§ MR. A. W. BLACK (Bedfordshire, Biggleswade)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds the Southend-on-Sea police magistrates refused Mr. T. Chambers, of 19, Chase Road, Southend, a certificate of exemption, after he had stated that he conscientiously believed vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of his child.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) It appears from a newspaper cutting which I have received from Mr. Chambers that he declined to give any reasons for his belief and maintained that a certificate ought to be granted on an applicant's declaring that he had a conscientious objection. The magistrates, I presume, were not satisfied as to the conscientious nature of his objection. The matter is one placed by statute within their discretion, and, as I said in answer to a Question yesterday, the only remedy for the anomalies which at present occur lies in an alteration of the law.