HC Deb 19 June 1894 vol 25 cc1462-3
MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether M. Haffkine has inoculated many thousands of persons in India for cholera; what is the precise nature of the substance he uses; whether the natives dealt with consent, or are compelled to be inoculated; and was permission given by the India Office to make such inoculations, and, if so, on what authority and what grounds; whether M. Haffkine is a Russian subject; and whether, before the British Government allowed him to inoculate people in India, such permission had been refused in regard to the people of Russia by the Government of that country?


It is true that M. Haffkine has, with the consent of the Government of India, inoculated a large number of persons in that country with a view to the prevention of cholera. I am not aware of the precise nature of the substance which he uses; but, before he commenced operations, the details of his process were submitted to the medical advisers of the Government of India, who, being satisfied that it was absolutely harmless, and recognising the benefit which would accrue to India if the experiment succeeded, recommended that it should be allowed to be tried. No person, native or European, has been inoculated except with his consent or by his wish. The permission of the Secretary of State for India was neither required nor asked. M. Haffkine is a Russian subject, and was recommended as a distinguished man of science by the Russian Ambassador to the good offices of the Government. I have no information as to the alleged action of the Russian Government.