House Of Commons
Tuesday, 19th June, 1883.
Land Law (Ireland) Acts—Rights To Turf And Sea Weed
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is correct that those tenants on the Mount Charles and other neighbouring estates in Donegal, who have taken advantage of the Land Acts to have fair rents fixed by the court, have since been deprived of those privileges of turf and sea-weed which they have always enjoyed?
I am informed that the circumstances are as stated. I cannot take it upon myself to offer a legal opinion as to whether or not the tenants have any remedy; but if, as described in the Question, the advantages of which they have been deprived were "privileges" accorded to them by their landlord, and not legal rights, it seems to me doubtful whether any legal redress could be sought. I understand that in some of the cases referred to appeals are pending, and that it is expected that when the appeals have been heard, some arrangements will be come to as to the cutting of turf and sea-weed.
Fishery Piers And Harbours (Ireland)—Piers In County Donegal
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is decided what piers in the county of Donegal will receive a portion of this year's grant?
A sum of £750 has already boon granted to Downies Bay and Rannagh Piers, and proposed grants in other cases are still under consideration.
Lunatic Asylums (Ireland)—Efficiency
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the public lunatic asylum system in Ireland is in a high state of efficiency; whether that state has been arrived at through the action of the inspectors and the department under their control; whether the cost of the department is proportionately far below the English and Scotch departments; and, why it is proposed to abolish a department?
While admitting the efficiency of the lunatic asylums system, the Government are of opinion that it is capable of undergoing changes for the better, some of which could not be carried out without the proposed change of control. I need not refer the hon. Member to the Report of the Commission, which he knows so well; but that Report is an authoritative document, and it proves that the opinion of the Government is shared by others. With regard to the relative costs of the Irish and other Departments, I am not prepared at present to enter upon any analysis of the subject; and I do think that a mere comparison of the number of persons employed in the respective Departments, and of the amount of salary paid to them, would be a sufficient basis upon which to form a sound opinion. I stated yesterday, in reply to a Question put by the hon. Member for Clonmel (Mr. A. Moore), that whenever the Bill which is already under consideration in "another place"—Lunatic Poor (Ireland) Bill—comes before this House, I will explain fully the policy of the proposed change; but I do not think I can satisfactorily do so in reply to a Question.
District Probate Registrars (Ireland)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been called to the fact that, under the Inland Customs Act, 1881, the five district registrars for Kilkenny, Tuam, Ballina, Cavan, and Mullingar have been deprived of a large proportion of the fees by which they had been theretofore paid; that during the passing of the Bill (now the aforesaid Act) the late lamented Lord Frederick Cavendish had several interviews with the Members for the county and city of Kilkenny, one of whom had placed a question upon the Notice Paper of the House in relation to the district registrar of Kilkenny, Mr. James Roe; that, furthermore, notice of opposition to the Bill was given, and that Lord Frederick Cavendish distinctly promised that a fixed salary by way of compensation would be given; that, in a letter dated May 16th 1881, addressed to the Marquis of Ormonde, the late Lord Frederick Cavendish gave an assurance "that such claim for compensation would be duly recognized by the Treasury;" that, by a letter of the Treasury, dated 26th September 1882, seeking for certain Returns of amounts received by the several registrars, it appears that such compensation is proposed to be calculated upon averages of three years' receipts of fees prior to 1st Juno 1881, whereas the registrars submit that those averages should be calculated upon such receipts during the period including years up to 1st June 1883, during which there has been a large increase in the annual fees with a prospect of augmented increases; that, up to the present moment, no compensation whatever has been received by these registrars, nor even tendered to them; that, under all the circumstances of the cases, Judge Warren, of the Probate Court, Dublin, has expressed his opinion—
that, notwithstanding such opinion, the Treasury have, in reply to the learned judge dated the 12th instant, declined to accede to this suggestion, and have merely alleged general precedents which do not apply to such exceptional cases where the change was sudden, was unopposed upon the faith of assurances as before mentioned, and where the receipts of the office obtained an impetus that occasioned the increased results for the last two years owing to the personal exertions and local inquires made by Mr. James Roe previously to 1st of June 1881; and, whether Her Majesty's Government will, under the exceptional circumstances of this case, reconsider their determination?"That he concurs in Mr. Roe's view as to the principle on which his compensation ought to be calculated, having regard both to considerations of justice and the promises made on the part of the Treasury before 'The Inland Revenue Act, 1881; was passed;"
This Question has been put down without Notice; but I have been able to refer to the Correspondence which has taken place on the subject. I have every reason to believe that no pledge was ever given that the compensation promised to these gentlemen should be assessed in any particular manner. It has, in fact, been calculated in the manner usual in such cases, and payment of the amounts duo for 1882 was directed in February last. If it has not been received the fault does not lie with the Treasury. Only one method of dealing with the case was possible beyond that actually adopted—namely, that these five Registrars should be given a fixed salary. But, as the Irish Judges have recommended proposals which would materially affect the position of these gentlemen, it is inexpedient to fix salaries for them until these proposals have been considered and decided upon. As I understand the hon. Member, Mr. Poe, one of the district Registrars, thinks his compensation for losses inflicted on him by a change introduced in 1881. ought to be increased, because of the growth of business which has taken place since that date. It would be very hard to justify the adoption of such a course. There is nothing exceptional in the case; and I cannot hold out any hope of any change in the method of calculating the compensation.
Order Of The Day
Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt And Illegal Practices) Bill—Bill 7
( Mr. Attorney General, Sir William Harcourt, Mr. Chamberlain, Sir Charles Dilke, Mr. Solicitor General.)
COMMITTEE. [ Progress 18 th June.]
Bill considered in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
Clause 2 (What is corrupt practice).
said, with regard to the first Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for-Kilkenny (Mr. Marum), he would not say it was germane to the Bill; and he was certain that it did not appertain to the present clause, and, therefore, it could not now be moved.
said, he would then move the Amendment next in his name on the second page of the Notice Paper. He proposed to add at the end of the clause a Proviso that the word "intimidation" in the Corrupt Practices Act of 1854 should not mean in Ireland intimidation within the meaning of the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act, 1882, or otherwise than within the meaning of the present Bill as affecting England and Scotland. The Committee would remember that the words in the Act of 1882 were exceedingly stringent with reference to intimidation. That Act set forth that every person who wrongfully inflicted intimidation should be liable to severe penalties; and it went on to say that intimidation included any words spoken or act done in order to put any person in fear of any injury or danger to himself, or to any member of his family, or anyone in his employment, or in fear of any injury to, or loss of business or means of living. If the word "intimidation" meant that, under this Bill, a person who was, for instance, in favour of Sunday Closing or Free Trade might, by advocating those principles at an election, be placed in a very serious position. If loss resulted to any voter, he might be held to be in-chided in this clause. It would be unfair to say that in England intimidation meant one thing and in Ireland another, and that Ireland should come under the very stringent Proviso of the Act of 1882, for the purposes of this Bill. It was for that reason he proposed the Amendment he was about to move; and as the Attorney General had been kind enough to say that he would accept it with a certain limitation, he should be willing to adopt any wording which commended itself to the judgment of the hon. and learned Gentleman, provided it embodied the principle which the Amendment contained. He suggested that the point would be best covered by using the words "intimidation as defined by the Corrupt Practices Act, 1854." Amendment proposed,
Question proposed, "That those words be there added."In page 2, at end, add "Provided, That for the purposes of this Act the expression 'intimidation' in the Corrupt Practices Act, 1854, shall not in Ireland mean intimidation within the meaning of the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act, 1882, or otherwise than intimidation within the meaning of this Act as affecting England and Scotland."—(Mr. Marum.)
