HC Deb 04 March 1887 vol 311 cc1264-6
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether Charles Hayward, mechanic, of Willesborough, has during the last two years, on the prosecution of the Ashford Board of Guardians, been 23 times summoned and 12 times convicted, with penalties and costs amounting to £17 0s. 6d., for refusing to have his child vaccinated; whether Charles Hayward before the magistrates pleaded as his conscientious excuse the risk of his child being inoculated with syphilitic disease; and, whether the Local Government Board can restrain further proceedings against Charles Hayward by the Ashford Board of Guardians?

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

I understand that Mr. Hayward has been fined 10 times in respect of one child and twice in respect of another. He appears to have urged before the Justices as a reason for the non-vaccination of the children his fear of their being injured by vaccination. The Board have communicated to the Guardians their views on the general question of repeated prosecutions as embodied in the Evesham letter, to the effect that, in their opinion— When in a particular case repeated prosecutions have failed in their object, it becomes necessary to 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 cannot, however, intervene further.