to five marks on six observations; and he had done the same thing with the cases of between 30 and 40 years of age. The hon. Member twitted believers in vaccination with a foolish credulity; but, surely, if he could attach any importance to percentages based on such absurdly inadequate figures, his hon. Friend (Mr. P. A. Taylor) exhibited a credulity to which his opponents could lay no claim. As to mishaps sometimes occurring in vaccination, they were by no means necessarily attendant upon the operation. They might avoid them by avoiding vaccination from the human subject; by going to the calf they could insure absolute immunity from any of these evils about which so much was said. He did not believe the dangers of their present system of vaccination were anything near as great as the hon. Member bad described; but; if they were, they could avoid them absolutely by going to the calf. His (Dr. Cameron's) complaint was, that the present practice was not efficient, for the reason that no attempt had been made to renew the virus in circulation in this country. If the virus were renewed, he believed that the protection, instead of being what it was—and it was now a great protection—would be many times greater. This had been proved in the early days of vaccination, when, in large populations, years had passed without a single death from small-pox. New 1030 virus had recently been employed in Belgium and other countries, and experience in these places had shown the good effects of it. He believed that if the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would apply his active and inteligent mind to this matter, with the view of renewing the virus in circulation in the country, he would do more than could be done by almost any compulsory law to make vaccination an absolute safeguard against small-pox. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last, that compulsion could not be done away with at present, because just now they had small-pox of a virulence unknown 50 years ago; and if they did away with it, with such a disease as this epidemic in the country, the result could hardly be other than to let loose on the population of the country for a generation at least a scourge the ravages of which would prove fatal to an extent unknown in the previous history of the disease.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
My hon. Friend who has just spoken will not, perhaps, at this hour of the night, expect that I should follow him into the question he has brought before the House; but I can assure him I sympathize with the views he expresses as to the extreme care with which we should inquire into the defences of a scientific nature to be provided against small-pox, and that I fully appreciate the services he has rendered in the past by the manner in which he has watched over the National Vaccine Establishments, and by the judgment he has on several occasions shown by putting Questions in the House as to the nature and character of lymph used. The two hon. Members who opened this debate—namely, the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) and Stockport (Mr. Hopwood)—used language so strong and so extravagant with regard to the effects of vaccination that I can only say that my feeling in listening to them, having been frequently vaccinated myself, was one of astonishment at finding myself alive to tell the tale. My hon. Friends had been so completely and crushingly answered upon the statistical side of this question—certainly in their manner of dealing with figures—by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Bench behind me (Sir Lyon Playfair), that it is not necessary 1031 for me to do more than very briefly allude to that portion of the question to-night. Sir, the House has often had the advantage of hearing the right hon. Gentleman upon scientific and semi-scientific subjects; but I do not think we have ever enjoyed a greater treat in the way of scientific exposition than that he has afforded us to-night. It is always in his power to use figures so as to make them thoroughly intelligible to the whole House, and he has never shown his possession of that power more clearly than on this occasion. My hon. Friends the Members for Leicester and Stockport spoke a great deal about the effect of improved sanitary conditions upon the suppression of small-pox; they gave improved sanitary conditions as their reason for the decline, which they cannot deny has taken place, in the mortality. if we contrast the three successive periods—firstly, between 1847 and 1853, when vaccination was very general but optional; secondly, the period between 1854 and 1871—which the right hon. Gentleman spoke of as the obligatory period as contrasted with the permissive—and, thirdly, the period which has elapsed between 1872 and 1880, during which the obligation has been enforced by vaccination officers, we shall find, I think, one most important fact which was not mentioned by my right hon. Friend—namely, that the decline, which has been immense, has been exclusively amongst children under 10 years old. Now, that statement cannot be consonant with the other statement made by my hon. Friends—namely, that the decline in small-pox mortality has been owing to improved sanitary conditions. The reduction in the death-rate from small-pox, as between the first and third periods, has been from 100 to 51 among people of all ages, and it has been from 100 to 20 in the case of children under five years old. The corresponding reduction in the case of all other causes of death taken together has been from 100 to 93 in the case of persons of all ages, and 100 to 04 in the case of children under five years old—that is to say, that this extraordinary diminution has been entirely confined to small-pox, and has not extended to other diseases. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir Lyon Play-fair) has fully and exhaustively dealt with the question of the prevalence of 1032 small-pox during the period before the introduction of vaccination. He has told the House that the period of absolute freedom from vaccination, for which the hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport sigh, will be what he called the "golden ago," when every human being has had the small-pox. I may illustrate the truth of the hon. Gentleman's position by giving a quotation from one of the books of the day—to show the prevalence of small-pox during the last century. I saw it stated that in regard to election matters the destinies of the country were, at one period, ruled by Mr. Addington, who was said to be like the small-pox, which everyone was obliged to have at least once in his life. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester refers to inoculation; he says that 150 years ago it was in full blast, and I took down those words with some astonishment. It was in 1717 that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote her celebrated letter; but, although experiments were tried upon condemned criminals in 1721, it was not till 1745 that inoculation began to become at all general, and not till 1780 that it really became general. In London, between 1660 and 1680, there being no inoculation at that time, the mortality was considerably over 4,170 per 1,000,000. This was increased, but only slightly, under inoculation, 50 or 60 years later, when it was 5,160 per 1,000,000. Between 1760 and 1780 the mortality had risen to 5,120 per 1,000,000; but with the vaccination which was begun to be practised at the beginning of the present century, the mortality fell with startling rapidity, as has been shown by the figures given by my right hon. Friend. Therefore, it is impossible for the hon. Member to argue that any approach to greater mortality during the last century was owing to inoculation. But, besides London, we have reliable statistics with regard to at least one other place. There is an interesting pamphlet, entitled An Inquiry into the Prevalence of Small-Pox at Kilmarnock. There was in that town, in 1728, a schoolmaster, who, during the whole of his life, kept a careful register of the mortality in Kilmarnock, and a list of every death, with the cause of death set forth. That register has been most elaborately examined in the present day, and it was found that in those 1033 years the death-rate in Kilmarnock from small-pox, there being no inoculation—that is, before inoculation had reached that town—was 20 times greater than it is at the present time; while the death-rate from small-pox, in regard to children under five years of age, was 33 times greater than at the present moment. I will not weary the House by going through this register in detail; but I merely state the general results arrived at by an examination of these figures. The hon. Member for Leicester attempted to disprove the statement which has been frequently made, that the most carefully vaccinated cases—namely, the cases of the nurses in the London Small-Pox Hospital—are absolutely free from small-pox, although exposed to the greatest possible danger from that source. The hon. Member said that some of the nurses had died, but he gave no time or date; and I am prepared to state that I am sure he has been misinformed. I have made the most careful inquiry, and I have reason to believe that the nurses have always been vaccinated on appointment, and that the authorities have never known of the death from small-pox of a nurse in the London Small-Pox Hospital; and that in all the hospitals under the control of the Metropolitan Asylums Board there have only been three cases of small-pox among the nurses, and those have been slight cases caused by actual contact with persons suffering from the disease. I venture to say that it is a notorious fact, not only to every medical man, but to every Member of this House, that persons exposed to such dangers as these nurses are in their ordinary duties must have contracted small-pox and died had they not been protected by vaccination. The case of the London postmen has not been mentioned this evening; but it is a very interesting case. We have a Report respecting the 10,504 persons who are permanently employed in the Postal Service in London. This is the permanent number, and an immense number of persons must, therefore, have passed through the Service in recent years. All these persons have been required to undergo vaccination, unless they had been vaccinated within seven years previously; and out of the total number between 1870 and 1880 there has not been even a single case of death from small- 1034 pox, and there have only been 10 cases of small-pox, and those were of the slightest kind. In the Telegraph