said, he thought it would be seen that this Amendment could not possibly be accepted. When he proposed to assent conditionally to the Amendment the word "intimidation" appeared on the face of the clause. They then had the words "or in any other manner practises intimidation" in the definition of undue influence. But they had now struck out the reference to the Act of 1854, and in the definition of undue influence the word "intimidation" did not appear. The section of the Act of 1854 referred to by the hon. and learned Member for Kilkenny had now nothing to do with this Bill. They could not, then, accept the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member, as, in consequence of the change which had occurred, it did not refer to what was contained in the clause.
said, he agreed that the expression "intimidation" was not now in the definition. He wanted to meet the case of intimidation as it was defined in the Act of 1854; and he thought that the words he had suggested would cover what was intended in the best way. Of course, undue influence was only one species of intimidation. In the form he now proposed to introduce the Amendment he thought it would be both useful and necessary.
said, the Amendment was unnecessary. There was no definition of intimidation in the Act of 1854, except in a certain sense—there was no exhaustive definition.
said, he wished to ask the Attorney General whether he was correct in supposing that the only intimidation to be punished under this Bill would be that coming under the definition of undue influence? If that were the case, he hoped his hon. and learned Friend would not think it necessary to press his Amendment. He thought it would be objectionable to introduce into the Bill an expression which was not now in it. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
said, he thought before they passed from this clause it would be well to take note of the important change which it made in the law. A portion of the clause would be a re-enactment of the existing law with regard to bribery, undue influence, and personation. But it included in the definition of corrupt practices the offence of treating as defined by the preceding clause; and the effect of this, on the whole, he believed, would be to purify elections. It was, as he had already stated, desirable that they should not pass from the clause without taking notice of this very important change; because the penalties which followed in the subsequent clauses would now attach to treating in a way they had not done before. It would, therefore, be necessary for the Committee to scrutinize those clauses very closely which provided for the penalties to be inflicted for this offence. Treating was sometimes a matter scarcely to be distinguished from hospitality, and it was to be hoped that the Judges who had to administer the Act would be extremely careful to arrive at some definition of what constituted treating. If every Member of that House was to be exposed to the penalty for corrupt practices for every act of treating that might be committed by persons associated with elections, it was much to be desired that the Judges who would discharge the onerous responsibility cast upon them by the Bill would be guided by a more just appreciation of the affairs of life than had, apparently, guided the framers of this portion of the Bill.
said, he also wished to draw attention to the change in the law in reference to treating, and the penalties incurred in connection with it, by persons who wore not candidates. With regard to those persons, they knew that the Bill, as a whole, was of the most violent and severe character, and it was as a whole that they must look upon it. Whereas, hitherto, in the case of a person not a candidate, treating was looked upon as a minor offence, by the present clause, combined with Clause 5, a man might be liable, in addition to the disqualifications set forth, to be sent to prison for a term not exceeding two years with hard labour. He hoped that the operation of the Bill would extend to every gradation of political life, from the Prime Minister downwards, and that the stream of pure water, so to speak, which they proposed to throw upon the constituencies would also be thrown upon the Treasury Bench. He desired the Committee to note that, although he was disposed to allow the clause to pass without opposition, it by no means followed that this would be the case with regard to that portion of the Bill which imposed the serious penalties by which these offences were to be dealt with. He would not detain the Committee further than to say that in not voting against the clause he distinctly reserved to himself the right of criticism upon the punishments of the acts specified, because he considered the Bill in this respect was most severe and unjustifiable.
said, he trusted Irish Members would divide against this clause. The Attorney General had made a considerable concession, so far as the political effects of the clause were concerned, by getting rid of a set of words of immeasurable vagueness; but with regard to spiritual influence, he had decided on another set of words which were more than equally vague. His view of the matter, and that which might be taken by an Irish Judge on the eve of an election, were two very different things. The Amendment of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) would have given ample guarantees against any act of spiritual intimidation; in fact, it would have put into unmistakable language that which the Attorney General had, over and over again, declared to be the concession he intended to make. Irish Members did not object to priests being put upon the same footing with regard to corrupt practices as other persons; but they certainly did object to the Irish Catholic priests being singled out for these offensive provisions of the Bill, which meant that it was found necessary to restrain them from all sorts of abuses. He did not think there was a priest in Ireland who would not argue that it was illegal to refuse the Sacraments, or threaten a man with excommunication for political reasons. It seemed to him that some such Proviso as that indicated last night would answer the purpose of the Attorney General. But he must protest against the insinuation that ran through a great portion of these discussions, that there was anything in the present attitude of Irish Catholic priests to justify their being treated as persons who must be restrained by a special penal enactment from the practice of their legitimate influence, although, no doubt, at one time they had exercised powers which they did not dream of exercising at the present day. During these discussions there had not been the slightest proof brought forward to show that since the Ballot Act released the Irish people from the power of the landlords, any Irish priest had exceeded his legitimate rights in regard to elections. He thought the only form of spiritual intimidation practised to-day in Ireland was the intimidation of the clergy themselves connected with the recent Circular. He could not help thinking that these suspicions with regard to Irish Catholic priests came rather ungracefully and ungratefully from Ministers who had been taking such pains of late to conciliate and utilize that body. Whoever had destroyed the influence of the Irish clergy, the Irish people certainly had not done so. And he did not think that Irish Members ought to be parties to a vague and sweeping clause of this kind, which would put it in the power of Judges like Justice Keogh to insult Bishops and priests, under the pretence of drawing a line, or attempting to draw a line, where legitimate action on their part ceased, and undue influence began.
said, it was his intention, by an Amendment which he would move at a convenient time, to suspend this clause during the period of an election. With regard to what had fallen from his hon. Friend the Member for Mallow (Mr. O'Brien), in reference to the Papal Circular being in the nature of an intimidating document, he wished to say that he denied that it had the least character of intimidation about it. It was merely an admonitory document.
asked the Attorney General if he would indicate that he was willing to grant a Court of Appeal in the case of decisions under Clause 3? If candidates in the Three Kingdoms were allowed to appeal from the decision of the Judge who tried Election Petitions, he believed that a statement on the part of the Attorney General intimating that this right would be conceded would smooth the passage of the clause, and remove from the minds of candidates some of the fear of the penal consequences which might be inflicted upon them under this Act. By a Bill which had passed through the Standing Committee on Law, the House had granted the right of appeal in cri- minal cases, and he would like to extend that right to criminal Members of Parliament. Undue influence was a matter that could not be proved. It rested entirely upon the opinion of the Judge whether a candidate had committed that offence; and he contended that Members ought not to be banished from that House for what, in the opinion of a single Judge, might be undue influence. It was perfectly impossible for any candidate to control the language of persons who spoke in his behalf. He could not, on the platform, hold each speaker by the throat while he was speaking, and give him a squeeze whenever he seemed to be on the point of saying anything which might be construed into an act of undue influence; it was impossible to turn a speaker on and off like a tap; and, however careful a man might be, something would leak out which might bring him within the scope of this clause. The result would be that no candidate would be safe if he allowed anyone to speak in his behalf. He was bound to say that the Attorney General had shown a disposition to make reasonable concessions in this matter; and he trusted that he would make this further concession of granting a Court of Appeal.
said, he thought the clause, as it had been altered, was a very material improvement in the law, and one which ought to be recognized. But, apart from the alteration in the law, they had gained what was of more importance in the universal declarations coming from all sections of the House, that the famous Galway Judgments were not according to law. Now, he thought the value of such admissions during the progress of the debate was even more than that of the amendment of the clause itself. His hon. Friend the Member for Mallow (Mr. O'Brien) was desirous of taking a division against this clause; but he would suggest to him that he should recognize the advantage obtained, and allow the clause to pass without a division, so far as Irish Members were concerned, while they reserved to themselves the right of proposing some further alterations of the Bill when they came to the question of agency.
pointed out that there was a provision in the Criminal Code (Indictable Offences Procedure) Bill giving an appeal in criminal cases. There ought, therefore, to be an appeal with regard to Election Petitions.
