§ *SIR W. FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)
The Government having met us in connection with my clause, so far as to put upon the Paper a clause which is practically identical in principle with the one which I had the honour to move, I fully recognise that they have accepted that principle. As I am anxious as far as possible to facilitate the progress of this Bill, and we on this side recognise that the principle for which we have fought is embodied in the new clause, I think it would be more conducive to the progress of this Measure if I withdrew my clause, and allowed the discussion to be taken on the clause which the right honourable Gentleman has put down upon the Paper. But, while withdrawing my clause, I would just like to say that the one which is now introduced by the Government does not altogether meet the views of some of my honourable Friends or my own views. There is a certain vagueness about it which I think may lead to difficulty in the future, and which would tend to keep alive in the country the agitation against vaccination, which it is my wish to put an end to. I shall later on propose that we should omit the word "satisfies," in order to insert "makes a declaration on oath before," so that the words would read—if within four months from the birth of the child he makes a declaration upon oath before two justices in petty sessions,and so in that way obtain uniformity of practice in every part of the country. If you keep the word "satisfies" you will have a different state of things in every part of the country. For instance, if I had to be satisfied, I do not hesitate to say that I should take a great deal more satisfying than many other persons. I do not wish to argue it, but I do not think that the proposed new clause meets what, in my opinion, are the requirements of the case. At the same time, recognising as I do the manner in which the Government have met us upon this point, I now beg to withdraw the clause which stands upon the Paper in my name.
§ The clause was, by leave, withdrawn.442
New clause proposed—
No parent or other person shall be liable to any penalty under section 29 or section 31 of the Vaccination Act of 1867 if, within four months from the birth of the child, he satisfies two justices in petty sessions that be conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child, and within seven days thereafter delivers to the vaccination officer for the district a certificate by such justices of such conscientious objection."—(Mr. Chaplin.)
§ *SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
With reference to what my honourable Friend has said, there is no doubt, I think, that the new clause which the right honourable Gentleman has moved will go a very long way towards settling the question. We have had before us a difficult matter to decide. There is an old proverb which says that when doctors disagree it is apt to be a serious matter for the patient. In this matter we have had two prescriptions, one prescription of my honourable Friend the Member for the Ilkeston Division, and one of the honourable Member for the Edinburgh University. I think that the Government has come to a very wise decision in preferring the prescription of the honourable Member for the Ilkeston Division to that of the honourable Member for the Edinburgh University, in what was previously the third clause of this Bill. There is no doubt that a very material question, and one which has just been referred to by my honourable Friend, arises in connection with this new clause. Our great object is, as far as possible, to prevent disputes, and prevent irritation in this matter. It is now universally admitted that the conscientious objection of the parents is to prevail under this Bill. The question then arises as to how that conscientious objection on the part of the parents is to be ascertained. Now, my honourable Friend, in his Amendment, the principle of which he has truly said is practically adopted by the Government—that is to say, that conscientious objections are to prevail altogether, and from the first the penalties are not to be enforced— proposes that it should be ascertained by a statutory declaration, which the parent should take the trouble to obtain, and which should be in a definite form, and be made upon oath, and registered 443 and certified. Now, that is a view which would remove and difficulty in the minds of the magistrates who had to give the certificates. If you depart from that procedure you will find that you will be placed in very great difficulty. First of all, the magistrates will not know what ought to satisfy them as to there being a conscientious objection. You place the magistrates in a position in which they ought not to be put in this matter. They will not know how far they ought to go into the matter, or how far they ought to cross-examine the person who appears upon a conscientious objection. Then there is another difficulty. I do not understand in what capacity a man will present himself before the magistrates. The man who makes a statutory declaration has a legal status before a magistrate which the Act of Parliament regulating statutory declarations gives him. Every man who wishes to make a statutory declaration has a right to go before a magistrate, and say that he desires to do so, so it is perfectly obvious that you must have some legal status defined by Act of Parliament to enable the magistrate to have "seisin" of the case, or it would be an irregular proceeding from a legal point of view. But from the point of view of the conscientious objector he must also know what is it that will satisfy the magistrate, and it is obviously of great importance that that should be definitely ascertained, otherwise you will have as much diversity in vaccination as you have sometimes in questions of ritual. I think it is extremely desirable that there should be a little uniformity of practice in this matter, otherwise you may have sets of magistrates in adjoining divisions giving different decisions as to what ought to be satisfactory to the magistrate, which will certainly not effect the object which we desire, which is, to prevent confusion and avoid irritation. Could there be anything more irritating to people who have strong convictions on the subject than to find that one set of magistrates have decided as to what is satisfactory one way, and another set of magistrate have decided another? You would fine in places like Leicester, where there is a very strong opinion upon the subject, the magistrates would accept one sort of 444 satisfaction, and in another place immediately adjoining satisfaction of a different description would be required, and, so far from putting an end to the confusion and the agitation which it is our object to determine, you will, in my opinion, on the contrary, be continuing, it and perhaps aggravating it. I do hope the Government, who have very frankly accepted the principle of this Amendment, will also accept the Amendment which my honourable Friend the Member for the Ilkeston Division has indicated, and will see their way to substitute for the word "satisfy," when we come to discuss the clause after the Second Reading, the words "make a statutory declaration." It is for the Government to consider whether it would not be wise to have that form of statutory declaration so settled that it should be the same everywhere. That might be done either by the Local Government Board, or by incorporating it in the schedule of the Bill, but, at all events, the principle should be adopted that the statutory declaration made by the parent who entertains the conscientious objection, should be such as would entitle him to a certificate, and that the matter should not be left to be decided in diverse ways by the different justices at petty sessions. I think that it will be seen that this is a very reasonable Amendment to the proposals of the Government, and I hope that it will be accepted, and by that means we shall really have come to what the right honourable Gentleman so earnestly desires—namely, the settlement of a question of such grave importance.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (Sir R. B. FINLAY, Inverness Burghs)
I desire to acknowledge the extremely conciliatory attitude in which the right honourable Gentleman opposite has approached this very important matter. The difference between him and the Government in this matter is largely a difference in form. It would be entirely out of taste upon the Second Reading of the clause to enter into the details of any possible Amendment, and all that I desire to do is to make a, few observations in reply to the right honourable Gentleman when he spoke upon the clause. I am reminded that the clause 445 put down by my right honourable Friend is founded on the third clause of the Bill, which was carried almost unanimously on Second Reading. ["No, no!"] Well, if not almost unanimously, by a very large majority, the precise figures being 165. Now, a difference, and an important difference, in the wording of that clause, as framed by my honourable Friend, is suggested by the addition of the words, "make a statutory declaration." The state of things that we have to deal with is this: that our difficulty in getting children vaccinated is not that so many parents entertain conscientious objections. There are some—and I do not say there are not, or that if you took the whole of the country through you would not find plenty—but I do say that for one conscientious objector you would find 10 parents who are careless or indifferent to vaccination, and I say our difficulty in getting children vaccinated is not the fact that there are so many people who have conscientious objections, but there are so many parents who are careless and indifferent; and we must be very careful that we do not do too much to encourage that class of people. If you required merely a statutory declaration, what would be the result? Although a difference of opinion may be prevalent among some parents who have strong convictions upon this point, there is a very active society which is entirely opposed to the practice of vaccination altogether, and whose object it is to resist it, and I think I can see that a clause simply providing for statutory declaration would give ample scope to that society, because all it would have to do would be to have a little conversation with different people, and parents would very soon be brought to believe that the operation of vaccination would be dangerous, or at least injurious, to the child. Every effort would be made to take them before the magistrate, with little or no trouble whatever, and statutory declarations would be made time after time by careless and indifferent parents. It is idle to say that if the declaration were untrue the persons who made them might be prosecuted for doing so. It would be absolutely impossible to prosecute, with success, a 446 man making a false declaration under such circumstances as these, and what I feel is this, that you would have no security for the bona fidesof the statements contained in the declaration. On the other hand, the same gentlemen who had made all the arrangements for bringing the deponents before the magistrates would be particularly careful to take all necessary steps to defend any prosecutions that were instituted. All that is required in this case is to provide that some sort of test shall be made with the view of securing the fact that a man really has a conscientious objection. As to the question of what the status of an objector would be when he appeared before the magistrates, it would be that of an applicant under the Statute, which entitles him to come before any two magistrates and ask them for a certificate, which they should be bound to give if he could show that he was really a conscientious objector. The magistrates would hear him, and there would be a little conversation between the magistrates and the objector.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I leave that to the imagination of the right honourable Gentleman, but clearly some means must be provided of seeing that the man is a conscientious objector. If you allow a. mere statutory declaration to decide the matter, the whole thing is delivered over into the hands of indifferent parents and the very active gentlemen of the Anti-Vaccination League. I would venture to remind the honourable Gentlemen on both sides of the House that it is not the so-called conscientious objector who makes a. declaration that he is the person to suffer; it is his innocent child and the community who might contract small-pox. We have heard a great deal about anti-vaccination. I would remind the honourable Gentleman that for every active agitator there are a hundred quiet stay-at-home people who have strong convictions, and who at the proper time and in the proper way will know how to record their opinion against those who they may think unduly fritter away the safeguards against the propagation of a horrible disease.
§ *SIR H. FOWLER
I want to have it quite clear what the Solicitor General means by testing a man's conscience. He said it was necessary that there should be a test. Is it to be a judicial test? Is one magistrate to say: "I believe you are telling the truth," and another magistrate to say: "I do not believe you are telling the truth: I do not believe you are a conscientious objector." The right honourable Gentleman asks honourable Members of this House to indulge in their own imagination. Perhaps you will allow me to indulge in mine. There are two classes of magistrates. One is in sympathy with vaccination; and there is a class not in sympathy with vaccination. A parent goes before a magistrate who is not in sympathy with, vaccination. A declaration will be made, and that declaration will be at once respected, and the affair will be over. Supposing there is a court of magistrates who are in sympathy with vaccination, what is to be the nature of this conversation which the Solicitor General says will take place? Are they to ask him the grounds on which he is a conscientious objector? Are they to go over the whole complicated controversy between vaccination and anti-vaccination? Are they to discuss the state of the lymph, or the mode in which it is to be administered? Are they to express their own opinion? If the man persists in his opinion, is he to have the right to override the discretion of the magistrates? Supposing we were to pass the Bill as it originally stood; supposing the Government rejected the Amendment of my honourable Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh, and we accepted the clause in its naked simplicity. What would happen then? A father summoned for non-vaccination gets fined half-a-crown. The father does not have his child vaccinated. Four or five months afterwards he is summoned again, and the magistrate makes an order. The man does not obey that order, and he is again brought before the magistrate and fined another half-crown. Nothing further is done, and the child is free for the rest of its life The father is free from all penalty; and this innocent child at the age of eight or nine months, as the case might be, has no protection.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
By these two proceedings and two penalties you have pretty well eliminated the really conscientious objector.
§ *SIR H. H. FOWLER
I think it works rather the other way. The really conscientious objector would remain more strong. What we are dealing with now is the really conscientious objector. A man goes to the court and says he has a conscientious objection. How are you going to test his conscience? Are you going to cross-examine his conscience; are you going to test that by evidence? You would make confusion worse confounded. It would be far better, having admitted the principle that conscientious objection is to prevail, to accept the Amendment of my honourable Friend requiring the objection to be stated on what is equivalent to an oath. I cannot see how you could put it any higher or any better.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
The First Lord of the Treasury, besides being an able political gentleman, is a philosopher. I sit at the feet of that Gamaliel in philosophical matters, and I ask the right honourable Gentleman to turn his philosophical mind to this point—how in the world can you look into another man's mind? A man comes forward and says "I have a conscientious objection," and a conversation takes place between the magistrate and the man in order to discover whether it be so or not. All he can say is, "Do you believe in lymph?" or "Do you believe in a hundred different things?" The magistrate, if he were inclined, might entirely befog the simple-minded man. I will take a case. Let us suppose the Solicitor General is the magistrate and I am the simple-minded man with my conscientious objection to being vaccinated. Now, in the hands of the Solicitor General I should appear to be a mixture of the knave and fool. As I have stated once or twice, the town of Northampton is bitterly opposed, rightly or wrongly, to vaccination; there are only five or six per cent, of the people vaccinated there. Well, Sir, the Anti-Vaccination League was opposed to this Bill from the very commencement. They even protested to my constituents against my vote in favour of the Bill. What was my reply to 449 these intelligent men? I said, "I know more about the vaccination under this Bill than the whole League, from the president down to the humblest subscriber." This League does not influence men who have conscientious objections. They will not go there on this omnibus that goes about collecting people which the Solicitor General dreads. No more and no less people will go in the omnibus. I speak to my philosopher, the First Lord of the Treasury, and I tell him that when you get on to conscientious, objections you get on to very difficult ground. Why, Sir, we have the Nonconformist conscience here. I have heard gentlemen sneer at that respected monitor, and if they are capable of sneering at the Nonconformist conscience they will doubt infinitely more the consciences of those whom they bring before them on the bench. I recognise fully the desire of the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury not to have a division of opinion in this matter. I think he has acted in the fairest manner possible; but I really do believe that even in the interests of vaccination it will be better to proceed by statutory declaration, instead of having magistrates examining these men. There are, as I know, very wise men among them, but there are other magistrates who are not. so wise, and they may have a prejudiced feeling against vaccination, just as there are magistrates who are in favour of it. My constituents do not believe that vaccination is a good thing. Personally, I should have a child vaccinated myself, and, that being so, I think it desirable that this prejudice against vaccination should be weakened as far as possible.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Gloucester, Stroud)
I think the objection raised by the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition is really an exaggerated one as regards the present proposal of the Government. In the first case, if you go before different benches of magistrates there is the possibility of different decisions. A man goes before a magistrate and says that he has a conscientious belief that vaccination is prejudicial to the health of his child. The magistrate has only got to consider whether that statement is bonâ fideor not; he has not to go into the question of conscience 450 he has only to consider whether it is bonâ fide.
§ MR. CRIPPS
Just as in all other cases. Every court has got to consider whether the statements made before it are bonâ fideor not. That is the proper protection here. The difference between the Proposal and the Amendment is simply to provide this test of bonâ fides.I hope the Government will not make any further alteration and that they will maintain this very important safeguard.
§ SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
Although I am a strong believer in vaccination, I am bound to say I do not share the views of my honourable and learned Friend who has just sat down. He would, no doubt, settle the question perfectly well if it was brought before him in court for decision, but unfortunately the ordinary county magistrate is not so well equipped in a legal sense as the honourable Member for considering a point like this. When we come to consider the wording of the clause, the honourable and learned Member should try to introduce some form of words by which the magistrate might be enabled to test the bonâ fidesof the objector and to give some direction to the magistrate as to the direction in which the test should be applied. I am certain that my right honourable Friend the Member for Wolverhampton is right in saying that there will be the greatest possible difference of opinion in the interpretation of this Bill, and that there will be a glorious uncertainty in the law throughout the country, which will lead to a renewal of the agitation which everyone deplores. In my own division there is on the bench one of the most popular magistrates, who is himself a conscientious objector to this clause. One great fear in connection with the Bill is that by the particular kind of lymph which it is purposed to introduce the severity of the symptoms in children will be increased, though great danger will be avoided. There will be more severe suffering, though less danger to the ultimate health of the child. At the outset of the working of the Act there will be a great tendency to friction because of the alarming increase in the superficial 451 symptoms of vaccination causing natural anxiety to parents and an additional tendency to resistance on the part of conscientious objectors to vaccination. I think it is specially important that we should be very careful indeed as to what we are doing in this case, and as to the words we are using in the clause with the object of trying to arrive at something like unanimity of decision.
§ *THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I speak with some diffidence about the proceedings and decisions before courts of magistrates, for I have had no experience of courts. But I cannot help thinking that the fear which underlays the observations of honourable Gentlemen opposite is an exaggerated and misplaced fear. Honourable Members seem to think that under this clause it will be the duty of magistrates, or it might be thought to be the duty of magistrates to cross-examine—
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
To have a conversation with the man as to the grounds of his refusal to allow his child to be vaccinated, what were his medical reasons for objecting, whether he had any personal experience of the effects of vaccination, and whether he had looked into the question of vaccine lymph, and so on. I do not believe that will be the duty of the magistrate. What the magistrate has got to convince himself upon is not whether the man's belief is well or ill-founded, not whether the man has investigated the important medical problems involved, but whether as a matter of fact, however it has arisen, the belief exists and is a genuine one. I think everybody will admit that, if the duty of the magistrate is limited, as I have stated, his business is clearly restricted to convincing himself that the man, be he right or wrong, ignorant or wise, whether he had investigated or not the grounds of his belief, genuinely entertained the belief, he is bound under the clause, as the Government intended it to operate, to secure the man from any further prejudice. I think we might now go into the clause by which that end is to be attained.
§ Mr. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
I think there is a general desire on both sides of the House to give the Bill a Second Reading. Honourable Members are all agreed as to the principle of the clause, and after the observations of the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury there seems to be an infinitesimal difference separating honourable Members as to the manner in which that principle ought to be applied. The right honourable Gentleman has declared it to be the intention of the Government merely that the fact should be brought out that the objector was a conscientious objector and that no further inquiry of any kind was to be made. If that is the intention of the Government, what is the object of bringing the man before the magistrates and subjecting him to a "conversation" or cross-examination? The honourable and learned Member for Stroud spoke of a bonâ fideconscientious objection. But what is bonâ fidesbut another term, in a different language, for conscience? I do not understand by what process of examination or inquiry you can get beyond a man's statement, "I do conscientiously object to vaccination." I cannot conceive of any inquiry in any court which would enable you to get behind that statement, unless it were to inquire into the grounds of belief. I renew the appeal which has been made to alter the language of the clause in order that we might proceed at once with the object we all have at heart.
§ *MR. SYDNEY GEDGE (Walsall)
I am ready to support the Government if they will adopt the German plan of compelling the children, whether the parents like it or not, to be vaccinated; and if I am told that the English are not as the Germans, and will not brook this treatment, it is therefore impossible to compel vaccination, I will support the Government in the proposal to abolish compulsion altogether. But I will not support a Bill which makes compulsion a law that allows any man who sets up a conscientious objection to be freed from it. The question of whether vaccination will injure a child is one of intellect and not of conscience, and even if it were the latter the principle would be wrong. The law is one which affects every family in the country, and it will weaken 453 the moral fibre of all the poor peasants and labourers to know that they have only to formally express their dislike to the law to be exempted from it. You cannot stop with vaccination. The same principle will apply to taxes, sanitary laws, and, in fact, to every kind of law; and by such an enactment you will reduce your laws to the rules of drinking, when a man was ordered not to drink brandy so long as he could not get it, but if there was a place where he could get brandy he could have it.
§ *SIR W. FOSTER
I move as un Amendment in the clause the insertion of the words "makes a statutory declaration before two justices" instead of "satisfies." I am anxious that we should as far as possible secure the smooth working of the Bill in the interests of vaccination. My Amendment, I believe, would be a great improvement in the law generally as regards that operation. I would put this before the Solicitor General. Supposing I was sitting on the bench, though I had no direction as to my duty, it would still be within my discretion as a medical man sitting on the bench to say, "What are your grounds for declining vaccination? It would be almost impossible, if one felt as strongly as I do on the subject, not to ask questions to satisfy the bench; in fact, it might be regarded as a duty to do it. Questions would be bound to be asked in Court if it was felt to be a case of vaccination versusanti-vaccination, and it would keep up the agitation which we are trying to allay. Take a case like Leicester, which contains many thousands of conscientious objectors. Not one of those would be cross-examined there, and for the sake of economy of time I think that we should make the process as regular as possible. If you go to another place where there is a bench of magistrates in favour of vaccination you would get a totally different kind of practice, and parent after parent would be subjected to cross-examination. If the law is to be respected it should be made uniform, and to secure this uniformity I move my Amendment. I do not care how stringent the means are, but I want uniformity, and I certainly want it to be some trouble to a parent to make this declaration. No 454 matter what the procedure is I want it to be the same for London as for Leicester, the same for Leicester as for Birmingham, and the same for Birmingham as for Manchester, so that we may secure a uniform and just administration of the law, and do all we possibly can to prevent any encouragement of an agitation against the law.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
If I rightly gather the meaning of the observations of the right honourable Gentleman it appears to me that there is very little difference of opinion between us. The honourable Gentlemen opposite are anxious that the magistrate should be clearly precluded from cross-examining a man as to the origin of his conscientious objection. We on this side of the House are anxious that the magistrate should not admit the claims of an unconscientious objector if he is really an unconscientious objector. That being the present state of affairs between the two sides of the House, would not this Amendment meet the views of all parties to omit the word "satisfies" as the honourable Gentleman wishes and insert "states upon oath before "? So far that is precisely, or at any rate practically, the Amendment of the honourable Member himself, and thus that would practically satisfy honourable Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House. Then I think that the views of honourable Gentlemen on this side of the House would be met if at the end of the clause these words were added, "which the justices are required to grant if satisfied of the bonâ fide?of the statement." The clause would then read—No parent or other person shall be liable to any penalty, under section 29 or section 31 of the Vaccination Act of 1867, if within four months from the birth of the child he states upon oath, before the justices in petty sessions, that he conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child, and within seven days thereafter delivers to the vaccination officer for the district a certificate by such justices of conscientious objection, which the justices are required to grant if satisfied of the bonâ fidesof the statement.I cannot conceive that any magistrate with these words before him would feel himself justified in putting illegitimate questions or carrying on a conversation 455 on illegitimate grounds, which is the fear apparently which dominates honourable Gentlemen opposite. I think that those words would meet the views of all parties concerned, and I beg to suggest it for the consideration of honourable Gentlemen opposite.
§ *SIR W. HARCOURT
As regards the present Amendment I think that what the right honourable Gentleman says would, of course, satisfy us. He proposes to leave out the word "satisfies" and to introduce a declaration on oath before the magistrate that he has a conscientious objection. Therefore we can very well accept that, and that is all that arises upon the present Amendment, and that we shall willingly accept from the right honourable Gentleman. But when he comes to the end of the clause and proposes the words—with reference to the magistrates being satisfied with the bonâ fides,that is a thing to which I should certainly object. The distinction between "bonâ fides"and "conscientious" is no distinction at all. What is a man's bonâ fides but a man's conscientious objection? The man has declared upon oath that he has a conscientious objection, and what is it you want the magistrate to inquire into? Why, after he has made his oath that he has a conscientious objection, the justices are to inquire into the bonâ fidesof the man's oath. That is a perfectly illegitimate inquiry. A man goes before a magistrate and he is asked to make a solemn oath that he has a conscientious objection and then after that you propose that the magistrate should ask him whether his oath is bonâ fide. I think that is an entirely new proceeding in judical inquiries. You have no right, unless you mean to cross-examine the man upon his oath, to insert these words. Of course, in a legal inquiry you might so cross-examine him, you could question his good faith as a witness, but by this proposal you want to question his good faith when he has sworn that he has a conscientious objection. That is a most dangerous proceeding. The right honourable Gentleman said with great frankness that he is not acquainted with the practice of justices in petty sessions. I know some- 456 thing about the practice of justices in petty sessions. In those petty sessions I believe that the law is well administered generally, but we all know that constantly these matters come before men of very little legal knowledge, and sometimes of no very great experience, and occasionally men who are not very discreet, and the notion of referring to the jurisdiction of these men an inquiry into the bonâ fidesof a man who makes a solemn oath of this description seems to me to be a most dangerous precedent. The honourable Gentleman on the other side of the House said the certificate would certainly show a ground of objection. How are you going to ascertain that? I think the honourable Member was mistaken. I think the certificate will certainly state no grounds at all. It will be a mere certificate setting forth that the conscientious objection was taken upon oath, and if the justices upon that oath being given say—We examined into the bonâ fidesof this man—he made an oath—and we are satisfied that he perjured himself because he made an oath, and did not make it bonâ fide"that would be a solemn declaration by the justice that he had perjured himself. A more monstrous proceeding than that it is impossible to conceive. You cannot allow a justice to say—A man has been before me on oath. I have recorded his oath, but I also record my opinion that that oath was an act of perjury, and that it was not made bonâ file."I will not detain the House any longer, but I will wait until the right honourable Gentleman moves that Amendment, which I may tell him we shall strongly oppose; but at present we are dealing with the Amendment of my honourable Friend. I do not know whether the right honourable Gentleman has any preference to his own words. For my own part I should think that the words "the statutory declaration" were better than "states or oath"; but it is a small matter, and I do not see that there is much difference between the two things. There is this advantage, however, about the use of this word "statutory declaration." A statutory declaration is a thing perfectly well known to the law, and I hope, if there is any material difference between "statutory 457 declaration" and "states on oath," that it the Government will accept the former, so that we may proceed with the consideration of the additional words which the right honourable Gentleman has suggested for the end of the clause.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
The course which the right honourable Gentleman suggests is not one which I can adopt. I only threw out the suggestion in the interests of peace. I do not think that we can accept the Member for Derby's Amendment unless the words I propose are added to the foot of the clause. I had hoped that the suggestion I made would have been received in the spirit in which it was certainly genuinely offered to the House. But if we are to have a controversy we had better have it over the word "satisfies."
§ *MR. LOGAN (Leicester, Harborough)
I wish most fully to recognise the generous spirit in which the First Lord has met the objection, but I wish to put a point before him which I do not think has received his attention. The clause introduced by the President of the Local Government Board described this conscientious declaration which is to be made by the objector as one which is to be in reference to his belief that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of his child. That is opening the door to controversy, and what I want to put to the right honourable Gentleman is this: supposing a man cannot satisfy the court that he believes the operation of vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of his child, but yet can satisfy the court that he conscientiously objects to vaccination, in that case is the right honourable Gentleman going to make that man have his child vaccinated? I stand here perhaps the only man in this House that has a conscientious objection to vaccination.
§ *MR. LOGAN
I am glad to hear that there are other honourable Members who are conscientious objectors to vaccination. But although I have this conscientious objection I should not like 458 to say that I am satisfied that vaccination would be prejudicial to my health; but this I can say, that I would sooner suffer anything rather than undergo the operation of vaccination. I went through a serious epidemic of small-pox in the town of Sheffield early in the seventies, engaged the whole time amongst men who were dying every day of small-pox, and against the express wishes—almost the command—of my medical man I refused to be vaccinated. No! I preferred to run the risk of small-pox rather than inoculating myself with that filthy stuff of which I know nothing whatever. I should have a great difficulty in satisfying a bench of magistrates —especially if there happened to be a medical man on the bench—that I believed vaccination would be prejudicial to my health. At the same time I have a most conscientious objection to being vaccinated. I do not appeal to the First Lord as a philosopher, I appeal to him as a man of common sense. He has already given away his case; he has recognised that a man who has a conscientious objection should have that conscientious objection respected. It is too late in the day for the Solicitor General to talk about the nice, quiet, stay-at-home people who believe in vaccination. It is too late to consider them now. If you do you must compel everybody to have their children vaccinated. You have given way upon that, and you have agreed to do away with compulsion in this matter, and I appeal to the First Lord of the Treasury as a man of common sense to allow the man who has a conscientious objection to make in a clear way a solemn statutory declaration to that effect, and then go free.
*MR. G. LAWSON (Yorks., N.R., Thirsk)
I hope that the Government will not take out the word "satisfies." I sit as a magistrate, and I want to know what would be the position of a bench of magistrates where they had to give a certificate of a conscientious objection if they had not to satisfy themselves whether it was a conscientious objection or not? The right honourable Gentleman has alluded to the impossibility of the inquiry as to whether a man 459 was acting bonâ fideor not. If a man is charged with trespass in a court of petty sessions and pleads a claim of right the magistrates have to decide whether it is such a bonâ fideclaim as ousts their jurisdiction. That is exactly a parallel case to this—
*MR. G. LAWSON
I imagine that this will be a judicial inquiry; if it is not, then why not take them before a Commissioner of Oaths and pay half-a-crown? The Leader of the Opposition had said that he would very much prefer to have a statutory declaration. Well, during the years that I was at the Bar there was nothing I noticed more surprising to me than the readiness with which people will swear to an affidavit drawn up by their counsel. I would ask the House particularly to consider the value of the statutory declaration of the lodger who wants to be put on the register. Sir, I should be very sorry indeed to allow the safety of this country from the spread of small-pox to rest on a statutory declaration of that character.
