HC Deb 05 February 1962 vol 653 cc29-30
41. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health whether he will in future demand evidence of recent effective vaccination from all travellers to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Powell

No such evidence is obtainable.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Minister aware that the danger of smallpox can arise just as much from ordinary travellers as from immigrants and that the health checks provided under the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill will not meet the problem of protecting the health of our people? Will he not, therefore, insist that all travellers to this country from areas where smallpox is prevalent carry the vaccination certificate which is provided for under the World Health Organisation regulations, to which my Question obviously refers?

Mr. Powell

I have already explained to the House that there are adequate powers for any precautions which may be thought necessary, but the hon. Lady's Question referred to evidence of recent effective vaccination. The international certificate of vaccination is not a certificate of successful revaccination. In fact, all known cases of importation had been revaccinated and were so certified.

Mr. K. Robinson

Will the Minister tell the House whether what he calls the more stringent arrangements are still in force? Will he also say when he will be in a position to tell the House what permanent arrangements he proposes to make in connection with vaccination of future incoming travellers?

Mr. Powell

The special arrangements are still in force, but as I indicated to the House on 23rd January, the standing arrangements afford adequate protection in normal circumstances.

Mr. G. Brown

Is it true that France, West Germany and other West European co-signatories with ourselves of the arrangements covering travel between these countries have denounced that agreement and now require certificates of recent vaccination from everybody, no matter where people come from, and that this includes people from this country going to France and West Germany? Are we changing our regulatons to come into line with that arrangement?

Mr. Powell

I will give the right hon. Gentleman the particulars if he puts down a specific Question, for I would wish the information to be completely accurate. I am not, however, aware that the demand for such certificates is in any way in contravention of the international agreement.