Question put, and agreed to.
Clause 3 (Punishment of candidate found, on election petition, guilty personally of corrupt practices).
said, the Amendment he proposed to move was one that provided for the exemption of counties from the operation of the Act. In making this proposal he drew no distinction between England, Ireland, or Scotland, because the Amendment applied to the three countries. They had pointed out, during the progress of these debates, that the Bill itself was not necessary in Ireland. Now, the same statement might certainly be made with regard to the counties, because the bribery and treating which this Act was intended to check had never existed in them. Again, it was not in the counties of England, but in the boroughs, that the Bill was necessary to check these great abuses of bribery, treating, and so forth; because in the latter there was, no doubt, a population which was susceptible, to a greater or less extent, to the corrupt influences of electioneering agents, and other persons acting in the interests of various candidates. It was a matter of notoriety that votes in boroughs were sold for a pint of beer, and that frequently voters sold themselves to both sides. He hoped the Committee would recognize that this Amendment was a reasonable one, and that its adoption would not in any way interfere with the object with which the Bill was introduced. Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 7, to leave out the words "county or."—(Mr. Parnell.) Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
said, the Bill dealt not only with corrupt practices, but also with the expenditure at elections, which it was expected would be very much reduced by its operation. As the question of expenditure applied to counties as well as boroughs, the Government could not consent to strike out the words proposed to be omitted by the Amendment.
said, he was glad to hear that the counties were much less corrupt than the boroughs. But he was afraid there were a good many people who, if they found themselves shut out from the boroughs, would creep into the counties, and commence their corrupt practices there. As he did not want that, he was not in favour of the Amendment.
said, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had just said that the Bill was intended to lessen the expenditure at elections. He did not know that treating in Ireland had been carried to a very great length; but he did know that the expenses in Irish counties had been exorbitant. That was principally so in cases where the candidate was expecting some title, perhaps, or where a lawyer was interested in increasing the expenses. The popular candidates, however, never spent money in this way. With regard to undue influence, he pointed out that the difficulty of the candidate in the case of counties was so much greater than in boroughs, because he could not personally supervise the action of persons in his behalf at remote places in the county, where things might be done of which he had no knowledge whatever. For these reasons he considered the Amendment of his hon. Friend a legitimate one, and he thought the Committee should agree to it. The expenditure in counties was perfectly scandalous, and he thought it should be curtailed as much as in the boroughs.
said, he always desired to consult, as much as he was able, the opinion of Members concerned in any particular question. This question applied to the Three Kingdoms, more especially to England. However, as no English Members had spoken in favour of the Amendment, he should not put the Committee to the trouble of dividing, but would ask leave to withdraw it. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
said, he trusted the Committee would adopt the Amendment he was about to move. He did not wish to go unnecessarily over the old ground; but they had repeatedly pointed out that if there were any case at all for the stringent provisions of the Bill in regard to corrupt practices at elections, that case only existed in reference to the Irish boroughs; certainly no such case could be, or had been, established with regard to the Irish counties. Even in the case of the boroughs, corruption, where it had existed, was becoming a thing of the past; in any case, one certainly need not go beyond the counties in order to meet with absolute purity of election in Ireland. He trusted, therefore, that the Government would yield in this matter to the wishes of Irish Members on those Benches by adopting the Amendment standing next in his name.
In page 2, line 7, after the word "borough," to insert the words "in Great Britain, or a borough in Ireland."—(Mr. Parnell.)
Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
said, the Government could not accept the Amendment, which would amount to a permission to indulge in corrupt practices in counties in Ireland.
said, it would be impossible for him to vote for the Amendment.
said, the argument of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell), as to the absence of corruption in Irish counties, held good with regard to English counties also. Still, in the face of the many possible developments of corrupt ingenuity, he thought it would not be well to throw open the counties to the promoters of artistic corruption. He would point out the danger to which Irish counties were exposed, a danger clearly foreshadowed at the recent election in the county of Londonderry. On the occasion of that election, Londonderry was placarded by the Government candidate, and in those placards the electors were asked to "vote for Porter and fair rents." This act, although in a legal sense its authors escaped under the existing law the charge of corrupt practice, was, no doubt, substantially corrupt; and it really amounted to offering to bribe a community out of the pockets of the landlords. In that respect the bribery practised by the Irish Attorney General in the county of Londonderry differed from cases of ordinary bribery, in which voters wore paid out of the pocket of the candidate. The Irish Attorney General, in following out the unique Liberal policy, as he had already pointed out, had proposed to bribe the electors of the county of Londonderry out of the pockets of the landlords. Now, it was quite conceivable, say, that at the next Election in Ireland, looking at the desperate condition of the fortunes of the Liberal Party in that country, that Members of the Government might have to push their endeavours a little further than the Irish Attorney General had in the county of Londonderry, and might just go over the border line between legal and illegal corruption. Therefore, in view of the very possible extension of Liberal ingenuity, he thought it would not be well to throw open the Irish counties to the improvers upon the tactics of the Attorney General for Ireland. He could assure his hon. Friend of one thing—namely, that if the Irish counties were so thrown open he would find that the placard of "Vote for Porter and fair rents" would be very considerably improved upon at the next General Election.