§ MR. J. M. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)
I think the remarks of the honourable Gentleman have rather.given away the case, because he tells us that, in his opinion, the operation of the clause is intended to institute a judicial inquiry. The First Lord of the Treasury told us that what the words intended to do was to enable the magistrates to so satisfy themselves that the man entertained a conscientious objection. Now, the only way of ascertaining that is to allow him to take an oath that he does entertain that objection. And, Sir, the First Lord of the Treasury says that the intention of the Government is that the magistrates should take that particular view of the words as the clause is at present constituted; but, taking the words as they stand, it does not depend on the view of the First Lord of the Treasury but it will depend on the variety of views placed upon those words by the magistrates all over the country.
§ MR. T. G. BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I do think the Opposition might accept the concession which the Government has made. I am a very deter- 460 mined opponent of compulsion in vaccination, although I do not object to vaccination itself, whether performed by authorised or unauthorised practitioners. I think Her Majesty's Government really have made an enormous concession upon this subject, for they have absolutely given up the principle of compulsion. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, that absolutely satisfies me. As to the conditions on which it shall be given up I see no very great difference between the clause as it stands and as amended, because, after all, the real object of those who object to compulsion has been attained, whether you take the clause as it is proposed to be amended by the double Amendment of the right honourable Gentleman or not. As it would then stand it would have the effect that we who are opposed to compulsion desire— that is, it would get rid of all compulsion whatever. I do not think it is worth while to argue as to whether the magistrates would or would not be justified in going into the bonâ fidesof the case, and I think this is only splitting straws. But whether you like it or not Her Majesty's Government have surrendered on the subject of compulsion, and whether you accept this clause or not compulsion is gone for ever.
§ MR. H. BROADHURST (Leicester)
I am not opposed to vaccination, but only to compulsory vaccination. The First Lord of the Treasury has now met the case to a very great extent, but why he should hesitate and hold back the giving of a complete, a full, and unreserved relief to people who have strong and conscientious objections to having their children interfered with I cannot understand. I think if he would look at it in that light he would see that we are simply occupying the time of the House over a myth. Now, he need not be afraid of novelties in legislation with regard to vaccination, for they are the only things which are allowed to be defended by laymen. That is the point which I wish the First Lord of the Treasury would take into consideration—that the difficulty of legislating upon the vaccination question has been found to be so great by Parliament that by special legislation a layman has now to appear in court in defence of the case. With regard to having to satisfy 461 the magistrate, I have sat on the Bench when we have had a whole batch of objectors to vaccination. I have been on the Bench when we have had a doctor there who is a determined and strong vaccinator, who would listen to no argument and would not be swayed by any convictions. He knows the whole subject well, and he might keep a person arguing for a week, and if he argued for a month he would never satisfy that doctor-magistrate that he had a conscientious objection. We occupied yesterday eight hours in this House upon this one point, for the whole argument and Debate yesterday covered only the point of compulsion. Now, we have had two hours today upon the same topic, and cannot we now come to some decision on this point, and will not the First Lord of the Treasury, having given so much, will he not make a full and graceful concession of the whole subject by withdrawing this proposal? I am appealing to the First Lord of the Treasury, who is much wiser than many of his followers, and who has had a much longer experience. I appeal to him not to allow a piece of this gift to stick to his hand in handing it over to this side. If he will give it fully and freely he will do away with any remnants of agitation that may be left in the Bill in its present form, and he will thus confer a great benefit upon everyone concerned in this question and who feel strongly upon it. Above all others, I think the argument which has been used from the Front Bench on this side is an unanswerable argument It is this: that this is the only means by which you will secure uniformity of practice. We are suffering in this Debate from one thing: the First Lord of the Treasury, with his usual frankness and fairness, admitted that he has had experience in petty sessional courts and the Solicitor General has had no experience in petty sessional courts. Now, we who have sat for hours and days on this subject have had experience in petty sessional courts, and I have no hesitation in saying that the great body of justices in this country would much rather be relieved from the conditions attaching to the Bill as it now stands than to have to conduct this in quisition as to the conscientious objection. The nature of it they will never arrive at, and it will be impossible to 462 arrive at it where medical men and advocates of vaccination are members of the Bench. If the First Lord of the Treasury can thoroughly meet us I can promise him this: I do not want to make arrangements or bargains, but I want the First Lord of, he Treasury to carry out his own free will and his own strong sensible will, which we can all see possesses him today as it did last night. He has a strong, sensible will, which is one of the most valuable things in the Leader of the House of Commons, and it is one of the most valuable qualities he can be possessed of. If he will do so, I will promise him this: if he will only meet us fully and freely on this point, I will promise him that the Amendments standing in my name in other parts of the Bill I will certainly refrain from moving, in recognition of his concessions.
§ MR. D. H. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)
I sincerely hope that the First Lord of the Treasury will not make any further surrenders on this question. I must confess myself that the action of the Government on this point has come as a complete surprise to myself, having regard to the fact that by adopting this clause the House has surrendered the principle of compulsion. I feel sure that when the country hears what has been done the Government will not derive much satisfaction from the course which they have adopted. They have a large majority at their disposal, and they could have resisted this opposition, and if the Government had chosen to put their majority into force they could have successfully resisted this. I am sorry that they have made this surrender, and I do hope that they will make no further concessions, even if it may not have the approval of the honourable Member for Leicester, with his great magisterial experience.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
The honourable Member has informed us that this is the first occasion upon which he has taken part in these Debates. Holding the views which he does, it is singularly unfortunate that he has not taken an opportunity of expressing them to the House before. Will he allow me to remind him, and to remind the House, of 463 the position and of the circumstances under which this compromise has been offered by my right honourable Friend? We had a Debate on this subject last night which lasted the whole of one Parliamentary day, and during that Debate 23 Members of this House took part in that discussion. The question at issue was perfectly clear, and was practically this: whether vaccination should be voluntary or compulsory in future. With one single exception on each side of the House, among the whole of these 23 speakers in that Debate every one of them supported the Amendment. I own that I was not prepared for that manifestation of the opinion of the House which 30 years' experience in this assembly convinced me was unmistakable. It is evident that since the Second Reading of the Bill, by a majority, I believe, of nearly 10 to 1, and since the proceedings in Committee, some change— or perhaps I should say some growth— of opinion has been proceeding amongst Members. What has been the reason for the change I do not know, but it is none the less significant, and its chief significance, in my opinion, consists in this, and this is a point which we have most carefully to consider. It is not only the question of legislation. That difficulty, I think, might have been got over, and probably what the honourable Member says is true, that party loyalty would have secured us a majority if we had pressed it. But there is another question, and a more important question, in my opinion, which has to be reckoned with as well, and that is the future administration of the law. With a clear and authoritative expression of the opinion of Parliament behind me, I should have faced the task without a moment's hesitation, difficult and unpleasant as I always knew that it would be. But when I find, so far from having that support, that opinion in this House, or rather the drift of opinion, is tending in the opposite direction—and I can form no other conclusion from the Debate of yesterday—then I am compelled to recognise that the administration of a law for compulsory vaccination would be impracticable in the future. No Government and no Minister, in the face of that opinion, would be able to enforce it. We have, therefore, been compelled, and I have been compelled, much against my wish 464 and against my own convictions, to accept the inevitable. I regret it for the reasons which I stated yesterday, and which I think have not been met at present. I only hope that I may prove to be mistaken in my apprehensions, and that the House of Commons will not have cause to regret the views which undoubtedly it entertains today. This much I have said, and I have thought it right to say, upon what happened yesterday; and now, upon the question more immediately before us, like my right honourable Friend, I am not an authority on the minor and subsidiary question which is before us at the present moment. I do not remember whether I have sat on the Bench myself; if I have it is so many years ago that I have forgotten it. I am not able to speak of the practice of magistrates, or the considerations by which they are governed; but I cannot help thinking that the common sense with which they are invested, like all other people in the world—most other people in the world—will dictate to them what seems to be the natural and ordinary course, that unless they are convinced that the declaration made before them is absolutely false they will accept it as a matter of course. My right honourable Friend, in order to remove the doubts which appear to be entertained by some honourable Members on that side of the House, has proposed an Amendment to the clause, in which he has gone very far indeed to meet the views of honourable and right honourable Gentlemen opposite. I am sorry that I did not hear the opening statement of the Member for the Ilkeston Division, but I gather that, practically, he was satisfied with the concession we have made. I still hope it may be possible to come to a unanimous decision, and undoubtedly it is important, with regard to the future administration of the Act. I appeal to the Leader of the Opposition to remember that a very great concession has been made upon this side, and I think we are really entitled to expect some concession to be made upon the other side. At present no concession has been made on the other side at all; and under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that there is a further Amendment on the Paper in my own name making the Act temporary and limiting its dura- 465 tion to five years, I do, under these circumstances, hope that honourable and right honourable Gentlemen opposite, if they are sincere in their expressions and their desire, as I cannot doubt that they are, that there should be unanimity in this matter, and that this Question should be removed from the circle of party strife, in the hope that the Acts may be properly and fairly administered, I do think that if this is really the case we may expect honourable and right honourable Gentlemen opposite to some extent to meet us in our views.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I am sure that the great majority of the House, without any reference to party, will recognise the common sense and manly speech of the right honourable Gentleman, and welcome his repudiation of the appeal that was made to him by one, and only one, of the supporters of the Government to abandon the spirit, adjustment, and reasonableness which we all recognise characterised the conduct of the proceedings of the Government on the Report stage of this Bill, and his refusal to use their party majority, in defiance of the prevalent opinion of the House of Commons, for the purpose of introducing or perpetuating confusion and irritation in the administration of this law. We all recognise, and none more so than those who sit on this side of the House, the admirable spirit, worthy of the best traditions of this House, with which the Government have dealt with this Question. That being so, I entirely respond to the appeal which the right honourable Gentleman has just made, and I say that we are most anxious that anything of a party complexion should be entirely removed, and that the House should be enabled to arrive, if it could, at a practically unanimous conclusion. Now, Sir, we ought to be able to do so when our object on both sides, as the First Lord of the Treasury stated, is absolutely identical. We are on both sides agreed that it will not do to allow the magistrates to enter into a roving inquiry as to the grounds upon which a man has formed his belief and his objection to vaccination. That being so, why should we not adopt the practice in this case which has been adopted and is the law of the land in an analogous case? What 466 I venture to say is, that even in the more important case of a witness who gives evidence in the ordinary courts of justice, and objects to take the oath, no question is put to him as to the grounds of his refusal, and he makes an affirmation. The House may be aware, and most honourable Members are aware, that, under the Oaths' Act of 1888, every person who went into an ordinary court of justice and objected to take an oath, on the ground either that he has no religious belief or that to take an oath was contrary to his religious belief, is permitted to make an affirmation, and no judge in the land has a right to ask him a single question, either as to the grounds on which his conscientious objection is based or on the question of the bonâ fidesof the person who holds it. The man's statement is sufficient, and it at once entitles him by making that statement to affirm. Now is that not a very analogous case to the one which we have got before us? According to the Amendment of my honourable Friend, and the Amendment which the Government are prepared to accept, if a man makes a statutory declaration he can be asked as to his bonâ fides; but why should a magistrate be any more entitled to enter into the grounds on which that objection is held, or to question the bonâ fidesof the person who has taken that oath when even a judge has not that power. I really cannot see why we should fight about n point like this, now that we have got this great concession. As I said before, I do not wish to introduce any spirit of contention into this Debate, but I do think that as we are all agreed as to the object, and as that object appears to us, and I believe to the majority of honourable Gentlemen on both sides is the same, I think it can be done by a simple recognition of the oath. Why should we not adopt this exact precedent in this case, for that would preclude the possibility of irrelevant and vexatious inquiries on the part of the magistrates who did not understand their duty. By adopting the Amendment of my honourable Friend you will introduce an infinite diversity of practice in a department of the law where you ought to have absolute unanimity. I do think, in view of all these circumstances, we shall not arrive at a conclusion which is generally 467 satisfactory if the form of words at present suggested is adopted. May I add just one more observation, and I do not want to take up more time. It is the case, I think, that under the clause as it stands, the words, "he satisfies," it seems to me that there is no requirement to take an oath at all. I am quite sure that in many towns like Leicester, where public opinion is strongly opposed to vaccination, and where on the Bench there is a majority of magistrates opposed to it, when a man comes before such a bench they will not require him to be sworn at all; whereas you might go into the next town, where you have got a bench of magistrates of very different complexion, and where they might not only require the oath to be taken, but indulge in those cross-examining questions which it ought to be our object, if possible, to exclude. That is just one further illustration of the difficulty that might be introduced into the law. Therefore I ask the Government to accept the principle of the honourable Gentleman's proposal, and they will have the support of a very large majority in this House.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I cannot help thinking that my right honourable Friend has been unconsciously betrayed into the use of an analogy which is not a correct one. There has been introduced into this Debate the expression "conscientious objection." What we are dealing with is not really, in strict language, a conscientious objection, which is a phrase more commonly used in reference to religious belief. No one regards vaccination as being an immoral practice. But a man might have a strong belief that vaccination is bad for the health of his child. My right honourable Friend took up the phrase of "conscientious objection," and it appears in the Amendment now before the House. He cited the case of a witness called in a case in Court of Justice who desired not to be sworn, and who was allowed to give his testimony without taking the oath. He is allowed to say that he conscientiously objects to taking the oath for the best of all reasons —namely, that it is a matter affecting his own private religious belief, on which his own statement must be taken, and, more- 468 over, that it is a matter which does not affect anybody else. The community can be in no way prejudiced by the suspicion that he has no ground for his objection. But that is not the case we have here. This House is entrusted with the guardianship not only of the health of the children of these men, but with the guardianship of the community, and we should see that a provision, which is inserted as a matter of policy, and to ease the working of the Act in regard to those cases in which a man believes conscientiously that vaccination is dangerous to the health of his child, is not used as a means of allowing people to evade vaccination by making a statutory declaration or taking an oath, for the violation of which there is no sanction whatever. My right honourable Friend says there will be some difficulty as regards the working of the clause; but I really cannot understand any difficulty that the magistrates will have, and which my right honourable Friend seeks to conjure up. I think the words of the clause are as clear as can be. All that the magistrate has to be satisfied with is that a man conscientiously believes that vaccination will be injurious to the child; if he is so satisfied, then he is bound to grant a certificate. No inquiry as to the validity of the ground of objection is possible. My right honourable friend may suggest that different conclusions may be arrived at in different cases. But that is always the case in questions of fact. I must say, speaking for myself, that I think the Government have gone quite far enough in the way of concessions.
