HC Deb 28 March 1917 vol 92 cc457-8W

asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether a refusal to undergo vaccination when asked by a medical officer of health by a person who has been in contact with a small-pox case will be treated as a refusal to comply with a reasonable requisition and deemed to be a wilful obstruction of that officer, rendering the offender liable to penalties under the Public Health Acts as set forth in Statutory Rules and Orders, 1917, No. 146?


The Public Health (Small-pox Prevention) Regulations, 1917, which are referred to, do not authorise the vaccination of any person who is unwilling to be vaccinated.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he is aware that several Poor Law Boards in Ireland have protested against enforcing the Vaccination Act on parents who for conscientious reasons objected to having their children vaccinated and only did so under threat of mandamus from the Local Government Board; and, as the legal costs incurred by several boards of guardians in connection with such prosecutions have been very high, will he take steps to have the Conscientious Clause of the Vaccination Act extended to Ireland?


As stated in my reply to the hon. Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin on 22nd December last, I am not aware that there has been any general demand on the part of public boards in Ireland for a change in the law as regards vaccination. I am informed that the vigorous enforcement of the Vaccination Act throughout the country is at present a matter of vital importance in view of the serious outbreaks of smallpox on the Continent and the fact that some cases have recently occurred in England.