§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that Mr. James Richards, of Tunbridge Wells, appeared on six different occasions before the local bench of magistrates before he could procure a certificate of exemption from vaccination for his infant child, and, seeing that on each occasion he based his objection on the same ground, will the Secretary of State consider the advisability of directing the attention of the bench of magistrates to the remarks made by the Lord Chief Justice on July 27th last, when addressing the Grand Jury at Birmingham relative to the principle on which the Act ought to be administered.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AKERS-DOUGLAS, Kent, St. Augustine's)
I have no information respecting the case referred to by the hon. Member. The attention of magistrates has already been drawn, by a circular issued in September last to all justices' clerks, to the remarks made by the Lord Chief Justice at the Birmingham Summer Assizes on the subject of the principles which ought to guide 1101 magistrates in dealing with applications for certificates of exemption from vaccination.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Has the right hon. Gentleman observed that the circular has had no effect whatever on the magistrates to whom it was addressed?
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
I do not quite agree with that view. It may not have done so in this case, but in many cases it has been extremely useful.