§ MR. CHARLES SPENCER (North amptonshire, Mid.)
I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General whether his attention has been called to the variety of practice as to the charging of fees for a certificate of exemption from compulsory vaccination, and as to the doubts which exist as to the payment of such fees; and whether he can suggest any method for abolishing such fees.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer this. Since this matter was 505 raised in Committee of Supply I have refreshed my memory with regard to it. It is true that the fees referred to vary in different places; but so also—and to a greater extent do other fees similarly fixed by Tables prepared by local authorities. When the Tables are submitted for the approval of the Secretary of State every effort is made to secure uniformity, but his power does not extend to enforcing it. I am not aware of any doubt as to the power of the local authorities to fix such fees; but I may say that the Northamptonshire Standing Joint Committee have recently submitted to me a Table from which it would appear that they do not desire that such fees should be charged within their jurisdiction. The matter is receiving consideration.
§ MR. RITCHIE
I have not in my mind the particular statute of the general law which gives power to charge fees for certain services.