HC Deb 01 August 1898 vol 63 cc689-90
SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

On behalf of the honourable Member for Caithness, I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to recent vaccination prosecutions at Aberdeen and at Dundee; whether he is aware that, in the latter case, the sheriff stated that the procedure was oppressive, in view of the English legislation which proposed to give relief to persons with conscientious scruples; whether there has been a recent order by the Scottish Local Government Board in favour of more rigorous prosecutions; and whether the majority of the Parish Council of Abbotshall, in the county of Fife, have resigned in consequence?


My attention has been called to the cases referred to. The case at Dundee was tried before the sheriff-substitute—not the sheriff. I have no knowledge of what he said except from the newspaper reports. The answer to the third paragraph of the Question is in the negative. On the contrary, I am informed by the Local Government Board for Scotland that they have not departed from the line which they have all along adopted, namely, that parish councils are bound to carry out the existing law. It is the fact that, on being called upon to carry out the existing law in regard to first prosecutions, six out of 11 of the parish councillors of Abbotshall resigned their seats at the parish council.