§ CAPTAIN CHALONER (Wilts, Westbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been called to certain cases tried at the Bradford-on-Avon Petty Sessions on 27th May last, under the Vaccination Acts, in which Mr. William Grove Pariss appeared on behalf of George Henry Banks and others, under the powers conferred on him by the Vaccination Act, 1871, Section 11, final Clause, when the presiding magistrate refused to allow Mr. Pariss to be heard on behalf of the defendants, and proceeded to make vaccination orders without hearing any defence; and, whether he was within his rights in this action; and, if not, whether the Secretary of State will cancel the orders so made, and direct that the costs imposed shall be refunded?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
I have already inquired into these cases. With regard to that of George Banks, I understand that he appeared in person to answer the charge, and the Justices, holding that Section 11 of the Act empowers only an absent defendant to appear by a duly authorised representative, decided that he could not be represented or assisted by a person other than a solicitor. I see no reason for questioning this decision. With regard to the other cases, I am informed that the Justices only declined to hear Mr. Pariss on his attempting to raise a discussion about them collectively, expressing the opinion that each case must be dealt with singly and on its own merits, but that Mr. Pariss left the court before they were taken.