§ Mr. Viant
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why volunteers from the N.F.S. for service overseas 1193W are refused acceptance unless certified as having been successfully vaccinated within the last 12 months; why a limit of 12 months has been fixed when most authorities claim that vaccination protects for at least five years; and why members of the N.F.S. cannot have the same right to object to vaccination and still serve overseas as is possessed by all members of the armed forces, whether conscripts or volunteers.
§ Mr. H. Morrison
In the notice issued to the National Fire Service calling for volunteers for the overseas contingent it was stated as one of the conditions of acceptance that "unless certified as having been successfully vaccinated within the last 12 months, they will be required to be vaccinated before being posted to the Contingent." This condition did not exclude any volunteer who was willing to undergo vaccination, even if he had not been previously vaccinated within the specified period. I am aware that views differ as to the period of protection afforded by successful vaccination, but I see no reason to take exception to the terms of the condition in this respect, which were prescribed at the request of the War Office. Whatever may be the position in the Armed Forces, I do not think it can properly be compared with that in the National Fire Service Overseas Continent, which consists entirely of men who have volunteered to serve abroad on conditions which were stated in advance.