HC Deb 09 July 1906 vol 160 cc515-6
MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the county magistrates in the West Hiding Court, Skyrack Division, at Leeds, on June 26th, refused to entertain the case of an applicant, Mr. Samuel Priestly, for a certificate of exemption from vaccination on the ground that the certificate of the child's birth produced, and obtained from the local registrar for 3d., was not sufficient, and demanded, as a preliminary to trying the case, that a birth certificate costing 2s. 6d. should be produced; and will he take steps to obtain some alteration in the procedure at this Court.


The 3d. certificate mentioned in the Question is not a certificate of birth, but only a certificate of registration. As I informed the hon. Member for the Wycombe Division in answer to his Question on March 28th, it has been held by the High Court that magistrates are entitled to require a certificate of birth, unless some reason is shown why it cannot be given. I have no authority to intervene in the matter.

MR. BRACE (Glamorganshire, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention had been called to the refusals of the Porth, Glamorganshire, magistrates upon two occasions to grant a certificate of exemption from vaccination for the child of Mr. William Griffiths, 71, Penygraig Road, Penygraig; and whether, in face of the fact that Mr. Griffiths had been prevented from making an application at the Ystrad Court on June 18th, and met with the same treatment at the Pontypridd Court on June 21st, making four appearances at the Courts without result, he proposes to take any action to protect the rights of the citizen under the conscientious objection section of the Vaccination Act.


The Justices at Porth twice considered applications from Mr. Griffiths, but were not satisfied that the applicant conscientiously believed that vaccination would be prejudicial to-the health of his child. At Ystrad and Pontypridd the Court refused to review the decision of other magistrates. I have no authority to take any action in the matter.


What steps can Mr. Griffiths take to get his case before the Courts? He has a real grievance, for he is a conscientious objector.


replied that the present state of the law gave rise to-some friction, and he could only suggest that the hon. Member should induce the Government and Parliament to alter it.