§ *MR. CHANNING (Northampton)
I must express, Sir, my appreciation of the sensible and statesmanlike speech of the President of the Local Government Board, and I had hoped, after the intention of the Government had been so plainly declared by the First Lord of the Treasury, after seeing the tendency of opinion in this House shown throughout the discussion, that the Debate would have been brought to an end long ago. I think the First Lord of the Treasury has hardly realised that his own intentions are better expressed in the form of the Amendment of the honourable Member for Ilkeston, or in the form of 469 words suggested in substitution for the word "satisfies." I would wish to remind the House and the Government of how we stand on this question. We on this side have really given way as well as the Government. The Government have no reason to complain that the surrender is all on their side. I would venture to remind the Government and the House of the exact effect of the recommendations of the Royal Commission. The words suggested by my honourable Friend are fairly within the terms of the suggestion of the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission held that any conscientious objector who made a statutory declaration before not merely justices in court, but before anyone authorised to take such declaration—or some special official or officials—that any such statutory declaration should be a bar to further proceedings. I venture to call attention to it because a great deal of concession has been made to honourable Members opposite, who rightly, from their point of view, demand that some manifest effort on the part of the objector should be made in order to justify the relaxation of the law in his behalf. It is perfectly obvious that the recommendation of the Royal Commission goes very much further than the restricted proposal of my honourable Friend. When a man comes before the court and sacrifices his time, his wages, and all the rest of it, it ought to be taken into account and it ought to be recognised by the speakers on that side of the House that we have made concessions as well as they. I welcome the tendency in this debate to dispel all feelings of Party animosity and the efforts now being made to arrive at a satisfactory solution of the matter. I have myself sat on a bench of magistrates and appreciated the difficulty of dealing with these cases; and I attach much importance to the argument advanced by my honourable Friend that a uniformity of practice should be observed. In appealing to the Government to wind up this discussion I endorse what my honourable Friend the Member for Leicester said. If this one essential issue is settled on reasonable lines there would be no wish to press other Amendments of minor importance unduly. The Government have behaved handsomely and magnani- 470 mously, and have recognised the growth and change of public opinion on this question of over-riding personal convictions, and under these circumstances I trust that they will not go on splitting hairs over it. The expressed intention of the First Lord of the Treasury that there should be no going behind a man's conscientious convictions is a wise and sensible principle, and can be carried out either in the form suggested by my honourable Friend the Member for Ilkeston or in the form originally stated by the First Lord of the Treasury by a declaration before two justices of the state of the man's mind if he will not press the subsequent Amendment, which seems to set up again the power to inquire into the man's bonâ fides.
§ MR. J. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
I am afraid the First Lord of the Treasury cannot be congratulated on the way he has met the difficulties raised by this discussion. I say it has now dropped into a mere question of hairsplitting. I think the Amendment of the right honourable Gentleman is little more than a simple paraphrase of what already existed. I think it is perfectly clear to the most stupid that the clause as it stands intends that justice has to be satisfied not of the fact that vaccination is or might be prejudicial to the health of the child, but of the fact that the man thinks it would be prejudicial. The right honourable Gentleman has made a very fair effort to meet the verbal criticism which has taken place, and we are all good at making amendments; but what I would suggest is that the right honourable Gentleman should drop his Amendment and let the clause stand as it appears on the Paper.
§ MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)
With regard to the proposal to take out the word "satisfies," I think if we are agreed we should come to a decision quickly. There is no reason why we should not be perfectly united. I hope, therefore, the First Lord of the Treasury will give way that little bit, and if he will kindly do so I am sure it will give general satisfaction to the House.
§ CAPTAIN BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)
I hope the right honourable Gentleman will not give way, as he has already made large concessions. I 471 believe that the making of a declaration offers a ready means for lying, which, an oral statement does not afford. I quite agree that it is desirous to come to a unanimous decision, and if honourable Members opposite will meet the Government half-way, that can be done. May I say to the President of the Local Government Board that it is not quite fair to say that compulsory vaccination has been abandoned? There has simply been a relaxation in favour of conscientious objectors; and I hope we will try and limit the exemption strictly to this class.
§ MR. BRIGG (York, W.R., Keighley)
I rise for a very few moments to simply ask the right honourable Gentleman opposite to consider what we ask him for. We want the law to be uniform under all circumstances, and that, I think, is desirable in order that the law may be respected. I think I can show that the object which the right honourable Gentleman seeks to attain will not be attained by the means he has suggested. It is no stickling for words that influences the Opposition, but if the First Lord of the Treasury considers the position he will see that the effect of the Government Amendment will be to accentuate the existing difficulty, because in unvaccinated districts at the present time they have magistrates who are in favour of vaccination, and statements which would satisfy magistrates in other districts would not satisfy them. I have pleasure in supporting the Amendment of my honourable Friend, because his proposition is such a clear one. I ask that the right honourable Gentleman will allow the last words to be dropped, and be satisfied with the words proposed. There is no desire to fight the Government on this side of the House, but we do ask that the right honourable Gentleman will give way.
§ MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
I have listened very carefully to this Debate, and nothing has been more satisfactory to us than the very frank declaration that compulsory vaccination has been practically destroyed. All I wish to say on that point is that the Government, by force of circumstances, have been driven to give up a good deal of what was intended to be inserted in 472 this Bill, and we are left at the point that there should be a conscience clause, and yet the Government refuse to give way, and wish to follow that up with something which will be like an inquisition. If the Government want the Act to work smoothly, they cannot do anything better than tell the country that real conscientious objectors to vaccination have a means of relief which is not a burdensome one; but, if you do allow the country to understand that while you do give a certain kind of relief you subject the people to certain kinds of questions by magistrates, then you give the Anti-vaccination Society abundant material for carrying on their agitation. I realise that opinion is very largely divided on the question of vaccination, and therefore we want it to be kept out of the arena of party politics, but if the First Lord of the Treasury insists upon the words mentioned by him, then it will be impossible to resist the temptation of telling the constituencies that the Government, having been driven to accept a conscience clause, endeavour to mar its good effects by subjecting the conscientious objector to magisterial examination. I wish to say that while the First Lord of the Treasury says that he did not desire that magistrates should put fishing questions to conscientious objectors, the Solicitor General spoke distinctly of a magisterial inquiry.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
Not as to the validity of the ground of objection, but as to whether the conscientious belief is held.
§ MR. MADDISON
Just look at what you are doing, and you will see that we are not unreasonable. Under the Amendment what is a man to do? First he loses his day's work, which is a most serious thing to a man earning perhaps 18s. or 20s. per week, and sometimes you may subject him to dismissal. Having done that, after a man has taken the oath that he is a conscientious objector, then the Government propose that the validity of that oath shall be questioned. Now, had not the Government better accept the inevitable and give us the conscience clause without any of these vexatious inclusions? I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that the First Lord—who realises, perhaps, more 473 than any of his colleagues, that there is a large body of public opinion a large body of people, who are not indifferent to the interests of their children, but who do believe that they would be doing an injury to them if they had them vaccinated—will see that the opinion of that community is worth respecting. If the First Lord will insist upon his words being inserted in the Amendment all the advantages of his concessions will be lost, and the Anti-vaccination Society will have the fullest materials to work upon.
§ MR. H. ROBERTSON (Hackney, S.)
Sir, I do hope that the First Lord of the Treasury will drop the last words which he proposes to insert, and that he will leave the clause in the form proposed by the right honourable Member. I am one of those persons who are familiar with the condition of things in the East End of London. The honourable Gentleman says there are few who hold these conscientious objections, but he does not know much about the East End, where my constituency is situated in the midst of half a million of people who are never vaccinated, and the majority of whom hold the view that vaccination is harmful in some degree. It has been said that this kind of jurisdiction has already been given to magistrates, but I venture to think it has not. I know of no instance in which we have had to consider what was the present state of a man's mind, and, speaking as a justice, I do not see how it is possible for us to go into that question. I would call the attention of the First Lord of the Treasury to the words of the Amendment—that he conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child.He has merely to state that he conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child. I do not believe that there is any vaccination advocate in this House or elsewhere who does not believe that vaccination is prejudicial, at all events for the time being, to the health of the child Therefore it seems to me that you are casting upon magistrates a quasi-judicial duty which, in my opinion, they could only discharge by accepting a man's 474 statement of his belief, and if some magistrates took an opposite view you would have a divergence of law and custom much to be deprecated. I do share the hope that the First Lord of the Treasury will not press the insertion of the last words, but leave the clause as it stands
MR. ABELTHOMAS (Carmarthen, E.)
Mr. Speaker, I think it would be much better if we could come to a unanimous decision on this matter, as the Government have made up their minds. It seems to me that a great deal too much has been made of the word "satisfy." If one goes to words, it is obvious that there is not going to be a judicial inquiry at all. It would be impossible to enter into an inquiry as to whether a man believes what he said or not. If a man comes before a justice and says he believes so and so, they cannot have evidence to contradict that. At the same time, I must say that justices are not the idiots that some honourable Members try to make out. It seems to me that the word conscientious has no meaning at all, and that it should be omitted.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S.E.)
I am not in the secrets of the Treasury Bench, but I assume that the object of the Amendment of the First Lord of the Treasury is to make it rather less difficult for a man to avoid having his child vaccinated. But both the Amendments aim at that object, and I fail to see any preference between them. It seems to me there is no difference whatever, except the difference between tweedledum and tweedledee. It is useless for the Government having swallowed a camel, to strain at a gnat, and I think they should finish the controversy by accepting the suggestion from the other side of the House.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
It is regrettable that we should keep quarrelling over this small matter. The right honourable Gentleman has made many concessions, but we would not protest in this way if we ourselves did not conscientiously believe that the proposal of the right honourable Gentleman would not meet our requirements, and would only perpetuate the irritation which 475 exists regarding the administration of the law.
That the word 'satisfy' stand part of the clause.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 158; Noes 101.—(Division List No. 230.)477
|Ambrose, William (Middlesex)||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Fardell, Sir T. George||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Murray, Colonel W. (Bath)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Finlay, Sir Robert B.||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bagot, Captain J. FitzRoy||Fisher, William Hayes||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||FitzWygram, General Sir F.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Baird, J. G. Alexander||Flannery, Fortescue||Pease, Arthur (Darlington)|
|Balfour,Rt.Hon.A.J. (Manc'r)||Flower, Ernest||Pender, Sir James|
|Balfour, Rt.Hon.G.W. (Leeds)||Folkestone, Viscount||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Fry, Lewis||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith- (Hunts)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. E.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H.(Brist'l)||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. G'g's)||Pym, C. Guy|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Gray, Ernest (W. Ham)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Bethell, Commander||Gull, Sir Cameron||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Biddulph, Michael||Gunter, Colonel||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.|
|Bigwood, James||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bill, Charles||Hardy, Laurence||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Ryder, John Herbert D.|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Helder, Augustus||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Carew, James Laurence||Hill, Sir E. Stock (Bristol)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Shaw-Stewart, M.H. (Renfrew)|
|Cavendish. V. C.W. (Derbysh.)||Hobhouse, Henry||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Cecil, Lord H. (Greenwich)||Howell, William Tudor||Sidebottom, W. (Derbysh.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Smith, James P. (Lanark)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Kenrick, William||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.||Stewart, Sir M. J. McTaggart|
|Coddington, Sir William||Knowles, Lees||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Coghill. Douglas Harry||Lafone, Alfred||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lawrence Sir EDurning-(Corn.)||Talbot, Rt Hn J.G.(Oxf'dUny.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Thorburn, Walter|
|Colomb, Sir John C. R.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Usborne, Thomas|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Loder, Gerald Walter E.||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Cotton-Jodrell. Col. E. T. D.||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Whiteley,H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Cox, Robert||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Macaleese, Daniel||Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh., N.)|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Cross, H. S. (Bolton)||MacNeill, John Gordon S.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Curran, T. B. (Donegal)||McCalmont, Mj. -Gn.(Ant'm N)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Curzon, RtHnG. N. (Lanc., SW)||Melville, Beresford V.||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Milbank, Sir Powlett C. J.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip H.||Milton, Viscount|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles,||More, Robert Jasper||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Mount, William George||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Balfour, RtHon. J.B.(Clackm.)||Brigg, John|
|Asher, Alexander||Bayley, T. (Derbyshire)||Broadhurst, Henry|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H.||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Brunner, Sir John T.|
|Atherley-Jones. L.||Billson, Alfred||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James|
|Baker, Sir John||Birrell, Augustine||Burns, John|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Roche, Hon. J. (E. Kerry)|
|Caldwell, James||Kay-Shuttleworth, RtHnSirU.||Samuel, J.(Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Kenyon, James||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Carlile, William Walter||Labouchere, Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson||Lambert, George||Souttar, Robinson|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'land)||Spicer, Albert|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Steadman, William Charles|
|Clark, Dr.G.B. (Caithness-sh.)||Logan, John William||Strachey, Edward|
|Crombie, John William||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Daly, James||McEwan, William||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Tennant, Harold John|
|Davitt, Michael||Maddison, Fred.||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Maden, John Henry||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitech'p'l)||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Duckworth, James||Morrell, George Herbert||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Newdigate, Francis A.||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Oldroyd, Mark||Wilson, Charles H. (Hull)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Paulton, James Mellor||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Pease, A. E. (Cleveland)||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Philipps, John Wynford||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Hazell, Walter||Pickard, Benjamin||Woodall, William|
|Hedderwick, Thomas C. H.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Woods, Samuel|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||Price, Robert John||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Holburn, J. G.||Rasch, Major Frederic C.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Robertson, E. (Dundee)||Mr. William McArthur and|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Robertson, H. (Hackney)||Mr. Causton.|
That this clause be added to the Bill.