Department there has not been quite so complete an enforcement of re-vaccination; but there have only been 12 cases among an average permanent staff of 1,500 men. My right hon. Friend behind me, in speaking of the great epidemic and its effects on London, said he calculated that 95 per cent of the population had been vaccinated. My calculation is 96 per cent; but, whether my figures or his are right, there is, practically, no difference, and I will assume that mine are right, and will give some facts upon them. Assuming that 96 per cent are vaccinated, and 4 per cent unvaccinated, if the hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport are right in their contention that vaccinated and unvaccinated persons are equally liable to small-pox, we may see what the figures ought to have been, and contrast them with the actual figures. In the whole of the Metropolitan Asylums Board Hospitals, during the great epidemic, of 1,358 deaths, not 4 per cent, but 40 per cent, were among persons who were altogether unvaccinated. If we take a more recent epidemic, that of 1878, we find that of the total deaths in London up to the end of May information as to the presence or absence of marks of vaccination was supplied in the death certificates of 679 cases. That was towards the end of the epidemic, and these were deaths from small-pox in which there was some knowledge as to whether the persons had been vaccinated or not. Four hundred and fifty-three of these had not been vaccinated, and only 226 had been vaccinated; and that means that out of 3,360,000 people vaccinated in London 226 died, while of 140,000 unvaccinated persons 453 died. The hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport spoke of the increase in mortality from certain other diseases, and they were forced upon that point by my right hon. Friend (Sir Lyon Playfair). It is very difficult to deal with all diseases with scientific accuracy, because, as everyone knows who has looked into this matter, there have been changes of classification; and if you compare, even in the present day, the mortality in one town with that in another, you will find differences in regard to certain diseases, caused by a difference in classification 1035 as between town and town. That is more so as between county and county. There has been, on the whole, a steady diminution of mortality in the country, from 22.2 in 1851–60 to 21.4 between 1870 and 1880, and to 19.3 in 1881–2. But now the hon. Members contend that there has been an increase in mortality in certain diseases caused by vaccination, although I must say they were judiciously vague upon that subject. My right hon. Friend has made a reply to that which I wish to repeat. It is the only one of his arguments which I will permit myself to repeat; but it is so important that I feel it is necessary to call attention to it. The one disease put before us as caused by vaccination is erysipelas, and yet there has been a distinct decrease in the mortality from that cause. After what my right hon. Friend has said, I will not deal at any length with the question of communication of syphilis. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport quoted the evidence of Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson, I wish, for a moment, to call attention to what that evidence was. The hon. and learned Member spoke of Mr. Hutchinson, who is a great authority on this subject, as if he had been a witness on his side. I will not go through the evidence of Mr. Hutchinson question by question, but will read a few lines from the analysis of that evidence, which is to be found in the index to the Report. The analysis says that—Mr. Hutchinson gave evidence to the effect that there had been cases of this communication infinitesimal in numbers through an admixture of blood in the lymph—that is, through distinct malpractices in the vaccination; and that the risk is so slight that it should not stand in the way of compulsory vaccination. He says syphilis cannot be convoyed by pure lymph even from a syphilitic child.That is a complete summary of his evidence.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
Dr. Corey's case has been referred for examination to a Scientific Committee, and Mr. Hutchinson, in whom my right hon. Friend has expressed his confidence, is one of the gentlemen who have undertaken to carry on that inquiry for us. The hon. Member for Leicester spoke of the experience of Germany. I was astonished to hear him state that the experience of Germany was on his side; 1036 and he spoke generally, as though there had been a growth of European opinion in his direction. I cannot admit that that is, in the least, the case. If we look to other countries in which there has been a change in the law in recent times we find that there have been five changes, and of these, four are against my hon. Friend, and one which is apparently in his favour. I believe that in one Swiss Canton the compulsory law has been repealed, and that is the only one. In Denmark, re-vaccination was made compulsory in 1871 for the first time; in Holland, in 1872, it was made compulsory on all school children; in Roumania, both vaccination and revaccination were made compulsory in 1874; in Spain it was imposed, in 1874, on all persons under State control; and in 1875 a general law was, for