said, that in deference to the appeal of his hon. Friend the Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell) he would not trouble the Committee to divide on his Amendment. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
said, he thought no one would dispute the statement that the clause was of the very gravest character, and that the Amendment he was about to propose deserved the deliberate consideration of every Member of the Committee. In order fully to understand its importance he would ask hon. Members to refer to the consequential Amendment in his name on page 15. He proposed to limit the severe punishment described in this clause to one class of offences only—namely, that of bribery. That was essentially the alteration he proposed. He was not in any way suggesting that other corrupt practices should pass unpunished, or should pass, indeed, without heavy punishment; but he certainly thought that the supreme punishment set forth in this clause should be reserved solely for the supreme offence of real personal bribery. Everybody, be thought, would agree with him that about the offence of bribery, generally speaking, there was no mistake whatever—that, as a rule, it was so manifest in its moral obliquity, as well as the effects connected with it, that one had little compunction in bringing down heavy punishment upon the person committing it. If, for instance, for the purpose of obtaining a vote, a man gave an elector £20, or even 5s.—for in this matter the amount did not signify—not only the law, but the moral sense of mankind, would go with them in saying that the punishment should be severe. All would be agreed that whether, as he said, the amount offered by way of bribery was £20 or 5s. made no difference whatever. But when, they got to the debatable ground of treating and undue influence, hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had taken great interest in this matter, would follow him when he said that a very different application of the law should apply. Take the subject of treating, and he was sure the Committee would forgive him when he asked them to take into consideration the well-known case of North Norfolk. It would be remembered that in that case a well-known Member of the House was nearly unseated for a matter of this sort—it was personal treating—and if the hon. Member had been found guilty, his punishment under this clause would have been perpetual banishment from the constituency for life, banishment from the House of Commons for 10 years, and banishment from the honorary position of Justice of the Peace, and a variety of other minor disabilities, stigmatizing his character as being worthless and degraded. What were the circumstances of the North Norfolk case? The facts were these — the Member's name was a well-known one, and he need not mention it—that this Gentleman had in his billiard-room, on the day of the election, three or four joints of beef; and the meat was set out to such an extent during the election time that 60 lbs. or 70 lbs. was had of the butcher. These were supposed to be the elements of the corruption the hon. Member was carrying on. The so-called corruption was taking place in his own house; the hon. Member had his friends, and the companions of his daily life, about him; but there were other persons who had access to the rooms where the beef. was set out—namely, the agents and political supporters below him in social rank. These people were seen about his house, and had the run of his billiard-room; and, no doubt, many of them took lunch there. The charge of cor- ruption on these grounds was made by no means in a joking sense. It was deliberately made, and deliberately fought out for some days—the question put to the Judge being whether it was not a case of treating for which the hon. Gentleman ought to be unseated? In the course of the hearing the butler was called, also the cook and the butcher—the butcher to say how much meat he had supplied, the cook to say how much she had prepared for the table, and the butler to give evidence to the manner in which the meat had been set out. He (Mr. Lewis) would put it to the Committee whether, in such a case as that, they would be prepared to jeopardize a man's character for such a proceeding as that, placing him under the purview of this clause? It might be said that this was an extreme case—then let them take another—namely, the well-known rabbit case. The unfortunate gentleman interested in this case had been long since dead, and his son also who had succeeded him. In that case the charge was that the candidate had promised some of the electors, if they returned him, that he would allow them to shoot amongst his rabbits. [" Hear, hear ! "] He (Mr. Lewis) was not surprised to hear that cheer from hon. Members below the Gangway on the Liberal side of the House, the Solicitor General having stigmatized the case as the worst he had ever heard of; but he did not believe in the old days it would have been possible to have got such an opinion from an Election Committee of the House of Commons. The candidate thought he was entirely within his right in doing what he did; and would it, therefore, be right to shut him out from Parliamentary life altogether for 10 years, and perpetual banishment from his borough? Let them take the case of undue influence. Everyone would admit, after the discussion of last week, that, after all, undue influence was a shadowy thing, and that the line of demarcation was by no means clear. The Attorney General knew perfectly well, as a lawyer, that it was one of those things that it would be ridiculous to define; and that there must be a variety of facts and circumstances not capable of definition, the interpretation of which must be left in the hands of the Judges, who, after all, might be wrong in their interpretation. Take the common case of exclu- sive dealing, which was now, he supposed, more commonly known as "Boycotting." A man unacquainted with the law—that was to say, unacquainted with the provisions of this Act of Parliament—might go to his tradesman and say—"If you expect me to continue dealing with you as I have done hitherto, you must support me." What would be the result of such a thing as that? Why, it would probably be dealt with as undue influence within the terms of this Bill. Did anyone think that the candidate so offending should be punished with perpetual banishment from the representation of his borough; or would it not rather be thought that some minor punishment would meet the necessities of the case? To his (Mr. Lewis's) mind, it would be perfectly monstrous to punish such a Gentleman with entire banishment from his constituency, and with banishment for 10 years from Parliamentary life. What did he (Mr. Lewis) ask the Committee to do? Why, he asked to discriminate between bribery and treating. There was a great deal of difference between bribery and undue influence. Surely the Attorney General could not harden his heart against his old friends? Did they not remember the wail from the hon. Member for East Staffordshire (Mr. Wiggin) sitting below the Gangway, who looked like a Gentleman who himself enjoyed good living? "Why, bless me," said the hon. Gentleman, "you would prevent me from entertaining my friends." And what did the Attorney General say to that? "Oh," he said, "it is not proposed to prohibit moderate social hospitality "—two adjectives and a substantive. That was his answer"—If you don't make both the adjectives good, don't exceed the substantive; then you may escape the penal clauses of this Bill." There could not, in his (Mr. Lewis's) opinion, have been a clearer and more satisfactory answer in his view of the case than the answer of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The hon. and learned Gentleman was wise in his generation. Most likely the hon. and learned Gentleman had been unacquainted with the North Norfolk case; and the fact of a butcher, butler, and cook being called to give evidence. Before they considered how far a man was to be allowed to go in this hospitality they should determine what would be the penalties for offences of this kind. He (Mr. Lewis) had often said there was such a thing as overdoing these enactments. He believed they had been overdone already. Enactments of this kind had been passed already, but had never been put in force, he believed, because in many cases the punishments they involved were excessive. Did anyone believe that by making these punishments the more extreme, odious, and degrading, they were going to stifle such things as the moderato social hospitality of the hon. Member for East Staffordshire? The hon. and learned Gentleman suggested that the hon. Member must keep within the lines of moderation; but how was anyone to know that he was keeping within the line of moderation that a Judge would draw if his conduct was made the subject of investigation? They had had a wonderful warning in this respect from some of the States of America; and he would trouble the Committee with a remarkable utterance from the State of New Jersey, which, many hon. Members were no doubt aware, was not one of the backwoods States, but was only divided from the State of New York and from New York City by the Hudson River. In that State, which might be called an enlightened State, they had had a stringent Bribery Law. Well, everybody said that the English House of Commons was a place of great profession; and so it was a place of very great profession and very little doing. But America was a place of very great professions also, and they started with a Declaration of Independence, and with a Constitution of vast and mighty principles, and purity ran through them all. Purity was a great part of all American enactments and manners; but, unfortunately, bribery prevailed to an immense degree; and, for the comfort of those who were fond of referring to universal suffrage as the great panacea for all bribery, he would call attention to a recent utterance of the New Jersey Legislature. A Special Committee was appointed to consider the question of Primaries, which word corresponded with our Caucuses. That was the scholastic name by which these institutions were known in America; but we knew them by the not more pleasant, although the more obvious name of Caucuses. The Committee reported that they had found the crime of bribery was universally prevalent in local, State, and national elections in that State; that it had been condoned to such an extent that the senses of the people had become blunted to the enormity of the offence; that a large proportion of the working people depended upon the election day as a regular source of income; that it was constantly reaching out after new victims; that it was utterly subversive of popular government and free institutions; that both political Parties were equally guilty of the pernicious practice; and