HL Deb 30 May 1864 vol 175 c779

wished to ask the President of the Council a Question of which he had given him private notice, respecting the intentions of the Government in order to secure the more effectual enforcement of vaccination. The Returns of the Registrar General showed a large amount of preventible disease and of deaths from small-pox, and it was very desirable that something should be done.


said, the subject was one which eminently deserved the consideration of the Government. He would beg to read to their Lordships an extract from the report of the Epide-miological Society— 3,240 persons die, on an average, every year in England from small-pox. In the metropolis alone the average annual mortality from this disease exceeds 700. At epidemic periods the mortality assumes much higher proportions, and in the epidemic which ravaged London last year and has not yet quite ended, nearly 2,500 lives have already been sacrificed. Nothing can be more certain than that, if all were thoroughly well vaccinated in early infancy, small-pox might be nearly banished from our death registers. But it should be emphatically stated that this cannot be accomplished by the mere extension of vaccination, unless means be taken at the same time to secure the more complete and effectual performance of the operation. It appears to the Committee very inexpedient that the control of public vaccination should be vested in two distinct Government Boards, and they are of opinion that the powers now exercised by the Poor Law Board should be transferred to the I'rivy Council.


stated, that the matter had been under the consideration of the Government. There were only two ways of effecting the object, either by the adoption of more compulsory means, or by higher payments in some shape or other. Her Majesty's Government had come to the conclusion that the first alternative was not desirable, and he believed that this was also the opinion of the Epidemiological Society. There was hardly sufficient information to justify the Government in paying more of the public money without further inquiry. He (Earl Granville) suggested that Lord Lyttelton should bring in a Bill, and that that Bill should be referred to a Select Committee of the House.