the first time, imposed in Germany. There had been general vaccination in some States before that time; but in 1875 a general law was made for the whole of Germany. That law imposed vaccination on all children, and re-vaccination on all school children, and it is even a stronger law than that in this country. The hon. and learned Member for Stockport said that the point which was held most sacred by the Government—I think he spoke generally of the Local Government Board, and not under this Administration in particular, but under the Administration of both sides—was the principle of reiterated compulsion or repeated penalties to enforce vaccination. I do not know on what authority he made that statement; but I should like to call attention for one moment to the position which has always been taken up by the Local Government Board on that subject. The hon. Member for Leicester was a Member of the Committee of 1871 which reported upon this subject. That Committee reported to this House that the parent was liable to repeated penalties under the Act of 1867; but in Ireland he was not so liable. Now, it is a remarkable fact that there is no part of the British Empire in which the Vaccination Laws appear to have produced more favourable results than Ireland, unless it is Scotland; but both Ireland and Scotland are in a more advantageous position than England in this respect. The Scotch law on the subject is not very easy to explain in a few words, and I swill refer hon. Members to the evi- 1037 dence of the Scotch witnesses to see how the Scotch law stands. But the Scotch law differs from the English law; and one of the Scotch witnesses was asked whether there were any cases of repeated penalties in Scotland, and he said "No," and expressed his view of the Scotch law in these general words—There is much more deference to the feelings of the parents in the Scotch than in the English Act.Yet under the Scotch law there is much more immunity from small-pox, and much more vaccination than in England. The Committee of 1871 expressed their doubt as to the wisdom of that law, and stated that it was desirable to secure in the highest degree the support of public opinion for the law on vaccination; and that Committee of which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) was Chairman, and of which the late Mr. Stephen Cave, the right hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), the senior Member for Birmingham (Mr. Muntz), the right hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor), and the former Secretary to the Local Government Board (Mr. Hibbert) were Members, unanimously agreed to the Report which made the recommendation I have just mentioned. The result of that unanimous Report by a Committee, the opinions of the Members of which ought to possess such great weight, was that a clause founded upon it was carried through this House in 1871, but rejected by the House of Lords. Since the rejection of that clause by the House of Lords the policy of the Local Government Board has been to discourage repeated prosecutions. The policy of the Board was stated in a letter known as the Evesham letter, written by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth) who was at the head of the Local Government Board under the late Administration. In that letter it was pointed out, in 1875, that—The Guardians should carefully consider with regard to each individual case the effect which the continuance of proceedings is likely to have in procuring the vaccination of the individual child and in insuring the observance of the law in the Union generally. The Board are prepared to admit that when, in a particular case, repeated prosecutions have failed in their object, it becomes necessary to 1038 carefully consider the question whether the continuance of a fruitless contest with the parent may not have a tendency to produce mischievous results by exciting sympathy with the person prosecuted, and thus creating a more extended opposition to the law. The Board entertain no doubt that in all cases the Guardians will not fail to exercise the discretionary powers confided to them in the manner best calculated to give effect to the law.In 1881, my Predecessor, the present Chanceller of the Duchy of Lancester (Mr. Dodson), stated, in a letter known as the Oldham letter, that he saw no reason for modifying the views expressed in the Evesham letter; and, consequently, the policy of the Board continued in accordance with that letter. In June, 1880, a Motion was brought before the House by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron); and in the debate on that Motion the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said that the Government intended to sanction the abolition of cumulative penalties. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth), speaking from the Front Opposition Bench, said he agreed with his right hon. Friend that no benefit was likely to arise from repeated prosecutions. As that is somewhat important, I would ask the House for permission to read a few words from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman said that he agreed with the opinion—That no benefit was likely to accrue from repeated prosecutions and convictions in the cases of those parents who would not allow their children to be vaccinated. That concession he had endeavoured to effect during the time he was in Office. … When in Office, he had taken some trouble to ascertain the probability of au Act being passed, if introduced; and the result of his inquiries was that he had reason to believe legislation in that direction, during the late Parliament, would not have been successful. He did not think it would be more so in the present one, inasmuch as it was extremely difficult to get the majority, which he believed were in favour of the law in its present form, to vote for any change, though sonic change was, he thought, required."—(3 Hansard,  1851–2.)And the right hon. Gentleman added—For his own part, he would be glad to see the cumulative penalties removed, for he believed by that means a good deal of unnecessary hardship would be prevented.These opinions are my own opinions also, and they are the opinions of those who were responsible for the adminis- 1039 tration of the Department over which I have the honour to preside. These who see the actual working of the present law are, in fact, of opinion that repeated penalties defeat their own object, and that they do not secure proper respect for the law by the people of this country. But just as the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sclater-Booth) is doubtful that this is the view of the House, I am doubtful also on the same point. The present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Dodson) brought in a Bill in July, 1880, founded upon the opinions which had been expressed by himself and by the right hon. Gentleman opposite in the course of the debate. That Bill was badly received, both by the House of Commons—and I am sorry for it, because, in my opinion, it was a wise measure, and one which would have been advantageous to the country—that Bill was badly received both by the House of Commons and by deputations from all parts of the country. ["Hear, hear!"] Hon. Gentlemen cry "Hear, hear!" but I frankly admit that those who had to do with the working of this law believed it would be desirable, in the interest of vaccination, to get rid of cumulative penalties. Certainly, I doubt whether that is the opinion of the House. I should have thought that a more practical debate, and a more useful debate, might have been raised, if my hon. Friends (Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hopwood) had brought a Motion before the House which would directly have tested the opinion of the House upon the subject of repeated penalties. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor), I gather, despises all change with regard to repeated penalties. I think the hon. Member would desire to see the law harsh, because he is of opinion that harshness would cause resistance, and therefore strengthen the agitation which he leads. That is my opinion and it is not because I am unfavourable to vaccination, that I am opposed to cumulative penalties. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Hopwood) has made it a charge against the Government that they are desirous of retaining repeated penalties, as though he would have been glad to see repeated penalties abolished; and on that matter I fancy I see a difference of opinion between the Mover and 1040 Seconder of the Motion. Of course, I do not exactly know whether my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Hopwood) is opposed to repeated penalties; but, if that be his view, he had better raise the question distinctly before the House by bringing a Motion forward on the subject. We have various Motions before the House to-night, and the Amendment which is immediately before the House is the Amendment proposed by the hon. Baronet the Member for South Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) in favour of an inquiry by a Select Committee. I do not think that is a case for a Select Committee. The Committee for which my hon. Friend moves is not a general Committee, with regard to the advantages or disadvantages of vaccination; but a Committee to inquire whether there could not be some limitation to the penalties imposed tinder the law. I do not think my hon. Friend's own end would be much served by an Inquiry, because he has already the unanimous Report of the Committee of the House in his favour. He has the Report of the Committee containing names amongst its Members as weighty as any he can find in the House. Therefore, any further inquiry would have little effect in serving the hon. Gentleman. I would rather invite the hon. Gentleman to move a Resolution regarding repeated penalties, so that the opinion of the House may be ascertained in regard to them. I would like my hon. Friend to withdraw his present Amendment, because I should prefer to support the Amendment which stands in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and which will, if the present Amendment be withdrawn, be moved. That Amendment is one expressing the view of the House in favour of vaccination; but afterwards it goes on to speak of such modifications as experience may suggest. I believe that one of those modifications would be that which is favoured by my Predecessor in Office—namely, the abolition of repeated penalties. In that sense I shall vote for the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh, if the right hon. Gentleman has an opportunity of moving it.