that if the evil continued it must, in the near future, of necessity lead to anarchy and revolution. He quoted that for the purpose of pointing out that they had in that State a most stringent Bribery Law, and that, notwithstanding that stringent Bribery Law, and all the advantage of the Caucus and universal suffrage, the people had descended to the low and degraded political position he had described. Now, in order to meet the evil, what did that Committee of the New Jersey Legislature propose? The only course to pursue, they said, was to give an amnesty for the past and to begin anew; and the very first condition of that new beginning was to be a repeal of the present law relating to bribery. His interpretation of that wonderful utterance of the New Jersey Legislature was that the Caucus system did not promote purity; next, that universal suffrage did not promote purity; next, that pure professions on the part of a Legislature did not promote purity; and that a very severe law against bribery did not promote purity. Finally, they had the experience of the great American people to tell them that if they wanted to promote purity they must, first of all, declare an amnesty for the past, and then repeal all their old and stringent laws. The House of Commons should learn from what he had described that, instead of being foolish, they should be sensible; that, instead of being exceptionally severe, they should be practical; and that, instead of attempting to annihilate everyone in the Law Courts who happened to come within the Law of Bribery, they should endeavour to do what was practical, and apply common sense to these matters. What, he would ask, was the experience of England with regard to those Acts of Parlia- ment? Had they not been evaded by both juries and Judges? Had they not been evaded by the Judges—had they not found expression in the decisions of the Judges, showing that they had ultimately shrunk from the enforcement of the law against a candidate because of the consequences that would befall that individual? One had heard, even from the most experienced and eminent Judges, that they had, after all, when they came to the broader lines of the case, had to consider whether it was proved or not—they had looked at the consciences of the individuals, and had said—"I will not only give the candidate the benefit of the doubt, but I will give him the benefit of anything approaching to a doubt." He (Mr. Lewis) could give cases where the law had not had its full effect, because there had been such severity behind a person that the Judges and juries bad shrunk from it — their humanity had shrunk from the consequences which the law would inflict. Did he ask the House or the Committee to pass by the offence of bribery with just a definition of punishment? Not at all. He was prepared in this matter to go along with the Attorney General, notwithstanding that the hon. and learned Gentleman declared him to be a bitter opponent of the Bill. No doubt, he was a bitter opponent of the severity of this Bill, and such he should be to the end. He did not propose, in the least degree, to touch that clause until they came to the last three lines, which surprised and amazed him. He did not propose to interfere with the clause until he came to that part of it which touched bribery of a direct kind; and what he asked the Committee to pause at was that of casting the net so wide as to draw within this odious punishment such slight matters as a sin of the over-hospitality of the hon. Member for East Staffordshire, who seemed to be in a difficulty as to where the line was to be drawn. In the Bill there was no distinction and no discrimination whatsoever drawn between the man who committed the most flagrant act of bribery, and the man who committed the most insignificant act of treating. The Judge would have no discretion in the matter as regards some of the consequences. If he found a candidate guilty of corrupt practices, no matter how small, the consequences fol- lowed as a matter of course. If the candidate was found guilty of a slight offence he was stretched on the same bed, and put on the same rack, as if he had been guilty of the most flagrant act of bribery. He did not believe that hon. Members of the Committee, with their eyes open, if they seriously reflected on this matter, would allow such a clause to become law. He knew there was a great deal of pride in this matter. Members for Scotland, for instance, said—"You never hear of corruption in Scotland;" but with hon. Members who said that he begged very much to differ. "Sandy" might not be bought by a pound or two; but he might be caught, and was caught, with a "saxpence," or "a glass of whisky." The point to which he really wished to draw the attention of the Committee was this—that every Member should cast aside his pride. They all represented pure constituencies, no doubt. There was not a purer one in the United Kingdom than Londonderry. That he could speak of from his own experience, as his pocket was uninjured in the matter; but let them not speak of their constituencies as they spoke of their favourite dogs, or horses, or birds, or cats; let them not say—"There never was such a dog as this; there never was such a cat; there never was such a horse; there never was such a bird;" let them put aside their pride, and let them bear in mind that an accident might happen to any one of them, and that in an unguarded moment an act might be committed which, although it appeared innocent enough to them, a Judge might consider an illegal act under the Bill. They could not always be on the alert. Even the ablest and most circumspect of men sometimes were found tripping. What should be required by this clause should be to give an adequate, and not more than an adequate, punishment for an offence. In conclusion, he would ask the Committee seriously whether there should not be a distinction between the punishment meted out to direct bribery, and that inflicted in the case of treating and undue influence? Was there any difficulty in having a less severe punishment for one offence than the other? He did not believe that the majority of the Committee would deliberately inflict on probably an unfortunate and misled man, who did not intend to commit any breach of the law, such a severe punishment as they would mete out in cases of a grave and wicked character. Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 9, to leave out the words "any corrupt practice," and insert the word "bribery."—(Mr. Lewis.) Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
said, that he would answer the question of the hon. Member for Londonderry without making a long and obstructive speech—["Oh, oh!" and cries of "Withdraw!"]
I rise to a point of Order. I wish to ask you, Sir, whether the hon. Member has a right to allude to a speech just delivered by my hon. Friend behind me as an "obstructive" speech?
I am not aware that the expression is, strictly speaking, out of Order; but I think it is one that would have been well omitted.
On the point of Order, I would wish to observe that the Speaker in the Chair has held that Obstruction is a Parliamentary offence, and upon this matter I am in the recollection of the Committee. If the hon. Member thinks it decent to charge me with making an obstructive speech just now, all I can say is that I do not in any way value either his judgment or his opinion.
(who was received with loud cries of "Withdraw!") said, if the Committee would permit him, he should like to say a word on the subject of the expression he had used. Apart from the question as to whether the speech to which they had just listened was an obstructive one or not, if it was thought desirable he would withdraw his expression, and express his regret for having used it. The hon. Member had asked this question —"Why treating should be punished as severely as bribery?" and the answer he would give to that was, that it was very often a more degrading offence. He had some experience on this subject, because at one time Liverpool was a very corrupt place; whereas now it was one of the purest in England. ["Oh, oh !"] Hon. Members seemed to question that statement; but he was giving the result of his own knowledge and experience. Liverpool was now one of the purest towns in England; but at one time, at every election of Mayor, there was something like a fortnight's drinking in the town. Some 10 or 15 years after that had ceased, and Liverpool had become a remarkably pure place, it fell to his lot to have to investigate the habits and positions of the different classes in Liverpool, and this singular circumstance came to his knowledge—that the classes of the most intelligent artizans, and those who received the largest wages, lived in worse houses than other people, and, in fact, did not live in houses of their own at all, but in lodgings. When he asked what was the meaning of that, he was told that it was because the people might have more drink. He was very much struck by that, and could not understand it; but on further inquiry he found out that the freemen of Liverpool became such by a seven years' apprenticeship; that apprenticeship was necessary in all trades, and those who had acquired the freedom, and who received high wages, were constantly demoralized by the system of treating. After that treating had ceased—that was to say, when it had been put a stop to for 10 or 15 years—its contaminating influence still remained amongst the classes who had been exposed to it, and many of the artizans who were receiving the best wages were living in hovels or in lodgings. He was happy to say that things were in a much better condition now that the generation who had been so demoralized had passed away; but he thought he had proved his case that corruption by treating was even a more degrading offence than corruption by bribery. But the hon. Member opposite said—"Don't make this so stringent, otherwise you will inflict heavy penalties upon people who had no intention of doing a corrupt thing;" but his (Mr. Rathbone's) contention was that for the protection of the candidates themselves it was necessary that the clause should be made definite and strict. They might depend upon it that the hon. Member to whom he (Mr. Lewis) had alluded would not, if this law was passed, he led to approach the danger into which he had brought himself on a previous occasion. If they wanted to stop bribery and corruption they should, as he had said, make the law definite and clear; and, what was more, they must by law make treating and corrupt influence degrading. The result of the present law had been to put a stop to a great deal of corruption; and if they now passed another good law, they would not only prevent corruption, but prevent candidates being subjected to a great deal of unnecessary worry, and being drawn into a great many unnecessary difficulties.
