§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that a labourer named Harrison was recently refused a certificate of exemption from vaccination for his child by the magistates sitting at Spilsby and Boston; that he was subsequently summoned, and in default of payment of the fine of £1 and £1 2s. 6d. costs, was sent to prison for one month; and that since this man's release he was, on the 27th February, again summoned for not obeying the vaccination order; and, in view of the fact that he has repeatedly endeavoured to make clear that he conscientiously 649 believes that vaccination would be prejudicial to the health of his child, will the Secretary of State consider the expediency of directing the attention of the magistrates at Spilsby and Boston to the remarks made by the Lord Chief Justice at Birmingham, on the 27th July last, in regard to the principles on which the Act ought to be administered.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AKERS-DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
I have made inquiries into this case, and I learn that the remarks on the subject of conscientious objection to vaccination, made by the Lord Chief Justice at the Birmingham Summer Assizes, were brought to the notice of the Spilsby magistrates before they convicted Harrison. The question whether the circumstances justify the issue of a certificate of exemption is in each case one for the discretion of the magistrates, with which I have no power to interfere.