§ MR. H. SETON-KARR (St. Helens)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether he is aware that the Lynn Guardians, by a vote of 15 to 5, have recently rejected a Resolution to enforce the compulsory clauses of the Vaccination Acts; whether it is a fact that there were 605 births in Lynn last year, and only 11 vaccinations; and, whether under these circumstances, and in view of the recent prevalence of smallpox at Gloucester, the Government propose to take any steps to secure the proper and general enforcement of the Vaccination Acts?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
I understand that the facts with regard to the Resolution passed by the Guardians of the King's Lynn Union and the number of vaccinations are as stated in the Question. I have addressed a communication to the Guardians pointing out that, by their acceptance of the office of guardians, they have undertaken to discharge the duties which devolve on them, including those with regard to vaccination, and impressing upon them that by failing to enforce the provisions of the Vaccination Acts they are incurring a very grave responsibility. [Cheers.] They have, at the same time, been reminded of the experience of Gloucester, where nearly 1,900 cases of smallpox have recently occurred, as evidence of the serious consequences which may at any time befall a community in which vaccination has been persistently neglected. I hope that on further consideration the Guardians will not fail to take the action which is necessary for the enforcement of vaccination in their union.