said, he thought the hon. Gentleman had entirely failed to grasp the effect of the speech of the hon. Gentleman behind him (Mr. Lewis). The hon. Member (Mr. Rathbone) had called the speech of his hon. Friend an obstructive one; but that presumably was owing to the fact that the hon. Member had not listened to the arguments of the speech to which he took exception. It would be as well for the Committee, before they went any further, to define what the law at the present moment was, and then they would be able to see what was the change proposed in the Bill. The 36th clause of the Act of 1854 said that if a candidate at any election should be declared by any Election Committee guilty, by himself or his agent, of bribery, treating, or undue influence at such election, such candidate should be incapable of being elected, or of sitting in Parliament for such borough during the Parliament then in existence. That law was as clear as it could be, and no one wished to make the law less clear with regard to what the offence was. They were discussing now only the question of punishment; and it was clear that the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had not the remotest notion of the fact. They were all agreed as to the definition of bribery, treating, and undue influence —that was as settled as it could be; and the question was, what should be the punishment? He (Sir R. Assheton Cross) was bound to say that though he agreed with and supported the Bill in its main provisions, he considered it was a grave fault in it that the punishments all through were too severe. He did not believe that increased severity of punishment had the effect of diminishing crime. To his mind, the natural effect of it was to make people more unwilling to enforce the law than would be the case if the penalties were moderate. What was to be the punishment inflicted upon a candidate under this clause? Why, it was that where a corrupt practice had been ruled to have been committed, it might be without the knowledge or consent of the candidate, the candidate was to be made incapable of ever being elected for or sitting in the House of Commons for the same constituency, or of sitting at all in the House of Commons for 10 years. No doubt, such a punishment as that was perfectly just where a candidate was guilty of personal bribery. He would have no compassion at all for such an offender; but what the hon. Member behind him said was, that there was a great distinction to be drawn between bribery, and treating, and undue influence, and for this reason—that bribery was an offence which was easily proved an offence about which there could be no doubt; but treating and undue influence were things which must rest quite as much on the opinion of the Judges, who at the time might be the Election Judges, as upon the facts themselves. The Judges had much more latitude in defining undue influence than in defining bribery. It was not sought to alter the law as far as treating and undue influence wont; and the hon. Member and his Friends said they were quite content to leave the law as to treating and undue influence as it was in the Act of 1854—namely, that the candidate should lose his seat, but nothing else, during the Session following the commission of the offence. Let them follow the argument of the hon. Gentleman behind him (Mr. Lewis)—let them take the question of treating for a moment. He was very much afraid that though it was clearly laid down in the Bill there would be a great difficulty in deciding what was really treating, and what was not. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General had said that moderate hospitality was not treating. Well, to refer again to a case which was mentioned the other day. Suppose the Prime Minister himself, instead of staying with Lord Rosebery, had been staying with a commoner, a person with whom he went about every day, an agent. People would be coming to see him every day, and, no doubt, would be going about with him at the expense of his host—would that be considered treating? Many candidates had been unseated for far less. Because Lord Rosebery was a Peer, and the candidate who had stayed at his place was the Prime Minister, no one had ever thought of questioning their proceedings. But, unquestionably, there was great doubt and difficulty in a case like that. The candidate would go up and down the constituency with the friend with whom he was staying, and that friend would ask constituents to come and see the candidate at his house. When they came to a lower rank of society, and they found the agent asking his friends to his house, they would see the Election Judges treating the circumstances very differently to the manner they would treat such a case as that of the Prime Minister and Lord Rosebery; there would be an entirely different impression produced on the mind of the Judge. He (Sir R. Assheton Cross), and those who thought with him, did not want to diminish the severity of the present law; but they were determined not to increase it, except in cases of actual bribery, about which there could be no doubt. That was the way the hon. Member had put the case, and he (Sir R. Assheton Cross) was perfectly prepared to support him.
said, that, before replying to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lewis), he should have liked to have heard more speeches on the subject, had it not been for the reference to the present law made by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. This clause dealt with candidates only; therefore, the observations which had been made respecting non - candidates had very little bearing upon the provision. For his part, he had not a word to say against the speech of the hon. Member in introducing his Amendment. In alluding to the present state of the law as to the punishment of bribery, treating, and undue influence, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South-West Lancashire had correctly stated the effect of the Act of 1854; but he had, no doubt inadvertently, omitted to mention the alteration made in the law by the Act of 1868. By the Act of 1868 it was provided that where it was reported that bribery had been committed by the knowledge and consent of the candidate, that candidate should not be capable of being elected to the House of Commons during the seven years next after the date upon which he was found guilty, and further to be incapable, for a similar period, of being registered as a voter, or of holding any office, such as Justice of the Peace, and to that latter disqualification he (the Attorney General) would particularly call the attention of the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis). Now, the present clause disqualified a candidate from being elected to or sitting in the House for a certain number of years. The period of 10 years was fixed by the clause; but he should prefer its being reduced to seven years, as proposed in Committee on the Bill of last year. The clause then added the further penalty that the candidate should be subject to the same incapacities as if, at the date of the Report, he had been guilty of a corrupt practice. If a candidate personally committed a corrupt practice he would not meet with much sympathy, for such cases often led to the demoralization of a constituency by setting a fashion. Where a corrupt intention was shown to exist full justice ought to be done; and he had no doubt, from the experience he had had of election matters, that in some way or other the means of corruption were traced to the candidate himself much oftener than people thought. It was clear that the candidates must be protected. The hon. Member for Londonderry did not carry on the war so much against treating and corrupt influence as he did against bribery; but, following the Act of 1868, the clause contained with reference to treating, bribery, and undue influence the words, "by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate." He thought that with regard to bribery the words of the Act of 1868 ought to remain as they were; but with regard to the offences of treating and undue influence he was ready to make this concession—namely, to leave out the words "or with the knowledge and consent of," thus confining those offences to the candidate himself, on account of the greater uncertainty there was of establishing the proof of these offences than of the offence of bribery. In his opinion, the practice of treating, which was derived from municipal elections—the Parliamentary electors being now the same body as the municipal electors—was quite as demoralizing to the action of real political thought, and, perhaps, even more so, than bribery itself. He did not see how it was possible to draw a distinction between those two corrupt practices. the expression that one was minor in its degree as compared with the other was an unfortunate one, and it would be very unfortunate to carry that idea into legislation. He might be asked why he drew a distinction as to the knowledge and consent of a candidate between bribery and treating? He did it, because there was more uncertainty in proving the knowledge and consent of a candidate in respect of treating than in regard to an act of bribery. He drew no distinction between the nature of the evidence and the desirability of stopping the practice; but the Committee would see that it was much more difficult to prove or disprove the knowledge and consent of a candidate in respect of treating than it was to disprove his knowledge and consent in respect of bribery. Bribery was a more acute act, and an act that depended upon different circumstances, and less difficult to bring within the area of the word "corrupt;" and as he was anxious that no person should suffer unless he was shown to have been personally guilty, and considering the greater uncertainty of proving in the one case than in the other, he was unwilling to incur the risk of punishing an innocent person by requiring that the knowledge and consent of the candidate with respect to treating should be the same as his knowledge and consent in regard to bribery. He also thought that they ought not only to consider the candidates themselves, but the constituencies as well, and to endeavour to free them from the existence of this great evil, even if they ran the risk of doing a certain amount of injustice. At any rate, it would make a candidate more careful and more guarded against committing an act of corruption, or of placing temptation in the way of the electors. The hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis) said there were cases in which candidates had been unjustly convicted of bribery; but he had not ventured to cite any particular case in which he accused the Judges of having arrived at a wrong decision. But, even if it were so, there was more than one record to show that Judges and juries had wrongly convicted in criminal cases. If the hon. Member thought that the tribunal was defective and inadequate to administer the law properly, then the best course would be to change the tribunal. It was quite another thing to say that they ought to make a bad law, because there might be some extreme case in which a person might suffer unjustly. They must deal with the matter as a whole. If they were determined to deal with corrupt treating, it was useless to treat it as a minor offence. Then, with regard to corrupt influence, that was in the same position. He could not see why a man who committed an act of undue influence personally should not be punished for it; but he did not desire that he should be punished for the faults of other people, or punished unjustly. If a man committed undue influence, it was a crime which they ought to punish. If, for instance, a man gave a tenant notice to quit, or used power, as an employer, which he ought not to exercise, that undue influence ought to be checked. But he had been struck by what had been mentioned in the course of the debate, that a man should only be bound by what was done within his own knowledge and within his own consent. He would, therefore, consent at once to strike out the words "by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate" in reference to undue influence, and the clause, he thought, would then remain very much as hon. Members wished it with respect to bribery—namely, a disqualification for seven years similar to that under the old law. If the Committee would consent to the concessions he had made the penalty would only fall upon the person himself; and by striking out the words "knowledge and consent" treating and undue influence would virtually be placed in an entirely different position to bribery, and would not receive the same extreme punishment. No doubt, all of them desired to get rid of treating and undue influence, and how it was to be dealt with was a matter fairly open to the consideration of the Committee; but he trusted the points he had raised would not give rise to any long discussion. He hoped that hon. Members would approach the subject with a desire to check the whole of these corrupt influences. As he had already said, he did not wish to deal with the general topics referred to by the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis). He only desired to remark that when he introduced the Bill in 1881 he mentioned then that they had made too many attempts to stop these sources of corrup- tion by insufficient legislation. The hon. Member for Londonderry at that time said that they ought to deal with the question by administering small doses of legislation. His (the Attorney General's) reply was that they had administered too many of these small doses already, and that if they were not in earnest in the matter they ought not to touch it at all. Notwithstanding what had now boon said by the hon. Member for Londonderry, he believed that the concessions he had indicated were sufficient; and he would ask the Committee to consider whether they would not afford the means of arriving at a satisfactory conclusion upon the clause?
