HC Deb 28 September 1909 vol 11 c1088

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the practice of vaccination to ascertain whether the lymph now used has its origin in or is in any way connected with variolous matter; and, whether, should his inquiries go to show that variolous matter is the origin of the present-day lymph, he will institute proceedings under Section 32 of the Vaccination Act of 1867 against persons using such lymph?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Section 32 of the Vaccination Act, 1867, renders it an offence to produce, or attempt to produce, small-pox in any person by inoculation with variolcus master or by any other means. Most of the lymph used in cases of primary vaccination is that supplied from the Government lymph establishment. That lymph does not produce, and is not used to produce, small-pox, and persons using it do not come within the Section referred to. There is no reason to doubt that the same observations apply with regard to other lymph in use in this country. There does not appear to me to be any need for inquiry on the subject.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if the evidence recently given at a Royal Commission on Vivisection did not show the German source of the vaccine lymph, and that it was derived from small-pox; and is it not also a fact that cases of vaccinia are often diagnosed as small-pox and vice versâ?


The hon. Member must give notice of that question.