§ Agreed to.
New clause proposed—
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Vaccination Acts, no parent or other person having the custody of a child shall be prosecuted for neglecting or refusing to vaccinate such child unless and until the sanction of the guardians has been obtained for such prosecution."—(Mr. Pickersgill.)
§ *MR. PICKERSGILL
Now, Sir, the necessity for the present Amendment arises out of the declaration of the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board, which caused much anxiety in the country in the minds of the boards of guardians and other authorities; and in order that there should be no mistake as to what that declaration was perhaps it would be just as well to read the statement to the House which the right honourable Gentleman made, which is reported in "Hansard," and which is entirely confirmed by my own recollection. The right honourable Gentleman said—I may mention that under the powers we already hold we propose in future to make it the duty of the vaccination officer to institute the necessary proceedings, which will be 478 a departure from the present practice to which I attach considerable importance.Now, the right honourable Gentleman claims to possess a statutory power under which he may do that which I have just read to the House. Of course, it is entirely out of place here to raise any legal argument—indeed, speaking as a lawyer, I daresay the right honourable Gentleman may have the power which he claims—but, so far as this House is concerned, it is not a legal question at all. It is a question of policy, and a question of the intention of Parliament, and arguments are permissible here which are not admissible in a court of law. I think it is important to state in the fewest possible words how the matter stands and what are the statutory powers under which the right honourable Gentleman proposes to act. There are, shortly, three Statutes upon this matter; first, the Act of 1867, which by subsection 27 laid upon the Guardians the obligation to take proceedings against defaulters, and that Act also empowered but did not compel them to pay an officer, to be called the vaccination officer, to prosecute persons charged with offences so the matter stood under the Act of 1867. Then we come to the Act of 1871, which repealed the clause laying upon the 479 guardians the obligation of prosecuting the defaulters, and also made it obligatory for the guardians to appoint a vaccination officer. Under the previous Act the power of appointing these officers was purely permissive, under the Act of 1871 it became compulsory. Then we come to a later Act, and the last which it is necessary for me to refer to, the Act of 1874, and under that Act, if at all, the right honourable Gentleman possesses the powers under which he claims to do what is now in question. That Act of 1874 provides that the powers conferred upon the Local Government Board to make regulations shall be extended so as to include the making of rules and regulations prescribing the duties of guardians and officers in relation to the institution or conduct of proceedings relating to offences under the Vaccination Act, and the costs and expenses relating thereto. Now, in order to form an opinion as to what was the real intention of Parliament in conferring these powers, it is quite competent to me to show what was the intention of the Administration. There was this great anomaly under the former Act, that it was the duty of the vaccination officer to institute proceedings without consulting the authorities under which he acted, and perhaps institute them directly contrary to their express instructions. This officer had no funds at his disposal for the purpose of performing such duties. I may point out here that the Minister of the day, in introducing this Bill, alleged as a reason for the Bill the very state of things which, as I understand, the right honourable Gentleman proposes by his new regulations to bring into effect. The Minister of that day represented that it was an anomalous and absurd state of things. We have besides the declaration of that Minister the interpretation which has been put upon the regulations and the powers of the Local Government Board from that time, and I think it is important in connection with this part of the case to refer to a letter which has been referred to as the Keighley letter—I mean the letter addressed by the Local Government Board to the guardians of Keighley when they refused to prosecute, in which the Local Government Board said that the guardians were no longer doing their duty. I might point 480 out that a state of things had arisen there exactly similar to that which the right honourable Gentleman intends to provide for by the declaration which he made the other day. I am very anxious to hear the revised version from the right honourable Gentleman, and it is with the object of ascertaining clearly from the right honourable Gentleman what he proposes to do that I now move this Resolution. The right honourable Gentleman caused a considerable amount of perturbation in the minds of the guardians by his speech, for they saw that difficulties might arise if the Local Government Board came between them and their officer, and gave the officer power to take proceedings not only without their consent, but against their express directions, that if that were done it would bring local government into contempt. I am rather disposed to think that some of the feeling against the right honourable Gentleman's Bill is due, in a great measure, to his declaration upon the point. As my honourable Friend reminds me, apart from any specific question of vaccination, there are a great many men very much attached to the principles of local government all over England, and they regard this declaration with alarm, because it is to set up a principle which is contrary altogether to those of local government. I beg to move the Motion standing in my name.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
I am very sorry that the honourable Member thought it necessary to move this clause, and I have been at a loss to understand his motive. I have already explained to the best of my ability what the honourable Gentleman drew attention to as the statement I made on a former occasion. I said he was mistaken in what I had said, and that I was not accurately reported on that occasion; the powers to which he refers are powers given under that Act of Parliament only. But what I stated then was altogether out of date after what I stated this afternoon. Since the Debate of last night I have quite recognised the fact that the administration of a compulsory vaccination law would be neither necessary nor desirable.
§ MR. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I think after the declaration of the right honourable Gentleman that the honourable Member for Deptford can well afford to withdraw his Amendment. The speech which the right honourable Gentleman has made today, I think every man who is accustomed to Parliamentary tradition will say, and must recognise, is one up to the mark of the best Parliamentary speeches. The right honourable Gentleman in his remarks waived nothing in his own opinion, but did, in an honourable and straightforward and characteristic manner, declare that he bowed to the general desire of the House. Under the circumstances, I feel confident that the right honourable Gentleman will retain the position which he has now taken up, and the Local Government Board will not take the course which had been feared. With regard to his assurance in this matter, it is completely satisfactory, and I have no doubt that my honourable Friend will now withdraw the clause which he has brought before the House.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
The position, I think, is this: the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board knows that he has this power under the Act. Does the right honourable Gentleman say he has no power by regulation to exercise this authority, or does he hold that under the regulations he has the power? The power has been administered. The right honourable Gentleman said that, so long as he remains President of the Local Government Board, these powers shall not be exercised, and I do not doubt his words. I do not say for a moment that he will exercise them when he says that he will not, but the right honourable Gentleman will not be eternally President of the Local Government Board.
§ MR. LAB0UCHERE
My honourable Friend says we shall deal with his successors, but his successors may not be influenced in any way by his opinion if the powers still exist. It is simply the opinion of my right honourable Friend and the way in which he says he will administer the law. We are not going to 482 object to that, because we have got what we want, but at the same time I think that if this clause were carried it would simply embody in the Bill the pledge which the right honourable Gentleman has given us.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I confess I do not understand the object of the remarks of the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Northampton. I do not think this new clause is necessary, and I certainly hope it will be withdrawn. The honourable Member who moves this clause has taken a very intelligent interest in this Bill, but on this occasion I do not think he has moved what would be a proper Amendment. Under the circumstances, I do not think it is necessary for him to go to a Division, and if he does I shall certainly oppose him.
I consider this Amendment is a most important Amendment, for the reason that the Government can compel the board of guardians to consent. If you will give me your attention I will remind the right honourable Gentleman of the real words which he is reported to have said on the Second Reading.
There will be a change in the administration of the law whether this Act is passed or not. [Cries of "Withdrawn."] Has he withdrawn that or not? If he has withdrawn that, why should he not accept this Amendment? We only wish to safeguard the rights of local self-government.
§ DR. CLARK
The clause we have adopted only applies to the 29th and 31st clause of the Act of 1867. It does not apply to the Act of 1871 at all. Under the Act of 1874, which this clause practically abolishes, the Local Government Board have got power to make rules, orders, and regulations with regard to proceedings to be taken by the guardians or their officers for the enforcement of the Acts of 1867 and 1871. The clause 483 you have adopted only affects the Act of 1867; and we have got the pledge of the President of the Local Government Board that he will not do anything to interfere with the relations between the vaccination officers and the guardians— that he will not put it into force. Now, the right honourable Gentleman may not always be in that position; the next President of the Local Government Board may not take that view in regard to the matter. The point raised by my honourable Friend below me goes further. I should like to have the Solicitor General's view on the matter.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I think there can be no prosecution except under section 29; no other prosecution is possible.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Page 2, after clause 3, insert the following clause—
No proceedings for neglect of vaccination shall, without the consent of the guardians, be instituted in respect of any child born previous to the first day of July, One thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine."—(Mr. Brigg.)
§ MR. BRIGG
This Amendment which stands in my name is one which the right honourable Gentleman will have no difficulty in accepting. It prevents the action of this Bill being retrospective. A considerable amount of objection which is felt towards this Bill will be done away with by instituting in this Bill that the action of the vaccination officers shall not extend beyond those who are born since the 1st July, 1899. Of course, a great many people who are still unvaccinated will feel that they have a grievance. I think I can rely upon the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board to accept this as a simplification of the law.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I quite agree with my honourable Friend that we should introduce some words to render that exemption applicable in the case of children who have been born before the Act passed, because the period mentioned in the clause is 12 months from the birth of the child. Where the child has been born already the Act does not come into operation before the 1st January next.
484 It will be necessary to make some little modification of the clause at the commencement of the Act as to when it is to come into operation. Perhaps the honourable Member will accept our assurance that we will endeavour to insert a clause in another place, extending the right of making a declaration of objection to the case of children born before the Act comes into force.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
Page 1, line 22, leave out from the second 'child' to end of subsection, and insert 'with such lymph as the parents may desire.'"—(Dr. Clark.)
§ DR. CLARK
I move the Amendment standing in my name. It is not so much necessary now as it was in the original form of the Bill; but there is one point in which I think we ought to have some option. For the first time a change is being made in the method of vaccination. Until now, it has been from human lymph—practically from arm to arm. Now, you are going to have glycerinated calf lymph. The constitutional disturbance with the calf lymph is very much greater than it is with humanised lymph; there is more fever, there is redness and inflammation of the arm, and constitutional disturbance in every direction. You are going to try, as far as possible, by this Bill to increase vaccination; and if you are going to do that, and only give them the option of one kind of lymph, I think you are making a mistake. The Local Government Board may be convinced that glycerinated lymph is the thing that ought to be used. But consider the change that has occurred during the time they have been in office. Three years ago they were strongly opposed to it. The last medical officer of the Local Government Board, Sir George Buchanan, was very strongly opposed to adulterated lymph. There ought to be a choice left as to the person from whom they obtained the lymph—from a cousin or some other relation. Then, I think it is wrong in an Act of Parliament to adopt a new theory before any effects or any experiments on a large scale are adduced in support of it. We had a long discussion in Committee on this point, and the 485 only information we really did get was from the honourable Gentleman the Member for the Ilkeston Division, who told us that at the present time very important experiments were being carried on. Well, now, we ought not to legislate upon experiments that are being carried on. Since January, very important experiments have been carried on, and the result of these experiments tend in favour of glycerinated lymph. Glycerinated lymph has been used on the Continent. It has been used in Germany, and as the result of its use there was a serious case of typhoid. There was a discussion in one of the medical societies in London, at which Sir George Buchanan strongly condemned glycerinated lymph, denounced it as adulteration, and said he could not expect anything else but evil results. But the advisers of the Local Government Board have changed their minds since then, and now they are very strongly in favour of it. Glycerinated lymph has been used in India, and, so far as I can see from the last Report they have stopped its use, after they have used it in hundreds and thousands of cases. The last Report I can get any information in is the Report for 1896, and I find there that the sanitary commissioner gave as his reason for discontinuing the use of glycerinated lymph the fact that it became putrid and sceptically dangerous. In consequence of that they gave it up in India. The only thing I can hear in favour of the theory is that glycerine has powers of carrying all other germs and keeping them alive. That is contrary to the received opinion until this year. I will not enter into that question; but I think that there ought to be an option—the choice of two kinds of vaccination. I do not know whether the protection is any greater or less in the one or the other. In calf lymph undoubtedly the symptoms are much worse, but the protection is greater. There are strong differences of opinion in the matter; and if you want to promote vaccination you ought not to make such a sudden change as you are making now. You ought to give the parent the choice between the form of vaccination that has been the popular form and the new form. There ought to be local option for the parent as well as for the Local Government Board. There might be the 486 case of a neighbour next door, or a cousin, or some other relation from whom it might be desirable to be vaccinated in the arm-to-arm method. All you do in the clause is to give Parliamentary sanction to glycerinated lymph. I hope the result of the experiments will demonstrate that glycerine has this peculiar property, and that it will be free from any danger. I think there ought to be a choice for the parents to have arm-to-arm vaccination or glycerinated lymph, if they desire it.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
The whole scientific question was fully dealt with in Committee, and it is impracticable for the Local Government Board to accept the Amendment. Vaccination must be either private or public. If it is private, then the person whom the honourable Gentleman has in his mind who wishes a friend to be vaccinated from can have the full opportunity of doing so, on these conditions: he must employ a private practitioner, and he must be able to get the cousin or the other person's consent to have the lymph taken. That would be impossible in the case of public vaccination, because it is provided that no child shall be compelled to attend either at the station or anywhere else for the purpose of having his arm opened, and lymph taken from it. It would be quite impossible to meet the whole case if the words of the honourable Gentleman were added to the clause. Under the clause people would be empowered to come and say, "You must vaccinate me from that lymph," and the public vaccinator would have no means of obtaining it. For the reasons I have stated I think the honourable Gentleman will see that I could not accept the Amendment.
