§ Sir ARCHIBALD WILLIAMSON
asked the Secretary for Scotland if his attention has been directed to the increase of the number of unvaccinated children in Morayshire; whether the annual number has quadrupled during the last six years; and whether he will draw the attention of the justices to the matter in order that only those parents really holding conscientious objections shall be allowed exemption from the law?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
The county council of Morayshire have directed the attention of the Local Government Board for Scotland to figures furnished by the county medical officer of health which show that the number of statutory declarations of conscientious objection made in the county (exclusive of burghs) under the Vaccination (Scotland) Act, 1907, has risen from eleven in 1908 to forty-six in 1913. With regard to the last portion of the question, I would point out that the requirement of the Act is a sworn declaration to the effect that the parent solemnly and sincerely declares that he conscientiously believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of the child. In these circumstances, and as the functions of the justices under the Act are purely ministerial, I do not think that any advantage would accrue from the course suggested by my hon. Friend.