§ 87. Mr. WILLIAM HARVEY
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the fact that in some parts of the country conscientions objectors under the Vaccination Act, 1907, experience great difficulty in finding a justice of the peace who is willing to witness their declaration; that these people are either too poor to employ a commissioner for oaths or their hours of work and the distance necessary to be travelled are too great; that in many instances hard-working men have been known to travel long distances on a Sunday to a magistrate who was willing to sign their forms; and whether he is prepared either to take steps to compel all magistrates to sign exemption orders or else provide additional facilities for those who desire to avail themselves of the exemption afforded by the Act?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
The President of the Local Government Board has asked me to reply to this question. One or two complaints of this sort have been received, but I have no reason to think that the difficulty is of frequent occurrence. If my hon. Friend will let me know of any particular cases where magistrates have refused to take the declarations, I will make inquiry; but he should understand that I have no authority to compel them to do so, and I fear I could not undertake to propose legislation on the subject at the present time.