HC Deb 29 April 1929 vol 227 cc1278-9
1. Captain BOURNE

asked the Undersecretary of State for India whether the Government of India propose to take any steps to prevent unvaccinated persons embarking for Europe from Bombay during the present epidemic of small-pox in that city; and, if so, can he state the nature of such proposals?


The Government of India report that Circulars were issued to shipping companies by the Port Health Department, Bombay, advising the vaccination of all passengers and crews of vessels leaving Bombay, except persons recently vaccinated, and it is understood that this advice is being followed. The latest available figures, those for the week ending 6th April, show that smallpox has been on the decline in Bombay City since the middle of March, the number of cases having fallen from 142 during the week ending 16th March to 86 during the week ending 6th April.


Are we to understand that vaccination is advisory and not compulsory?


At present, I understand that the local authorities dealing with the matter have issued circulars to the companies, advising vaccination of all passengers, but I cannot say, without reference, whether or not they have power to make vaccination compulsory. If they have, and they think it is advisable to do so, I have no doubt that vaccination will be enforced.