§ *SIR C. DILKE
I do not wish to take any part in the controversy as to the precise terms of the Amendment. But I wish to have the opportunity of pointing out that by making the Act a temporary Measure, which the Government have now done, they have relieved me from a good deal of difficulty on the question. I have done my best to acquaint myself with scientific opinion on this matter, 487 and that opinion is that, while the protective power of calf lymph is very great it involves a severe and serious operation; and a further opinion is that the admixture of water does not mitigate that severity. It would be a great pity if there was not greater elasticity in this matter, so that the Local Government Board may change their policy if they see reason for any change. The Government, having adopted that principle, I feel that the difficulty is to some extent removed.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
My honourable Friend insists on giving a species of local option to those people who are to be vaccinated:—whether from arm-to-arm or from the calf. I do not pretend to have an opinion on the matter. Doctors differ; there is not that consensus of opinion which there ought to be in order to establish the particular lymph that ought to be used. I was forcibly struck by what my honourable Friend said about calf lymph having been tried in India, and having been given up. We have a part of the clause in which it is said that the child need not be vaccinated, provided the parent satisfies two justices that he believes vaccination will be injurious. He might say that he believes that vaccination from the calf would be prejudicial, or that he believes that vaccination from arm-to-arm would be prejudicial. Under these circumstances, I believe that it would be better to give this option.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
There is some objection to this clause as it stands in regard to the fact that glycerinated calf lymph is quite a recent discovery. I should have thought it would have been better to leave out glycerinated calf lymph, and leave the words quite general and say "with such lymph as heretofore," or leave it as the honourable Gentleman suggests.
§ Amendment agreed to.
'"Page 1, line 21, after 'district,' insert 'after at least twenty-four hours' notice to the parent.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
§ Amendment agreed to.488
Page 1, line 26, after 'opinion,' insert 'or in the opinion of the medical officer of health or the chief sanitary officer.'"—(Mr. Broadhurst.)
§ *MR. CHANNING
The honourable Member for Leicester has left me in charge of this Amendment, and I should like therefore to move it formally in order to ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he can see his way to add those words.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
said the Amendment was unnecessary, and could not be accepted.
§ Amendment withdrawn.
Page 1, line 26, after 'such,' insert 'or that there is, or has been, such a recent prevalence of infectious disease in the district.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I should like a little explanation with regard to this. It seems to me very strange that vaccination should be abandoned because of the prevalence of an infectious disease in a district.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Page 1, line 27, at end, insert—
Every case issued by the Local Government Board, enclosing tubes or points containing vaccine lymph, shall bear a ticket, wrapper, or seal, having upon it the distinctive marks of the office fastened on, or over, both sides of the opening part."—(Mr Brigg.)
§ MR. BRIGG
I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name, which, in my opinion, is one of considerable importance, and I hope the Government will not refuse to accept it; the effect of a large mark upon the arm of a person vaccinated is supposed to arise from 489 the use of vaccine lymph derived from impure sources, and the public are entitled to see the source from which it comes, in order to ensure that it is pure. All I ask in this Amendment is that they may see the tubes from which the child is to be vaccinated, and that they should be broken in their presence in order that they may be assured that the lymph used is genuine.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
I quite understand and thoroughly sympathise with the object of the honourable Member; and I hope that to all intents and purposes I shall be able to meet him in some other way. The second part of the Amendment of the honourable Member is impracticable, having regard to the fact, first, that it would entail an enormous expense to mark the tubes, and, secondly, that the glass tube from which the child is actually vaccinated is so exceedingly diminutive that it would be impossible to put any mark upon it at all, and therefore impossible to fulfil the conditions of the Amendment. We should, however, be perfectly ready to see that all the metal tubes which contain the sets of glass tubes actually used for vaccination are so marked as to satisfy all reasonable people. I will take care that that is done.
§ DR. CLARK
Under this Bill all vaccinators who require lymph will have to get it from the Local Government Board, and the practitioners who now supply it will find their business put an end to. There will only be one source from which to obtain lymph, except, perhaps, in the case of private practitioners, who, for their own use, take it from the arms of patients.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.490
Page 2, leave out clause 2."—(Mr. Logan)
§ *MR. LOGAN
If I might claim the attention of the right honourable Gentleman for a moment, I do not think it is now necessary to move this Amendment, because the new clause introduced by the right honourable Gentleman supersedes the clause to which this is an Amendment. But perhaps I had better move it formally, although I do not think it is necessary.
That clause 2 stand part of the Bill.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
This clause is now no longer wanted. We have got the declaration of a conscientious objection, which applies to those persons who have made it, and so this clause is no longer necessary.
§ *SIR W. FOSTER
If this clause is passed in the Bill you may have to deal with a conscientious person who has no conscientious objection whatever. You are bound to put the part into the Bill in order to limit it.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
Perhaps, to make the matter quite safe, I had better accept the Amendment.
§ *MR. LOGAN
My object in moving the omission of the clause is to make it quite clear that a man should not be prosecuted, or persecuted, as I prefer to call it, for each child born unto him. The right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury has told us it was not the intention of the Government in bringing in this Bill to prosecute a man continuously for all the children born unto him; the obvious idea of the Bill is that the authorities should not be able to endeavour to enforce vaccination upon a man after he had made one conscientious objection. That is the spirit of what the First Lord did say, and I rest myself satisfied upon that. I merely formally move my Amendment now to give the right honourable Gentleman an opportunity of saying what the 491 Government intended. I believe the clause is not necessary, because of the clause for conscientious objection.
§ *SIR R. FINLAY
I am afraid I misunderstood the object of the Motion of the honourable Gentleman, and the point he wished to meet. The clause which we have got today does not grant immunity for all the children of a man who has made a declaration of a conscientious objection in respect of one child. Obviously, it is confined to the one child, and would not grant an immunity to the parent who had made a statutory objection with regard to the first child, and who subsequently had half a dozen others, because, while he might be able to make a declaration of a conscientious objection in the case of the one child, he might not be able to make it in the case of another, either through the change of his own views upon the subject, or other conditions in the child.
§ *MR. LOGAN
I did not realise what the effect of my Amendment would be of taking out the whole of the clause, although I am not yet quite convinced by what has been said; and, therefore, I beg to move the deletion of the last five words of clause 2, so that it should be made clear that a man should only be prosecuted once. I do not wish to labour the point, but for the life of me I cannot understand why it should be deemed necessary to make a man declare over and over again each time he has a child born unto him.
Page 2, line 1, the five last words be deleted.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
The intention of those words is to provide, of course, at least the desire to promote vaccination, and we do not wish to make it unusually easy to obtain relief from vaccination, as it would be if one declaration were allowed to relieve a dozen or more children from the operation of vaccination. The declaration of a conscientious objection gives a man the opportunity to escape vaccination if he desires so to do, but we do not wish to make it too easy.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
It is as easy for a man with 13 children as a man with one.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I do hope my honourable Friend will go to a Division upon this Amendment. It does seem to me a most reasonable thing. It seems to point to this, that a father may take a family ticket for his whole family. The right honourable Gentleman wishes to make it a trouble; but many of these men are working men, and this matter has to be arranged too often during the time these men are at work, and they may get into trouble with their masters, who may wish to dock their time. It is not right that they should be allowed to lose so much time for conscience sake, and it is all the more important that a man should be allowed to make one declaration in regard to all his children. These proceedings may take a great deal of time in each case, and either he has a conscientious objection or he has not; and if he has, by all means let him make a declaration for the whole of his family. According to what has been said, it is very questionable whether the question would not be raised as to whether a man should not come twice in the case of twins. All these regulations are perfectly idle, and made to cause trouble; and surely, if a man has a conscientious objection, he should be allowed to make a declaration once and for all.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I certainly hope the honourable Gentleman will not press this matter to a Division. The option of declaration is disposed of at once, if, having made a declaration in respect of one child, a parent might change his mind in regard to his other children. Men have been known to change their minds on more important matters than even vaccination. Vaccination is not a religious question.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
The object of the conscientious objection is that a parent 493 believes vaccination might be injurious to that particular child.
MR. A. THOMAS (Carmarthen, E.)
I do hope the honourable Member will not press this Amendment. Do let us be reasonably serious in this matter. Everyone of us say that we are anxious to see vaccination made as general as possible.
MR. A. THOMAS
I am very sorry to hear the honourable Gentleman say so. The declaration, as I understand it, must be made before the child is four months old. As the right honourable Gentleman the Solicitor General says, why in the world should not a man change his mind before the next child is born. And, I beg to submit that under this new system of vaccination it will be impossible to point to instances where the operation of vaccination has been injurious to the child who has been operated upon. And long before the five years are up practically everybody will have come to the conclusion that
§ vaccination is useful and desirable, and if any man is negligent, and his child ought to be vaccinated, I hope he will be proceeded against.
*MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS
I happen to be the father of a child who was nearly killed through vaccination, and after he recovered I took very good care that no other child of mine underwent the operation. I was never prosecuted. I escaped all fines and penalties, and what I want to do now is to save my fellow-countrymen from all annoyance. As I understand the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board, he has given as a reason for confining this declaration to one child the fact that a man may change his mind. Well, if that is so, and the man does change his mind in favour of vaccination, then it will not be any longer necessary to coerce him if he has adopted opinions in harmony with those who favour vaccination. But I think that, having conceded the main principle, the Government make a mistake in not going the whole way, and that, by retaining the rags of the system they originally proposed, they are preparing a crop of difficulties which may in the future prove very troublesome to them.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 248; Noes 57.—(Division List No. 231.)497
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Beaumount, Wentworth C.B.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Allsopp, Hon. Geroge||Be,rose, Sir Henry Howe||Charrington, Spencer|
|Arnold,Alfred||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cocharane, Hon. T. H. A. E.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bethell, Commander||Coddington, Sir William|
|Asher, Alexander||Bigwood, James||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Colomb, Sir John C. R.|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Colston, C. E. H. Athole|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)|
|Ballie, J. E. B. (Inverness)||Brodrick, Rt. Hon, St. John||Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W.|
|Baird, John George A.||Brown, Alexander H.||Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Caldwell, James||Crombie, John William|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Carew, James Laurence||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)|
|Banes. Major Groege Edward||Carlile, William Walter||Cross, H. S. (Bolton)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Cawley, Frederick||Cruddas, William Donaldson|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Curzon, Viscount(Bucks)|
|Barry, RtHnAhSmith-(Hunts)||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Cubitt, T. B. (Donegal)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip H.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenrick, William||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Davies,M.Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Kenyon, James||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Dillon, John||Knowles, Lees||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. D.||Lafone, Alfred||Richardson, J. (Durham)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||LawrenceSirEDurning-(Corn.)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Robinson, Brooke|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lees, Sir E. (Birkenhead)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs)||Ryder, John Herbert D.|
|Fergusson,Rt.Hn.SirJ(Manc.)||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Finch, George H.||Llewelyn,SirDillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Finlay, Sir Robert B.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Scott, SirS. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Loder, Gerald Walter E.||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|FitzWygram, General Sir F.||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool)||Shaw-Stewart,M.H. (Renfrew)|
|Flannery, Fortescue||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Flower, Ernest||Lorne, Marquess of||Sidebottom, W. (Derbysh.)|
|Forwood, Rt. Hon. Sir A. B.||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Macaleese, Daniel||Smith, James P. (Lanark)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Smith, Hon.W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||MacNeill, John Gordon S.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fry, Lewis||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Galloway, William Johnson||McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Garfit, William||McCalmont,Mj.-Gn. (Ant'm N)||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||McEwan, William||Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)|
|Gibbs,Hn.A.G.H.(C. of Lond.)||McKillop, James||Stewart, Sir M. J. McTaggart|
|Gilliat, John Saunders||Malcolm, Ian||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Godson, Sir Augustus F.||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Melville, Beresford V.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Talbot, RtHn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Milbank, Sir Powlett C. J.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Gray, Ernest (W. Ham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Milner, Sir Frederick George||Thorburn, Walter|
|Gunter, Colonel||Milward, Colonel Victor||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Monckton, Edward Philip||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Monk, Charles James||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hardy, Laurence||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Moon, Edward Robert P.||Ward, Hon. R. A. (Crewe)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||More, Robert Jasper||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.||Morgan, Hon.F. (Monm'thsh.)||Wayman, Thomas|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Morley, C. (Breconshire)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Morrell, George Herbert||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Helder, Augustus||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Mount, William George||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Muntz, Philip A.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hill, Sir E. Stock (Bristol)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead)||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Murray, Colonel W. (Bath)||Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh., N.)|
|Holburn, J. G.||Newdigate, Francis A.||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Holden, Sir Angus||Nicholson, William Graham||Wodehouse,Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath)|
|Howard, Joseph||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Howell, William Tudor||O'Brien, J. F. X. (Cork)||Woodall, William|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wyndham, George|
|Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Pease, A. E. (Cleveland)||Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.|
|Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Pease, Arthur (Darlington)|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Penn, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Kay-Shuttleworth,RtHnSirU.||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Sir William Walrond and|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Pierpoint, Robert||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Billson, Alfred||Burt, Thomas|
|Allen, W. (Newc. -under-L)||Birrell, Augustine||Cameron, Robert (Durham)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Brigg, John||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Baker, Sir John||Brunner, Sir John T.||Clark, Dr.G.B.(Caithness-sh.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Burns, John||Clough, Walter Owen|
|Colville, John||Langley, Batty||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Daly, James||Lloyd-George, David||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Walton, J. L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Davitt, Michael||Maden, John Henry||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Drucker, A.||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)||Philipps, John Wynford||Woodhouse,SirJT(Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Pickard, Benjamin||Woods, Samuel|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hazell, Walter||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||Robson, William Snowdon||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Roche, Hon. J. (E. Kerry)||Mr. Logan and Mr. Labou-|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||chere.|
|Joicey, Sir James||Steadman, William Charles|
|Lambert, George||Strachey, Edward|
Page 2, line 11, at end, add, 'nor shall the penalty on conviction in any case exceed the sum of one shilling, including costs.'"—(Mr. Steadman.)
§ MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
I am willing to admit that the position is slightly altered by what has taken place today, but there may be times when it may be forgotten that there is such a thing as the conscience clause, until such times as the police constable appears at the door of the parents' house with a summons. In the first place, attending at the police court means to the man the loss of a day's work. That is a misfortune, if he is in regular employment. I consider that the very fact of a man having to lose a day's work is a sufficient penalty for him, without having a fine also forced upon him. I may be told that the maximum penalty is 20s. and that the magistrate will deal with cases on their merits. But even assuming that a working man is fined 5s., including costs, there are thousands of working men in the East end of London who have not 5s. in the house on Monday morning. Only last week a case occurred in my own constituency, where a parent was fined 10s. for not sending his child to school, and they had to make a collection among their neighbours in order that it should be paid. I should be perfectly satisfied if the right honourable Gentleman will give some assurance to the House that he is prepared to reduce the maximum amount of penalty from 20s. to 5s. I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I agree with the honourable Member that the situation with regard to this Amendment is entirely changed since the House accepted the Amendment of my right honourable Friend. I can quite understand the position of the honourable Member previous to that Amendment being accepted, but now that everyone has a right to claim exemption from all the penalties by satisfying the justices that he has such an objection, I would say that it is quite unnecessary now to press this Amendment. Twenty shillings is the maximum fine, and in every case the justices and the magistrate will take into account all the circumstances in considering the amount of fine to be imposed.
