§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the action of magistrates sitting at the monthly petty sessions at Lydd in refusing to grant certificates of exemption from the Vaccination Acts; whether he is aware that an applicant named Holdstock, who stated that he conscientiously objected, on the ground that vaccination had proved injurious in his own family, was questioned as to alleged membership of an anti-vaccination society, and refused a certificate on the ground that two justices had to be satisfied; whether this questioning and the refusal are consistent with the requirements of the Vaccination Act, 1898; and, what steps he will take to ensure to applicants their statutory rights under the Act.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
I have inquired as to the facts of this case and am informed that a certificate of exemption was refused to the applicant because he failed to satisfy the justices that he had a conscientious objection to vaccination. This is in accordance with the Act; and it seems to me quite natural and right that justices should question an applicant with a view to eliciting the grounds of his belief, as to which they have to be satisfied before granting a certificate.