HL Deb 18 August 1871 vol 208 cc1843-4

(The Lord Privy Seal.)

House in Committee (according to Order); Bill reported without Amendment.


moved to omit Clause 10, which exempts persons who have been fined the full penalty, or two penalties of any amount, from any further proceedings. The clause had been hailed with triumph by the opponents of vaccination, who justly thought it destroyed the whole effect of compulsory vaccination. The poor would naturally think that if the rich were let off with a fine of 20s., the penalty ought in their case to be reduced, and such a resistance to the measure would spring up that the whole object of former Acts would be done away with. The Lancaster Union had petitioned against the clause.


said, he hoped the House would not strike out the clause, as it might entail the loss of the Bill. He admitted that there were objections to its principle; but it had been unanimously recommended by a Committee of the House of Commons. Determined opposition had been offered to vaccination by a limited number of persons, on grounds which he deemed unreasonable; but, nevertheless, while this feeling existed it was the opinion of Mr. Simon, the Medical Officer of the Privy Council, that it was unwise to insist upon anything which was not indispensable, and further that the penalty now proposed would answer all the practical purposes of the Act. It was desirable that the public feeling should go with the Act, which would be the case if the exceptions were very few; whereas otherwise an adverse feeling might be excited, which would endanger the Act itself. The strongest advocates of vaccination deprecated repeated fines and imprisonments, which still left the defendants' children unvaccinated.


presumed the noble Viscount would think it was useless to fine a man more than twice for drunkenness? The clause would give up the whole principle of compulsory vaccination.

On Question, Whether the said clause shall stand part of the Bill? their Lordships divided:—Contents 7; Not-Contents 8: Majority 1. Resolved in the Negative.

Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.

House adjourned at Six o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter before Eleven o'clock.