HC Deb 23 November 1909 vol 13 cc183-4W

asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that Dr. Monckton-Copeman, medical inspector to the Local Government Board, at the meeting of the Public Vaccinators' Association held in Liverpool on 29th October, 1909, declared that the reason why vaccination was a really effective protection against small-pox was because it was really derived from that disease itself; and whether he will take steps to prevent the use of variolous lymph, having regard to Section 32 of The Vaccination Act, 1867, which prohibits the production in any person of the disease of small-pox by inoculation with variolous matter or by the wilful exposure of that person not only to variolous matter but to any matter, article, or thing impregnated with variolous matter?


I understand that on the occasion referred to in the question Dr. Monckton Copeman made a statement to the effect mentioned. Most of the lymph used in cases of primary vaccination in this country is supplied from the Government Lymph Establishment. That lymph is not variolous, i.e., it is not obtained directly from human small-pox; it does not produce, nor is it used to produce, small-pox; and, as I have pointed out in reply to previous questions, persons using it do not come within Section 32 of the Vaccination Act, 1867. There is no reason to doubt that the same observations apply to other lymph in use in this country.