§ MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will bring in a Bill to enable magistrates who have a conscientious objection to grant certificates of exemption from vaccination under section 2 of the Vaccination Act 1898 to decline to grant these certificates of conscientious objection?
§ MR. COGHILL
May I ask the right honourable Gentleman if a magistrate is not entitled to have a conscience as much as anybody else?
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! I must say that it is extremely doubtful whether the Question on the Paper does not amount to a breach of the rules, but Questions which have merely a satirical object ought not to be put.
§ MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention had been called to the fact that, during the present small-pox epidemic in Hull, of 25 cases admited to the hospital (of whom three died) the cases were of unvaccinated patients; and if the proportion of unvaccinated persons was large in the Hull district?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD
According to the latest information I have received, it is not the fact that during the present small-pox epidemic in Hull all the cases admitted to the hospital—which were 26, and not 25—were unvaccinated. Nineteen had been vaccinated, and the medical officer of health reports these cases to be of a modified character, and that none had died. The remaining seven were unvaccinated of these, four 1316 had died. I have no means of estimating the proportion of unvaccinated persons of all ages in Hull, but during the last five years for which Returns have been received, some 20 per cent. of the children whose births were registered in the two unions in which Hull is comprised, and who survived when the Returns were made, were then unvaccinated.
§ MR. COGHILL
May I ask, Sir, whether, in view of the fact that more than 200,000 certificates of exemption have been granted, it is not, a matter of surprise that there has not been an epidemic of small-pox?
§ [No reply.]