HC Deb 27 February 1899 vol 67 cc603-4
MR. SOAMES (Norfolk, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the practice of the Diss bench of magistrates in refusing to grant certificates of exemption to conscientious objectors under the Vaccination Act, 1898. unless they have attended at the clerk's office on a previous day to fill in a form giving notice of their intention to apply for a certificate; and whether the magistrates are within their rights in requiring the attendance on two separate days of persons who in many cases would have to come a distance of several miles, and would lose wages on each occasion?


I am informed that the magistrates referred to by the honourable Member do not require applicants for certificates of exemption under the Vaccination Act, 1898, to attend at the clerk's office on a previous day; but that they expect all persons applying to the court to present themselves at the clerk's office previously to the sitting, in order that their applications may be put in proper form. If this practice, has the effect suggested in the question I think that steps should be taken to prevent this result, and I have so informed the magistrates.


Has the right honour able Gentleman's attention been drawn to the notice in the Diss Express of January 27th, in which it is stated that the practice adopted by the Bench is to require applicants to attend at the clerk's office on the day previous to their meeting, and—


Order, order! The honourable Member's Question is not in order.