said, he thought the concession made by the hon. and learned Attorney General would very much facilitate the passing of the clause. He was very much of the opinion of the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis), and his right hon. Friend the Member for South - West Lancashire (Sir R. Assheton Cross), that the penalties in some of the remaining clauses of the Bill were still a great deal too severe. At the same time, in a clause that touched the candidate himself, he thought they ought not to be too lenient; because, when they were preaching and endeavouring to enforce on the rest of their countrymen purity of election, it seemed to him that they ought to begin by enforcing as strenuously as they could the same purity upon them-selves, and they ought not to shrink from any reasonable consequences or penalties which a breach of the law on the part of the candidate might impose upon him. Therefore, he was of opinion that they ought to put undue influence and treating, when committed by the candidate himself, on the same footing as bribery, and visit it with a punishment just as severe. lie agreed with the hon. Member for Carnarvonshire (Mr. Rathbone), and he could not conceive any more grave offence than anything like treating committed by a candidate at an election. Whatever might be done by ignorant partizans, at all events the candidate at an election should keep himself entirely free from anything like individual or personal treating. At the same time, it was much more difficult for a candidate, if treating or undue influence were committed, to show that it was done without his knowledge or con- sent than in the case of bribery. For instance, a speech might be made at a meeting, at which the candidate was present, by one of his supporters, and it would be very difficult for the candidate to disavow that speech on the spot. Nevertheless, it might be held that an offence was committed with the know-lodge and consent of the candidate unless he promptly rose and disavowed the act. Then, again, in regard to the offence of treating, it was difficult to draw a line between hospitality and treating. If one of the supporters of a candidate, in the exuberance of his spirits, in the presence of the candidate, stood a glass of beer to a workman who promised his vote, it would be very difficult to determine on the spot whether in that act the bounds of hospitality were overstepped; and the candidate would be in the unfortunate position either of denouncing on the spot what might really be an innocent act, or of taking the consequence of being held by the Judge to have gone beyond the line, and to have allowed treating to take place with his knowledge and consent. With the Amendment which the Attorney General proposed to introduce the clause was, he believed, one which the Committee might advantageously adopt, without being open to the imputation of having imposed purity of election upon others while they were unwilling to enforce it upon themselves.
said, he must express his regret that the Attorney General had consented to modify the clause at all. He was quite satisfied that the clause, as it stood, did not go a step too far, and the modification would materially weaken it. All the candidate would have to do was to keep out of its clutches, and be careful not to spend one penny on anybody but himself during his candidature. If he took care upon that particular point he would not get into any trouble whatever. He did not see why, if treating was practised with his knowledge and consent, the candidate should not suffer the consequences. It was very easy for a man to give a nod or a wink to a candidate and then do an illegal act; hut it was quite evident that that illegal act was done with the knowledge and consent of the candidate. The hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis), in his vehement speech, had referred to two conspicuous cases — the billiard-room lunch at the North Norfolk Election, and the Launceston Election. With regard to the billiard-room lunch, the hon. Member had been careful not to tell the Committee that this important fact was drawn out in the evidence—that, although the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Sir Edmund Lacon) had provided the lunch ostensibly for his own friends, the agent took the thing entirely out of his hands, and went about telling the voters that a lunch was provided for them. No one who knew the hon. Baronet (Sir Edmund Lacon) would imagine for a moment that he provided the lunch from any corrupt motive in order to influence the voters in North Norfolk; and he (Mr. Caine) would read the decision of the Judge, in order to show how easy it was for a candidate to provide a lunch, and then for an agent to take it completely out of his hands. Mr. Justice Blackburn, who tried the case, said—
The Committee would see how easy it was in such a case as this for the agent to take the matter clean out of the hands of the candidate himself, and make use of the lunch provided for a candidate as a means of corruption. The hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis) had referred also to the Launceston case. Now, he (Mr. Caine) knew something about that case, because he had contributed to the expenses incurred in unseating Colonel Deakin. The whole question in that case turned upon rabbits, and every other matter connected with Imperial topics was set aside. [Cries of "Agreed!"] It was all very well to say "Agreed;" but he wished to point out that it was clearly laid down what the value of these rabbits given to the electors in exchange for their votes was. In the examination of Mr. J. L. Cowland, the witness was asked to produce a letter, which he did. The letter was read, and was as follows:—"I have, then, to come to that which finishes the cases of treating—namely, the lunch at Ormesby House, which does differ from all the rest in this—that what was done at Ormesby was done by Sir Edmund Lacon himself, personally; and no question, therefore, arises about agency or anything of the sort. A great many things were done at different public-houses, particularly, for instance, Mr. Becks giving a festival at the Ormesby beerhouse. All those I need not inquire into as to intention, because, as to them, there has been a failure of proof of any such agency as would have made the sitting Members responsible. But in what took place at Ormesby, Sir Edmund Lacon, of course, was his own agent, and from the manner in which the election was conducted, Mr. Walpole must, I think, be responsible also for what took place there; and, consequently, if what was done there was done with a corrupt intention, it would vacate the election. Now, it is an excessively imprudent thing for a candidate to provide any entertainment at all for voters. In the course of the inquiries in which I have been engaged, I have found that very often the notion has prevailed, or at least it has been thought fit that it prevailed, that to give everything by a candidate in the nature of meat or drink was fatal to the election, and that idea has been used as a very salutary shield. Repeatedly in borough elections people have said to the candidate—'Give us something to drink; you will be a shabby dog if you do not;' and the answer has been—'I would willingly do it; I should have the greatest pleasure in obliging you; but the law says, if I give you the least morsel of food or drop of drink, I shall lose my election.' That is a very salutary notion, and acts as a protective machinery to the candidate…. I have to see, in the present case, whether what took place at Ormesby was such as to make me think that that was the intention. In doing so, I must, first of all, make up my mind what was really done; and, upon considering the matter, I have come to a conclusion which I think is correct. The billiard-room, in which it appears this lunch was laid out, had a door opening into it, so that the people could come into it, not clandestinely, but without going through the rest of the house. This billiard-room was evidently a very convenient place for people who were to come in and out of it, and to eat and drink in it without disturbing the rest of the family; much more convenient for that than the dining-room. Then, I find, taking the cook's evidence, which I have no doubt myself was accurate, that directions were given to roast, for the purpose of being laid out cold, a sirloin of beef, ribs of beef, and a silver side of beef; the precise number of pounds weight does not appear; one does not know what quantity those joints together would represent; but the quantity of cold meat would be probably 70 or 80 lbs. weight; it could not be much less. I suppose that each person would not eat much more than a half-a-pound; and it would follow that there was meat intended to be laid out that would serve for upwards of 100 people. Ono little thing I may mention—the silver side, if I am not mistaken, is an inferior piece of meat, which would not generally be used at the tables of gentry of the upper class; and, consequently, that does look a little as if it was intended to provide a coarser repast than would probably be provided for people of the same rank in life as Sir Edmund Lacon. I do not know whether I am right in the fact, but that is my impression; and taking that view of the matter, and considering the quantity, the place in which it was, and, above all, considering what took place afterwards, I cannot my self much doubt that that cold meat was laid out with the intention not to confine it to the 20 or 22 gentlemen who probably naturally came to luncheon, but that it was thought that there would be a great many people about who would come in and eat it, who would come in and go out when they liked. I cannot much doubt that that was the intention with which it was provided in that way. Then comes the question, was it intended to influence the voters so as to make a corrupt intention? That is a question more or less of degree, and everybody is capable of forming his own opinion upon that; I am far from saying others may not be right and I wrong; and, indeed, upon such questions as this, when I have made up my mind in the best way I can upon the subject, I always have an awkward feeling afterwards that I might as well have decided the other way; very likely I may be wrong; it is impossible to help that. But, I must say, I do not think it was made out that it was intended to influence the votes at the time; if it had been previously told to everybody that there was this entertainment to be provided it would have been a much stronger case. If people who would be likely to be influenced by the notion that there was some cold beef to be provided at Sir Edmund Lacon's had been told beforehand—'Be sure you go and poll at Ormesby, because Sir Edmund is going to give you plenty to cat and drink,' that would have been like influencing them; but, as far as I have looked at the evidence, I can find no indication of that. T think there is enough to indicate this—that after Sir Edmund had been to the polling place, and after he had, on the Green, met some gentlemen who were friends of his, and said—'sIf you go to Ormesby House you will get something to eat and drink,' he and his subordinate also said to other people—'You may go and get something to eat and drink at Ormesby House,' and that that notion spread more and more; but in the case of every witness who was called it seems to have come upon him by surprise, and I cannot help thinking, if it had been intended to got men to vote at this particular election, they would have been told of it beforehand. If it was an inducement to a man to vote, it came rather late, when the men actually came to Ormesby in order to poll, to be told then, for the first time—'There is something to eat and drink at Ormesby.'"