§ MR. SCLATER - BOOTH
said, he thought the right hon. Gentleman the 1041 President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had exercised a wise discretion in dealing, as he had, with the Resolutions before the House. It was quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman had said, that in the Office where he (Mr. Sclater-Booth) once administered, and also in the House, he had deprecated the practice of inflicting repeated penalties. The right hon. Gentleman, however, had not stated the foundation of his (Mr. Sclater-Booth's) views on the subject; and therefore he would trouble the House with a few observations on that point. It was evident that the compulsory system of vaccination was desired by the House, and he believed by the country; but Parliament had never gone so far as to require that infants, whose parents declined to bring them to be vaccinated, should be taken from their parents vi et armis, for the purpose of undergoing the operation. The House had shrunk from doing that; and, so long as it did so, there would always be difficulty with regard to cumulative penalties, because the parents, comparatively few in number, who would submit to these penalties were quast-fanatics; and the infliction of cumulative penalties had the same kind of mischievous effect as imprisonment or prosecution in cases of religious fanaticism in former generations. When cumulative penalties came to be put into operation in particular cases, it was quite evident it had a mischievous effect. He endeavoured, during the time he was in Office, to mitigate the hardship of the penalties; but when Parliament was asked to remove the power of inflicting the cumulative penalties, the proposal entirely changed the compulsory principle which underlay the whole of their Vaccination Laws. The mere removal of cumulative penalties would not be satisfactory to the House or to the country, and that was not the policy he would desire to see in force. He did not think it would be wise, under the circumstances in which they found themselves, to enter further into the question. It might be possible, however, to place the Local Government Board Inspector in charge of the case, after the recovery of one or two penalties from the parent, and that officer might be held responsible for continuing, or for forbearing to continue, the summoning of the parent. That might, probably, be the best solution of the 1042 question. He did not think Parliament ought to agree to the abolition of cumulative penalties unless with some security of this sort. He had never advocated the abolition of the cumulative penalties except in this sense; and it was only on account of the difficulty in which they found themselves in regard to the cumulative penalties that he had expressed himself adverse to the policy of retaining them. He had no doubt that the application of the law required to be enforced by some system of cumulative penalty; but he thought the administration of the law, after a certain number of penalties had been recovered, should be placed on some public authority, rather more weighty, or rather more responsible to the House, than the local authorities who now administered the Act.
§ SIR JOSEPH PEASE
, said, that after the very strong expression of opinion on the part of his right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) on the question of cumulative penalties, and considering that the Amendment to be proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) provided for such modifications as experience might suggest. He was quite prepared to do what he felt was desired by the House—namely, that he should withdraw his Amendment in order that the issue might be taken upon the Resolution of the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) and the Amendment of the right hon. Gen-man (Sir Lyon Playfair).
§ MR. THOMAS COLLINS
said, that before the Amendment was withdrawn, he wished to say that the House was by no means bound by the opinion of the Head of the Local Government Board, or by the opinion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Devon (Sir Joseph Pease), in respect to cumulative penalties. If they abolished cumulative penalties they would have Anti-Vaccination Societies raising subscriptions, and the whole object of Parliament would be defeated. Cumulative penalties were not novel things in law. He had had to do with the administration of the Education Act; and if a parent declined to send a child to school, it was a very common thing for him to be repeatedly summoned and fined. If cumulative penalties were abolished in this case 1043 they ought also to be abolished in the case of the drunkard. In that case, after a certain number of convictions there would be no cumulative penalties, and the habitual drunkard would be able to be drunk and disorderly for the rest of his life. He wanted to know why a different law was to be applied in the case of vaccination to the one they applied in the case of School Board prosecutions, and in prosecutions for drunkenness? If the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board ever proposed to abolish cumulative penalties, he (Mr. T. Collins) hoped the House would not do what appeared to him to be so foolish a thing as to remove cumulative penalties and allow the law to be set at nought.
SIR TREVOR LAWRENCE
said, an occurrence took place at Rotherhide not long ago, the recital of which would possibly impress the bitterest enemy of vaccination. A man who had been a vehement anti - vaccinator ingeniously managed to arrange affairs so that no members of his family were vaccinated. During the late epidemic one of his children took small-pox. The child recovered, but the mother, who nursed it, took small-pox and died; two other children died of the disease, and three more had to be taken to the hospital. Bad as this was, there was more to come. The anti-vaccinator borrowed from a neighbour a suit of black clothes in which to attend his wife's funeral. Shortly after the clothes were returned their owner took small-pox, was conveyed to the hospital, and died there. Since then, other houses had become affected, and in all 16 cases of small-pox had been taken to hospital. Comment on such a case was needless. They could not have a more conspicuous example of the danger that they were subject to by having anti-vaccinators in their neighbourhood; and he sincerely trusted that a very decisive majority would pronounce in favour of vaccination.
