HC Deb 27 February 1890 vol 341 cc1329-31
MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Emily Maud Child, an infant, whose parents live at Arthington, near Leeds, was vaccinated on 26th March, 1889, when three months old, and died on 1st July, 1889, but previously to vaccination the child was perfectly healthy; and whether a medical examination proved that the parents were perfectly healthy too; and at the inquest subsequently held, the jury found a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, that "the deceased died from syphilis acquired at or from vaccination;" whether the mother specially requested that calf lymph might be used in the vaccination; whether the gentleman who performed the operation, according to his own words at the inquest, "avoided the question by saying it would be pure lymph;" and whether the Local Government Board has made any. inquiry into this case; and, if so, whether the evidence so obtained will be laid before the Royal Commission on Vaccination now sitting?


I am aware of the facts as regards the child referred to in the question. The child was, as I understand, vaccinated on the 26th of March, 1889. The age is recorded as four months. According to the evidence at the inquest the child was healthy prior to vaccination, and there was no evidence before the coroner that the parents were not healthy. The medical evidence at the inquest was that the weight of evidence was in favour of the view that the syphilis was acquired and not congenital. The verdict of the jury was as stated. The facts as regards the request of the mother, and the statement of the vaccinator as to the lymph, appear to be substantially the same as those given in the question. An inquiry has been made by an Inspector of the Board with regard to the case. His conclusions are not the same as those arrived at at the inquest. He states that the child in question was the only sufferer from subsequent syphilis among all the children he reached and whom he saw that had been vaccinated with the same or any other lymph in the whole course of the vaccinator's March vaccinations; and, further, that the entire family to which the alleged vaccinated belonged were, as far as he could discover by examination of them, free from any syphilitic taint or suspicion of such taint. The Report of the Inspector will be at the disposal of the Royal Commission on Vaccination.

MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what we are to understand by the term "pure lymph?"


I am afraid that it would take up too much of the time of the House to enter into an explanation.