HC Deb 10 November 1911 vol 30 cc2044-5W

asked the Prime Minister whether he will arrange for a committee to inquire into the working of the vaccination laws during the last fifty years in the United Kingdom and other countries and the small-pox outbreaks in those countries; and whether such a committee, if appointed, could investigate the returns as to vaccination of every district in the United Kingdom and compare this with the amount of small-pox and the vaccinal conditions of the patients, and also ascertain the sanitary and social condition of the districts in which such outbreaks occurred?


I do not consider that an inquiry on the lines indicated would be justified at the present time.


asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the fact that Dr. Hall, Poor Law medical officer at Leigh workhouse, was reported to have stated at an inquest held on two children who died about thirteen days after vaccination with Government lymph, that the recommendations of the Local Government Board were that Poor Law children should be vaccinated within seven days from birth; whether these recommendations were made by the Local Government Board; and, if not, whether he will consider the desirability of informing all Poor Law medical officers of the present views of the Board in the matter of vaccinating I workhouse children at -such an early age?


The Local Government Board have made no recommendation to the effect suggested. They have always held the view expressed by the Royal Commission on Vaccination, that, although under favourable conditions vaccination may be carried out within a few days of birth, the practice is to be deprecated unless there is at the time obvious danger of small-pox contagion, or unless the parent specially requests that the operation may be performed. My medical inspectors have been instructed to communicate this view to boards of guardians and their officers when needful, and I do not think it necessary to make any general communication to Poor Law medical officers on this subject.