§ MR. P. A. TAYLOR
said, with the permission of the House he would say just a very few words in reply. They bad had a very interesting speech from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and, as the President of the Local Government Board said, it was one of his excellencies that he knew how to deal with figures well. In re- 1044 gard to that, of course it was impossible at that hour to follow all the statistics, and he (Mr. Tayler) was quite prepared to leave the matter to the judgment of the House and the country, and would now only say that the right hon. Gentleman had largely dealt with mere assertion and the recognition of foregone conclusions. He asserted that danger from vaccination was rare and infrequent, and he called him (Mr. Taylor) as a witness to this as a fact, and read something which, in past years, he moved in the Committee on the subject, observing that, if that were so, then he need say no more. But this was a little hard upon him, seeing that he had since read his recantation, and had come to the conclusion that vaccination was altogether a mistake. While the right hon. Gentleman appealed to him to confirm his assertions, he forgot higher authorities—higher authorities than himself—medical authorities, notably that of Mr. Brudenell Carter. He declared that small-pox had decreased, and he declared that the decrease was due to vaccination; but he went no way to prove it. He forgot that small-pox had distinctly diminished, according to the evidence of Dr. Farr, before vaccination came into operation at all. He declared that because smallpox continued to diminish that vaccination caused it; but, in a similar way, he might declare the power of vaccination to stop the Plague, which had not appeared in England for two centuries. He took little account of distinguished medical authorities, who arrived at a different belief to himself, as to the influence of vaccination on zymotic disease. He drew a distinction that he (Mr. Taylor) was quite unable to comprehend as to the meaning of his own expression, "stamping out the disease;" and he said—"We can stamp it out, but we cannot keep it out." To ordinary minds it would mean that vaccination would prevent people dying of the disease; but he said it would not do that. Nevertheless, he said it would "stamp out" the disease. There was only one more matter he would touch upon—the story, the bogus story, that the right hon. Gentleman brought forward of the mortality from the disease in the French and German Armies during the Franco-German War—a bogus story founded on the Report of Dr. W. B. Carpenter.
§ SIR LYON PLAYFAIR
said, his authority was not Dr. Carpenter, for the quotation which he read was from Dr. Colin, the Physician General of the French Army.
§ MR. P. A. TAYLOR
said, no one really believed that the number of deaths was 22,000; and he had the authority of Dr. Bayard for saying that these were not the numbers that died, but the numbers that had the disease. Again, it was asserted that the whole of the French Army were re-vaccinated before the war; and Dr. Carpenter replied —"Yes; the whole of the original Army." But it must be recollected that those recruits who fought at Orleans and the latter part of the campaign were not re-vaccinated; and he had the authority of Dr. Oidtmann for saying that the mortality among those who were re-vaccinated was greater than among those who were not. The deaths from smallpox in Paris in 1871 were said to be 1,600; and the illustration of vaccination and small-pox in Paris in that year was one of the most remarkable that had been recorded in history, and an able memoir of it had been written by Dr. Spinzig. In January of that year there was a great fear of a coming epidemic. Re-vaccination was enjoined on everybody; and all Paris was excited on the subject. In one Mairie no less than 2,000 persons presented themselves for re-vaccination. They held the opinion that there was danger in human lymph, and they went direct to the calf. Month after month the epidemic increased, and during the time re-vaccination was in operation the mortality still went on increasing, until the medical authorities decided on vaccinating no more, and, in a few months, the mortality returned to its normal character.
§ MR. J. HOLLOND
said, he wished to say a word on the withdrawal of the Amendment. If the Amendment was withdrawn, those of them who, like himself, were in favour of the abolition of cumulative penalties would have no alternative but to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Leicester. The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) meant simply the status quo, whatever interpretation might be put upon it by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board. However beneficent 1046 a discovery they might believe vaccination to be, it did not follow that the best moans of extending its usefulness throughout the country was to enforce it by pains and penalties; and if he voted for the Motion of the hon. Member for Leicester, it would be because he wished to protest against these cumulative penalties.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
To leave out from the word "House," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "the practice of Vaccination has greatly lessened the mortality from small-pox, and that Laws relating to it, with such modifications as experience may suggest, are necessary for the prevention and mitigation of this fatal and mutilative disease,"—(Sir Lyon Playfair,)
§ —instead thereof.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 16; Noes 286: Majority 270.—(Div. List, No. 145.)
§ Main Question, as amended, put.
§ Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House, the practice of Vaccination has greatly lessened the mortality from small-pox, and that Laws relating to it, with such modifications as experience may suggest, are necessary for the prevention and mitigation of this fatal and mutilative disease.