§ Mr. CHARLES EDWARDS
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that more than half the children born at the present time are withheld from vaccination; whether under the present Vaccination Acts the proportion of un-vaccinated children of each year's births is steadily increasing; whether nearly 40 per cent. of the births each year are exempted from vaccination by the statutory declaration of their parents of objection to the operation; and in what way would the health of the community be involved by the repeal of the compulsory clauses of the Vaccination Acts, seeing that under present conditions such a large number of children remain unvaccinated, while small-pox is less prevalent than in the years when a far larger proportion of children were vaccinated?
§ Dr. ADDISON
The facts are approximately as stated in the first part of the question. I am, however, of opinion that the repeal of the compulsory clauses of the Vaccination Acts would result in a still larger proportion of children remaining unvaccinated and thus the whole community would be less protected. Small-pox is prevalent at the present time in various parts of Europe, Canada and America, and in view of the 919W risks of the introduction of the disease into this country, I am not prepared to take any action which would tend to increase the number of persons in this country who are unprotected by vaccination.