HC Deb 28 June 1883 vol 280 cc1689-90

asked the President of the Local Government Board; Whether his attention has been called to the imprisonment in Portsmouth Gaol of William Henry Kennard, of Shoreham, Sussex, for the non-payment of a fine under the Vaccination Acts, he having already paid 35s. on account of the same child, the sentence having been passed by the Steyning Bench of Magistrates, and the said W. H. Kennard having been compelled to pick oakum and to lie upon a plank bed; and, whether any circular has been issued by the present Government, addressed to Magistrates or Guardians, in deprecation of repeated prosecutions under the Vaccination Acts?


If the hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will answer this Question. The Local Government Board have made inquiry, and find that, after repeated warnings, proceedings were instituted against William H. Kennard, in May, 1882, for not complying with au order of the Justices for the vaccination of his child. The fine imposed with costs after warrants of distress and commitment amounted to 35s., and this sum was paid. Proceedings were again instituted in May of the present year. Kennard pleaded guilty, and was fined 20s. and costs, and, in default of distress, was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment. The return to the warrant of distress was "No goods." Kennard was supposed to leave Shoreham for Brighton, and gave at the police-station an address at Brighton which was found to be false, and he was subsequently apprehended at Shoreham. The warrant of commitment did not impose hard labour, and it is untrue, as stated in the Question, that Kennard had to sleep on a plank bed. The superintendent of police states that Kennard, on the day he came out of gaol, informed him that he had been treated by everyone in the prison with a great deal of kindness. No Circular has been issued by the Local Government Board. The views of the Board on the subject are set forth in a letter which has been published as a Parliamentary Paper, and are generally well known. It has been the practice of the Board to send a copy of that Parliamentary Paper to the Board of Guardians whenever it appeared to be desirable to do.