HC Deb 14 April 1887 vol 313 cc880-1
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether his attention has been further called to the imprisonment of James Bamford, for non-compliance with the Vaccination Acts; whether James Bamford has again refused to comply with the Act, in respect of the same children; whether the case was again, a few days back, before the Newport Pagnell Board of Guardians, when it was urged that, as he had twice suffered punishment, he might be spared another prosecution; whether the Board of Guardians have resolved, in the words of the Chairman, to "go on prosecuting Bamford till he did obey;" and whether seeing that the present state of the law permits the unrestricted repetition of the penalty of imprisonment in the case of parents who conscientiously object to the risk of vaccinating their children, he will, in the first place, consider the justice of advising the Newport Pagnell Board of Guardians not to press for further punishment of James Bamford, in respect of the same children; and, in the second place, consider the advisability of promptly introducing a measure to remove the grievances of men in Bamford's position, by doing away with cumulative penalties, or otherwise?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

I have no information with regard to the case beyond that furnished by the Question. I have forwarded to the Guardians a copy of the Evesham letter which sets forth the Board's views on the subject of repeated prosecution; but I cannot undertake to intervene in any individual case, nor am I prepared to propose legislation which would take away from the Guardians, who have the advantage of knowing fully the local circumstances, their freedom of action in the matter.