§ *SIR W. FOSTER
I should like to appeal to my honourable Friend to withdraw this Amendment, because, under the form which the law is to take, we shall have few prosecutions of this sort, and if a man refuses contumaciously to take the trouble to make his declaration, I think, in the interests of law and order, he ought to be fined something more than a shilling.
§ MR. STEADMAN
I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.Page 2, line 14, leave out all after 'at.'"— (Mr. Logan.)
§ *MR. LOGAN
I beg to move that clause 3 be now omitted, by which I am endeavouring to bring about the same object as I did by the last Amendment.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
I hope that the House will retain the earlier part of this clause, because if that is not retained there might be, after the parent had satisfied the justices by his declaration, 499 another summons under section 21 of the Act of 1867. Therefore, I hope that the honourable Member will not object to retaining the earlier part of this clause.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Page 2, leave out lines 16, 17, and 18."—(Sir R. Finlay.)
§ SIR R. FINLAY
These lines deal with the case of a parent who, being summoned under section 21, satisfies the court that he has a conscientious objection. We have already dealt with that in another way.
§ MR. STUART
We are now engaged in endeavouring to omit three lines from this Bill, and I take it that there might be a case governed by this clause which would not be so governed if these lines
§ were omitted. Take the case of a parent who has, by neglect or by misadventure, not registered his conscientious objection. Under the operation of these words, he could register afterwards; these words would give him an opportunity of stating his conscientious objection at a later period. I will not argue the matter at all, but I am endeavouring to give you a case in point where you have a person who has omitted to state his conscientious objection. If you strike out these lines, it comes under the operation of the law. If you leave them in, he will have an opportunity of stating his objections at any period.
§ SIR R. FINLAY
You must give the parent the option of making a declaration in the first instance, and I do not think we should open the door too wide.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 66; Noes 217.—(Division List No. 232.)501
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Dillon, John||Perks, Robert William|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Doogan, P. C.||Pickard, Benjamin|
|Baker, Sir John||Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Richardson, J. (Durham)|
|Bayley, T. (Derbyshire)||Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Fenwick, Charles||Robson, William Snowden|
|Billson, Alfred||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)-|
|Birrell, Augustine||Gourley, Sir E. Temperley||Souttar, Robinson|
|Brigg, John||Hazell, Walter||Spicer, Albert|
|Brunner, Sir J. Tomlinson||Jacoby, James Alfred||Steadman, William Charles|
|Burns, John||Joicey, Sir James||Strachey Edward|
|Burt, Thomas||Labouchere, Henry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Lambert, George||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)>|
|Cawley, Frederick||Langley, Batty||Walton, J. L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lewis, John Herbert||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Clark, Dr.G.B. (Caithness-sh.)||Lloyd-George, David||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Logan, John William||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Colville, John||McLaren, Charles Benjamin||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Crombie, John William||Maden, John Henry||Woodhouse,SirJT(Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Daly, James||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Woods, Samuel|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Davies,M.Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Davitt, Michael||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Mr. James Stuart and Mr.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Pickersgill.|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Baird, John George A.||Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Balcarres, Lord||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Balfour,Rt.Hon.A.J. (Manc'r)||Bethell, Commander|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Balfour, Rt.Hon.G.W. (Leeds)||Biddulph, Michael|
|Arrol, Sir William||Balfour,Rt.Hon.J.B.(Clackm.)||Bigwood, James|
|Asher, Alexander||Banbury, Frederick George||Blundell, Col. Henry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Banes, Major George Edward||Boulnois, Edmund|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Bowles,Capt.H.F. (Middlesex)|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)|
|Baillie, J. E. B. (Inverness)||Beach,Rt.Hn.SirM.H.(Brist'l)||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Hardy, Laurence||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry]|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Caldwell, James||Heaton, John Henniker||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Carlile, William Walter||Helder, Augustus||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||Pease, Arthur (Darlington)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Henderson, Alexander||Penn, John|
|Cecil, E. (Hertford, E.)||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Cecil, Lord H. (Greenwich)||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Chamberlain,Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.)||Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Charrington, Spencer||Holburn, J. G.||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Holden, Sir Angus||Pym, C. Guy|
|Coddington, Sir William||Horniman, Frederick John||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Howard, Joseph||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Howell, William Tudor||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Ritchie, Rt Hon. C. T.|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Cornwallis, F. S. W.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Robinson, Brooke|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Kay-Shuttleworth, RtHnSirU.||Roche, Hon. J. (E. Kerry)|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Cox, Robert||Kenrick, William||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Cozens-Hardy, H. Hardy||Kenyon, James||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kitson, Sir James||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Knowles, Lees||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cruddas, William Donaldson||Lafone, Alfred||Shaw-Stewart,M.H. (Renfrew)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||LawrenceSirEDurning-(Corn.)||Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire)|
|Dalbiac, Col. Philip Hugh||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Smith, J. Parker (Lanark)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs)||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)|
|Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Llewelyn,SirDillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Loder, G. W. Erskine||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Elliot, Hon. A. R. Douglas||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Fardell, Sir T. George.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Fergusson,Rt.Hn. Sir J. (Manc.)||Lorne, Marquess of||Talbot,RtHn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)|
|Finch, George H.||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Thorburn, Walter|
|Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne||Macaleese, Daniel||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||MacNeill, John Gordon S.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|FitzWygram, General Sir F.||McArthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Verney, Hon. Richard Greville|
|Flannery, Fortescue||McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs)||Ward, Hon. R. A. (Crewe)|
|Flower, Ernest||McCalmont,Mj.-Gn.(Ant'm,N)||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Forwood, Rt. Hon. Sir A. B.||McEwan, William||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||McKillop, James||Wayman, Thomas|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Malcolm, Ian||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir H. E.||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Fry, Lewis||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Whiteley,H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Garfit, William||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Milbank, Sir P. C. J.||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Gibbs,Hon.A.G.H.(C.ofLond.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Gilliat, John Saunders||Milner, Sill Frederick George||Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh., N.)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus F.||Milward, Colonel Victor||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Monckton, Edward Philip||Wodehouse,RtHon.E.R.(Bath)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Monk, Charles James||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Woodall, William|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||More, Robert Jasper||Wyndham, George|
|Greene, W.Raymond- (Cambs)||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.|
|Greville, Captain||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gunter, Colonel||Mount, William George||Sir William Walrond and|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Muntz, Philip A.||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
Page 2, line 26, at end, add—
Provided such rules and regulations shall not render vaccination officers independent of the boards of guardians who employ them."— (Mr. Steadman.)
§ MR. STEADMAN
At the present time the officers are appointed by the boards of guardians subject to the approval of the Local Government Board, which is, of course, a purely formal matter. Now there may be boards of guardians who will be still against enforcing that clause. On the other hand, the Local Government Board no doubt may issue orders to the vaccinating officers in spite of the boards of guardians to strictly enforce this Act. If that is done, the vaccinating officer will be in this position; he has either got to choose between the board of guardians who employ him or the Local Government Board. Well now, Sir, if that is going to happen, and I believe it will happen, the only alternative for the Local Government Board is either to allow the vaccinating officers to be under the control of the people who appoint them, as at the present moment, or else to directly appoint these men themselves. Otherwise, if they do not adopt that course, I am afraid that things will be very warm between the Local Government Board and some of the boards of guardians, and the poor vaccinating officer will have a very rough time of it.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
This proviso of the honourable Member is not applicable in any way, for the clause applies to a totally different class of officers. This matter has no relation whatever to the clause now before the House, and the Amendment proposed by the honourable Member applies to a totally different part of the Bill.
§ MR. STEADMAN
If they are two different persons, then, according to your ruling, I must withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.504
Page 2, leave out clause 7."—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ *SIR C. DILKE
Perhaps it will be convenient before this Amendment is discussed, if I say that I make this Motion for the purpose of asking what is the intention of the Government upon this question. This Amendment was moved on the Committee stage by the Member for Edinburgh University, but it was really the Amendment of the honourable Member for the Ilkeston Division. My chief objection to the clause as it stands is that it all turns on the words, "any local authority." Now, I do not know what the intention of my honourable Friend is in putting those words in the clause, but I am bound to say that the words, "any local authority" have a wide meaning and I hardly think that that is the intention. They are far too wide, and would lead to this result, that the county councils would use any quantity of vaccination literature and circulate it in various districts. I think that would lead to a conflict of authority. That is an interference which I think would take place under the clause as it now stands. There are cases of corporations which are favourable to the enforcement of the vaccination laws where portions of their areas are against those laws, and these conflicts would arise. I therefore beg to move the omission of this clause for the purpose of asking the honourable Member for Ilkeston and the Government what their intentions are with regard to this clause.
§ *SIR W. FOSTER
I have no particular desire that this clause should be retained, and I think the objection taken to it is a valid one. I do not think that the clause is very necessary now, and I am perfectly willing that it should be withdrawn.
MR. KENTON (Burn, Lancashire)
There are a number of people throughout the country who require more information upon this question of vaccination, and I think that a well-written book containing the suggestions of the various vaccination authorities would do a great, amount of good. It would not be a very serious matter, and would not be a very 505 great expense to the different local bodies, and I believe that the information would be distinctly valuable to encourage the adoption of vaccination. I trust, therefore, that the Government will not withdraw the clause.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I trust that Her Majesty's Government will adhere to their resolution with regard to this clause. I cannot understand the meaning of the clause to send some class of propaganda, whether it is on both sides or on one side only. I was going to say that if you have a propaganda on one side out of the public funds you should also have it on the other side.
§ MR. STUART
If this is going to pass, you are going to perpetuate the very evils which you intended to get rid of. You will have not only boards of guardians, but other local authorities asking whether they are entitled to issue propaganda in favour of vaccination, and I really think that those who desire this assistance to their cause will gain no advantage from it. At the same time it is quite clear that it should be on both sides if it is adopted at all. I shall support the omission of the clause.
§ *SIR W. PRIESTLEY (Edinburgh University)
The publications which have been sent about upon this subject are very numerous, and I find that some of them are most extraordinary productions. Some of them attempt to show the great danger of vaccination to young children, and one has an illustration showing the ulcers on the knees and elbows of a child, due to scrofula, and not to vaccination at all. It was in view of the wish of some of the local authorities to have some circular sent out counterbalancing the influence which was thus exercised, that they desired to have this power given to them, for they believe that if they did it on their own account they would actually be surcharged by the Local Government Board. They desire, therefore, that this should be provided for separately in the Bill.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
I hope this clause will not be withdrawn, because it might 506 be of the greatest possible service to some of the local authorities, and it gave them a power which it was very desirable that they should have.
§ DR. CLARK
I do not think that there is anything to prevent boards of guardians doing What they already do at the present time in the way of circulating handbills. The Local Government Board themselves issue pamphlets of this kind, and sometimes they are not very accurate. If this money is spent for a special purpose it ought not to be spent at the cost of the local authorities, and the cost ought to be put upon the Local Government Board. The guardians could then ask for the literature, and they could circulate it for themselves.
§ MR. BUCKNILL (Surrey, Epsom)
I hope we shall not alter our opinion upon this matter, because it is a very important thing that all children who can be properly vaccinated should be vaccinated. I therefore hope that the Government will not strike out this clause. It can do no harm, and it will probably do a great deal of good. I can quite understand why those who are opposed to vaccination should object to it, but I, for one, hope this clause will be left in because I am sure it will do more for the public good than otherwise.
§ MR. COGHILL
I should like to say a word or two on this question. I am strongly in favour of having this clause kept in the Bill. I do hope that the Government will keep this clause in the Act, by the means of which local bodies will be allowed to propagate information, because I am sure that the objection to vaccination arises from ignorance and prejudice.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
This is not a Government clause at all, as many honourable Members seem to think. It was proposed by my honourable Friend the Member for Edinburgh University on behalf of the honourable Member for the Ilkeston Division, and, as no objection was raised to it in Committee, I accepted it on behalf of the Government.
507 I have no particular objection to the clause itself, and I can quite conceive that it may be useful in certain cases. Unless I am very much mistaken, a great deal has been done in this direction already. It is, however, a matter for the House to decide rather than for the Government.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS
Under this section I can imagine what would happen. I do hope that the Government will say that they are not going to retain a clause of that character which may be used very much in some districts against vaccination, although it is perfectly true that in many others it would be used in favour of vaccination. The Local Government Board can already do everything which this section proposes, and I hope, therefore, that under the circumstances the clause will be struck out.
SIR A. B. FORWARD
The honourable Member who has just spoken has evidently never read the clause. The only literature to be disseminated under this clause is literature giving information about vaccination. Now, I am one of the old-fashioned school who regret that we have gone so far in the direction of abolishing compulsory vaccination. Vaccination might now almost be struck off this Bill altogether. I do hope that something will be left in that will enable local authorities who think that vaccination is an advantage, to supply this information. In the city with which I am connected they have dealt with this
§ question and they have been able to grapple with the matter in a highly satisfactory manner. Why not leave it to the local authorities themselves to choose whether they will circulate the literature to prove the advantages of vaccination. I am glad that the Government are going to leave this an open question, and I, for one, shall go into the Lobby against the Motion to leave this clause out of the Bill.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
It does not appear to me that any words can be devised which will compel a local authority to publish literature on this subject on one side only. If I were given sufficient remuneration I could write a pamphlet which would absolutely destroy vaccination in the mind of any person who had no very settled opinion on the subject. But they have only got to give reasons for vaccination in their own way, and I think they would discourage the practice quite as effectually as if they were to publish a pamphlet nominally against it. To encourage boards of guardians to give their version of the reasons why a foolish Legislature had insisted on vaccination only where it could, would not conduce to the cause my honourable Friends have so much at heart.
