HC Deb 23 April 1940 vol 360 cc46-7W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he is aware that Dennis Barnes, who died a month after vaccination, stated to his relatives that he was one of several men who indicated when paraded for vaccination that they objected, and that it was only because they were informed that they would lose pay if they were not vaccinated and became ill, and would be put on fatigues at once that they consented; and will he take steps to see that intimidation of this sort is put an end to;

(2) whether, in view of the fact that in several cases of post-vaccinal encephalitis inquired into by the Rolleston Committee on Vaccination the vaccination wound had practically healed before encephalitis developed, why no inquest was held to ascertain how the streptococcal infection entered the late Gunner Barnes' system?

Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for War when the hon. Member for Ipswich may expect a reply to his letter of 27th March, concerning the death, following on vaccination, of No. 953092, Gunner William Barnes?

Mr. Stanley

I have been definitely assured, as I stated in reply to a Question on 19th March, that no form of threat or pressure was used in this case. As I also stated, the decision not to hold an inquest was made by the coroner in the light of the pathologist's report. The soldier's death was not due to encephalitis, but to streptococcal infection. I sent a reply to the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) on 20th April.

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