MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that upon an application by a parent, under the Vaccination Act, 1898, for a certificate of exemption from vaccination for his child, it is the practice of clerks to justices to require production of a full copy of the certificate of birth of the child, for which under the Registration Act, 1874, a fee of 2s. 6d. has to be paid, and not to accept the certificate of registration prescribed by Section 30 of the Registration Act, 1874, for which a sum not exceeding 3d. is to be paid; and whether, having regard to the fact that the latter certificate equally proves the essential fact of the date of birth, it is within his powers to give instructions that the certificate under Section 30 of the Act shall be accepted as sufficient evidence.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) I have no power to prescribe the evidence which is to be received by a court of justice, but it appears to have been held by the High Court that justices are 1256 entitled to require a certificate of birth, unless some reason is shown why it cannot be given.