That clause 7 stand part of the Bill.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 49; Noes 270.—(Division List No. 233.)511
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Howard, Joseph||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Howell, William Tudor||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Shaw-Stewart,M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Cecil, Lord H. (Greenwich)||Knowles, Lees||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lafone, Alfred||Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire)|
|Cotton-Jodrell Col. E. T. D.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. E. H.||Strauss, Arthur|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Talbot,RtHn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)|
|Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Drucker. A.||Lorne, Marquess of||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan)||Lowther,RtHnJW(Cumb'land)||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Finch, George H.||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)||Verney, Hon. Richard Greville|
|Forwood, Rt. Hon. Sir A. B.||Milward. Colonel Victor||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Monk, Charles James||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Gibbs,Hon.A.G.H.(C.ofLond.)||More, Robert Jasper|
|Godson, Sir A. Frederick||Mount, William George.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Greene,W. Raymond- (Cambs)||Pierpoint, Robert||Mr. Kenyon and Mr.|
|Gunter, Colonel||Priestley. Sir W. O. (Edin.)||Coghill.|
|Haslett, Sir James Homer||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Cox, Robert||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Allen, W.(Newc.-under-Lyme)||Cozens-Hardy, H. Hardy||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Crombie, John William||Jenkins, Sir John Jones|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Joicey, Sir James|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cruddas, William Donaldson||Kay-Shuttleworth,RtHnSirU.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Asher, Alexander||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Dalbiac, Col. Philip Hugh||Kenrick, William|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Baird, John George A.||Daly, James||Kitson, Sir James|
|Baker, Sir John||Dalziel, James Henry||Labouchere, Henry|
|Balcarres, Lord||Davies,M.Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Lambert, George|
|Balfour,Rt.Hon.A.J. (Manc'r)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Langley, Batty|
|Balfour,Rt.Hon. G.W. (Leeds)||Dillon, John||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Balfour, Rt,. Hon. J. B. (Clackm.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||LawrenceSirEDurning-(Corn.)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Donelan, Captain A.||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Doogan, P. C.||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)|
|Beach,Rt,Hn.SirM.H.(Brist'l)||Dunn, Sir William||Llewelyn, SirDillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)|
|Beach, W. W. B. (Hants)||Elliot, Hon. A. R. Douglas||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)||Loder, G. W. E.|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Fardell, Sir T. George||Logan, J. W.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)|
|Bethell, Commander||Fenwick, Charles||Lough, Thomas|
|Biddulph, Michael||Fergusson,Rt.Hn.Sir J. (Manc.)||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bigwood, James||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lucas-Shadwell, William|
|Bill, Charles||Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne||Macaleese, Daniel|
|Billson, Alfred||Fisher, William Hayes||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Boulnois, Edmund||FitzWygram, General Sir F.||McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs)|
|Bowles,Capt.H.F. (Middlesex)||Flannery, Fortescue||McCalmont,Mj.-Gn.(Ant'm,N)|
|Bowles. T. G. (King's Lynn)||Flower, Ernest||McEwan, William|
|Brigg, John||Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||McKillop, James|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||McLaren, Charles Benjamin|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Fry, Lewis||Maden, John Henry|
|Brunner, Sir J. Tomlinson||Garfit, William||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Gilliat, John Saunders||Milbank, Sir P. C. J.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. J.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Burns, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Milner, Sir Frederick George|
|Butcher, John George||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Monckton, Edward Philip|
|Caldwell, James||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Carew, James Laurence||Gourley, Sir E. Temperley||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Greville, Captain||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Gull, Sir Cameron||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Cecil, E. (Hertford, E.)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm.)||Hardy, Laurence||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Clark, Dr.G.B. (Caithness-sh.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Helder, Augustus||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Coddington, Sir William||Henderson, Alexander||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)|
|Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready||Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)||Pease, Arthur (Darlington)|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Hoare, E. B. (Hampstead)||Penn, John|
|Colville, John||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Perks, Robert William|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Holburn, J. G.||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Holden, Sir Angus||Phillpotts. Captain Arthur|
|Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Smith, Hn, W. F. D. (Strand)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Spicer, Albert||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)||Whitmore, Charles A.|
|Provant, Andrew Dryburgh||Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Pym, C. Guy||Steadman, William Charles||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Reid, Sir Robert T.||Steadman, William Charles||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Stephens, Henry Charles||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Remtoul, James Alexander||Stewart, Sir M. J. Mc Taggart||Williams, J. Powell (Birm)|
|Richardson, J. (Dirham)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Rickett, J. Cpmpton||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)||Wilson, J. S. H. (Yorks)|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.||Sullivan, Donal(Westmeath)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Robinson, Brooke||Sutherland, Sir Thomas||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Roche, Hon. James (E. Kerry)||Tennant, Harold John||Woodall, William|
|Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Thomas, A. (Charmarthen, E.)||Woodhouse, Sir JT (Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B.S.|
|Sandys, Lieut. Col. T. M.||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. S.|
|Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Ward, Hon R. A. (Crewe)|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Warde, Lt. Col. C. E. (Kent)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES-|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Warner, Thomas C. T,||Sir William Walrond And|
|Smith, J. Parker (Lanark)||Wayman, Thomas||Mr. Anstruther.|
Resolution reported to the House and agreed to.
Page 2, line 38, leave out all after 'the,' and insert 'powers and authority of the State to enforce vaccination.'"—(Mr. Brigg.)
§ Agreed to.
Page 3, line 14, leave out 'eight hundred and ninety-nine,' and insert 'nine hundred and one.'"—(Mr. Brigg.)
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
I am sorry that I cannot accept this Amendment. I 512 may point out that the necessity for such a proposal is very much less now that the conscience clause has been accepted.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Page 3, line 14, after 'ninety-nine,' insert 'and shall remain in force until the first day of January, One thousand nine hundred and four.'"—(Mr. Chaplin.)
§ Agreed to.
Page 4, after line 33, insert in section thirty-seven the word 'of.'"—(Mr. Herbert Robertson.)
§ Agreed to
§ Schedule agreed to.
That the Bill be now read a third time.
§ *MR. DUNCOMBE (Cumberland, Egremont)
I think it is too much to ask us to read this Bill a third time now. It has been stated that there was only one member of the House who objected to this Bill on the principle of compulsory vaccination. Now, that remark has all the more effect because my right honourable Friend, in his speech this morning, said and used as an argument that, because out of some 22 or 23 Members of the House who spoke yesterday only one spoke in favour of compulsory vaccination, therefore the whole sense of the House was against it. Well, Sir, why my honourable Friend should take that opinion I am entirely at a loss to know. He said that some eight or ten hours were occupied discussing a certain point. Well, I can assure him that if all those who support compulsory vaccination had spoken he would have had to complain of some 16 or 20 hours being taken up advocating compulsory vaccination. To a large number of Members on this side of the House it did come as a surprise when they heard that the right honourable Gentleman had given way at the time he did. I do not think, however, that the Third Reading of this Bill ought to be taken now unless some opportunity is given to allow those Members who support compulsory vaccination to place their opinions on record. We have heard a great deal about the conscientious objection to vaccination, and it is not the first time that conscience has been brought to bear on such a subject. In what way a man can have a conscientious objection to a medical discovery which has saved these islands from devastation by a terrible disease, I, for one, cannot conceive. As I understand it, the object of this Bill originally was to provide that, whilst vaccination was to be compulsory, the lymph that was to be used could be rendered harmless, because it had been made impossible for this lymph to introduce any other disease into children. Now that, as far as possible, has been done, and that having been done, it seems to me that no reasonable objection can be raised. I, for one, before this Bill is read a third time, intend to divide the House to show that the principle of compulsory vaccination 514 has not been given up by this House I beg leave to move—That the Debate be now adjourned.
I beg leave to second that Motion. I think the course which has been taken of asking for the Third Reading immediately after the Committee stage is a very unusual one. I do not wish to take up the time of the House unnecessarily, but I should like to make one explanation because I have not had an opportunity of doing so before. The President of the Local Government Board wanted to know why more had not taken part in the Debate last night in favour of compulsory vaccination, and—
§ MR. DILLON
I rise to a point of order. Can the Third Reading of the Bill be taken now if an honourable Member objects.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I think it is in the power of the Government to take the Third Reading without notice if they like, particularly at the end of the Session. Of course, if there is a division of opinion, it certainly should not be asked for.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The same point was raised by the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Thanet a Session or two ago.
§ MR. COGHILL
Now, the reason why I did not take part in the Debate last night was that my faith in the Government was so large and unbounded that I thought I might very well go away for a short time into the library, and I was waiting in the library for the Division bell to ring, and when I came back I found that the President of the Local Government Board had surrendered to the Opposition. That was the reason why I 515 did not take part in the Debate. I am extremely sorry to have to differ from the Government of the day, and I daresay that I am wrong. I have always, however, been brought up to believe that vaccination was one of the cardinal articles of faith of the English nation. I have always believed in vaccination myself, and I really cannot change my opinions at such very short notice as this. I do not say that I am right, and I do not say that I am wrong, but I believe myself that the effect of this Bill will be to do away entirely with compulsory vaccination. I do not speak as a professional expert, but I may say that I have had sufficient experience in other countries to notice the difference between the population of England and that of other countries, and one cannot help noticing the far greater number of faces which are pitted with small-pox in England than in foreign countries, and I—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! I understand that the honourable Member is seconding the Motion for adjournment.
§ MR. COGHILL
I think the Mover of this Motion used the wrong phrase, because I understood that he intended to move the rejection of the Third Reading.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Then I understand it the honourable Member has seconded the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
If there is really a desire on the part of a large body of honourable Members to explain why they did not speak yesterday or today, of course there would be grounds for an adjournment, and I would not resist it. But I understand that all they require is to have an opportunity of recording their objections to 516 this Bill, and they could do that by their votes on the Third Reading. They would then be able to go into the Lobby and show that they disapprove of the Bill in its amended form. I ought to say, however, that I do not assent to the description of the Bill which has been given by the honourable Gentleman who has just sat down. I cannot admit that those who are supporting this Bill have altered their views either at long or short notice, or that this Bill, even in its amended shape, destroys compulsory vaccination.
§ *SIR C. DILKE
If the honourable Member had moved the rejection of the Bill I should have voted with the Government in opposition to his Motion. He has, however, moved the adjournment of the Debate. I think that the Bill should be reprinted before it leaves the House, and nothing can be gained, in my opinion, by taking the Third Reading today. Very great changes have been made, and although we shall not have an opportunity of amending it on the Third Reading, we should have a chance of seeing the Bill in its new form. Very great mistakes have been made in Bills through carrying them too fast, and the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton himself has had to suffer in his own Measures by the too hurried consideration of them.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I hope the First Lord of the Treasury will be able to agree to this Motion. In this Bill I think I can point out in one of the last Amendments proposed a word which is incorrect. Nothing will be gained by hurrying this Bill. The third stage will not take long, and certainly there has been a considerable change which I entirely approve of in the attitude of Her Majesty's Government towards this Bill. But I think those who hold a contrary opinion should be allowed to explain their position on the Third Reading, and nothing will be gained by hurrying it 517 through. Therefore, I hope the Government will agree to this Motion.
§ *SIR H. FOWLER
It has been said that nothing is to be gained by hurrying the Third Reading. Well, I can tell the honourable Member opposite what is going to be gained, and that is time, which may have an important bearing on other Bills; and I do not see any real reason for postponement, because not an "i" can be dotted or a "t" crossed on the Third Reading, and I very much doubt whether it can be reprinted. We have had a full discussion on this Bill, and there is a general consensus of opinion in favour of it, and I hope the Government will stand firm.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I agree that we ought to be very careful in using the privilege of reading a Bill for a third time on the same day that it has passed the Report stage. I further agree that if there is really an important body of Members who wish to speak on the Third Reading that their wishes should be considered; but I earnestly hope that unless that is the case the Motion will not be pressed. If the postponement is insisted upon, and I speak quite plainly, I cannot put this Bill down before other controversial Measures, and if the Third Reading is not taken today I am afraid it will have to be taken at some very late hour in the morning. That I admit would be very inconvenient, and I do hope that for the general convenience of the business of the House we shall be allowed to finish the Third Reading of the Bill and send it up to another place at the earliest possible moment.
§ MR. DILLON
I have no personal objection to this Bill at all, but I agree with the position taken up by the First Lord of the Treasury, because, although a strong vaccinator myself, you have now got to deal with unreasonable people like "the predominant partner," and you have to adjust your view to those who 518 have to bear it. If I were passing a law for Ireland or Scotland I should be in favour of compulsory vaccination; but when you have to deal with unreasonable people like Englishmen you have got to consider the public opinion of the country, because, in attempting to force a Measure of compulsory vaccination, no matter how well founded on scientific knowledge, you must take into consideration the amount of opposition you have got to meet. I am glad the Government gave way on this matter, because I intended to vote for the Amendment in case the Government had not given way. I object, however, to the Third Reading of this Bill today, on the principle of precedent. To read a Bill a third time on the same day on which it has been substantially amended—in fact, reconstructed—when we have not got a print of the reconstruction before us, and when the whole principle of the Bill has been, altered—is, in my experience of 16 years in this House, unprecedented. I may be wrong, but I never recollect any Minister asking for such a thing, and that is the ground of my objection that the Third Reading should not be taken today. I think it is a most dangerous, precedent, and one which might be abused in the future if we agree to it, without protest today.
§ MR. BUCKNILL
This is not a Bill like the one which was introduced in the first instance. Great alterations have been made, and the very object of the Bill, so to speak, has been changed from its original shape and form. That being so, is there any real motive why the Third Reading should not be taken now? I would willingly sit in order to pass it to a very late hour of the morning. ["Oh, oh."] Well, I suppose I may speak for myself—I am willing to sit up to a late hour to hear the observations which some honourable Members would like to make upon this much changed Bill.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Having regard to the general expression of opinion from different parts of the House, and to the fact that material alterations have been made in the Bill, I think it would be somewhat unusual under these circumstances to take the Third Beading now.
§ Debate adjourned.