§ 19. Mr. Leach
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that some magistrates refuse to sign vaccination exemption certificates on the ground of conscientious objection; and will he circularise magistrates to make it clear that a statutory declaration of belief that vaccination would be injurious to the health of the child is the only requirement to be observed by the applicant?
§ Sir S. Hoare
My attention has recently been drawn to certain newspaper reports regarding the alleged refusal of a magistrate to attest statutory declarations made under Section 1 of the Vaccination Act, 1907, and I am having inquiry made. I believe it is well understood that the attestation of the statutory declaration by a magistrate is a purely ministerial act, and that, if a declaration is brought to him at a convenient and proper time, he should not refuse to attest it; and on the information before me I do not think there is any need for a general circular to justices on this subject.