The witness was further asked—"Launceston, Cornwall, 5th December, 1873.—My Dear Sir,—We have a very good Court, and I have paid £1,500 on account at the Devon and Cornwall Bank. The only discordant element at the Court was the rabbit damage. Mr. Mitchell, one of the chief sufferers, said that Mr. Helton had valued the damages at your instance with him, and that in consequence he expected that I should be prepared to say what allowance he was to have. I had heard nothing of this valuation, and could only say to him and the others (five in number) that I should report their application to you, stating, however, the efforts you were making to get rid of them. It is evident that the rabbits are, in the main, supported on the tenants' crops; and it occurs to me that, pending the destruction of the rabbits, it would be a kind plan for you to put their profits on somewhat this footing."
If these were the two cases upon which the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis) based his argument, he thought the hon. Member had a very bad case indeed; and he regretted that the Attorney General had consented to modify the clause."From your book, from April, 1873, to September 15th the same year, there were, as I understand, sold about 560 rabbits, getting for them £20 7s. 10d.; is that right?—Quite right. And from October the 23rd to January 27th 1,312 rabbits were sold, and £59 Os. 6d. got for them?—Quite right. For the whole of that year the sum total would be £79 17s. 4d.?—That is from the commencement of the selling of the rabbits up to this date, the 27th January."
said, it seemed to him that the concession which the Attorney General proposed to make, and which he admitted was a considerable one, would have been more valuable to the Committee if the hon. and learned Gentleman had been willing to accept the Amendment which he (Mr. Raikes) moved earlier, limiting the time during which the offence of treating was alleged to have been committed. He thought the amended clause, as it now stood, would bear with exceptional hardship upon resident candidates and sitting Members, because they would be liable to be brought to judgment on a charge of treating for acts committed by them at any time; and it was quite possible that any man who resided in a borough which he wished to represent would be precluded in future in indulging even in moderate hospitality, for fear of running the risk of its being made a charge against him whenever an election took place. That would place a sitting Member and a resident candidate in a much worse position than the carpet-bag candidate, such as the Gentleman who contested Launceston on the occasion which had just been referred to. The candidate who committed treating with knowledge and consent was still left liable to all the penalties, if it were proved that the act was done; and, therefore, the candidate who resided in a place which he desired to represent ran special risks and dangers, and was more entitled to the consideration of the House on account of his local interest in the constituency than those candidates who went into a constituency for the first time on the occasion of an election. The hon. Member for Scarborough (Mr. Caine), who had just addressed the Committee, was generally precluded by his native modesty from addressing it, ex- cept on some occasion when some other Member was in possession of it. Upon this occasion the same amiable trait appeared to have induced the hon. Member, when upon his legs, to indulge the Committee not so much with his own opinions as with those he had collected from the ruling of certain learned Judges. He did not wish to differ from the hon. Member in the estimate he had formed of the North Norfolk case brought forward by the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis). It seemed to him that the remarks of Mr. Justice Blackburn were very much in accordance with common sense in dealing with the question; but he wished to enter an emphatic protest against the language used by the hon. Member for Scarborough (Mr. Caine) in referring to the Launceston case. In that case what had been done by Colonel Deakin had never been regarded as a particularly corrupt act; and, in reality, Colonel Deakin suffered very considerably for what, at the most, was a venial offence. It must be borne in mind that this question of the rabbits was formerly raised by Colonel Deakin's opponent, who endeavoured to make political capital out of the unpopularity attached to Colonel Deakin, from the fact that he had withdrawn the privilege of shooting rabbits. Surely, if it was lawful for a man to go down to a constituency and make capital by condemning a certain act which had been done by a particular individual, why should it be considered that when that individual endeavoured to remove the cause of offence he ought to be branded as a corrupt candidate? The learned Judge on that occasion came to a conclusion which involved the unseating of Colonel Deakin; but there could be no doubt that there was throughout the country a widespread feeling of sympathy for the hon. and gallant Gentleman who suffered on that occasion. In that case, although it was not held to be, strictly speaking, treating, it was thought that very likely cases of the same sort might arise which might be regarded as treating on the part of the candidate himself. However, as he had said before, he should view with great suspicion any alteration of the law which would bear with exceptional harshness upon individuals, and which prevented them from indulging in acts of hospitality or kindness towards their neighbours. He admitted that the Attorney General had made a valuable concession, and he should almost feel inclined to advise his hon. Friend not to divide upon the Amendment, if the Attorney General would make a still further concession. He trusted the Committee might be told that this penalty of life-long disqualification from sitting for a constituency was not to be attached to an act of treating by a candidate. If he had any hope that the Attorney General intended to regard with favour any proposal to that effect, he thought his hon. Friend would do well to rest content with what he had already obtained by the Amendment. But up to that moment no sign had been made by the Attorney General in that direction. Nevertheless, he trusted that before the debate closed his hon. and learned Friend would be prepared to say that he was willing to except the candidate from life-long disqualification for treating, and confine it to the penalty of being excluded for seven years. If the Attorney General would consent to do that, he thought the Committee would then have obtained something in accordance with the dictates of common sense. The Attorney General had told them that they ought not to make bad laws simply because they distrusted the tribunal; but he (Mr. Raikes) was of opinion that in this instance they were passing a bad law because they had confidence that their tribunal would not enforce it. The hon. Member for Carnarvonshire (Mr. Rathbone) and the hon. Member for Scarborough (Mr. Caine) had both spoken of the protection afforded to candidates by this Bill. He quite agreed with those hon. Gentlemen that it would afford protection to candidates, simply because it would be impossible to find Judges who would be willing to expose candidates to the penalties it inflicted. He did not, however, think it was wise to go about complaining of the state of the law, and then make it so severe that they knew they could rely upon its severity for insuring that it would never be brought into operation.
expressed his thanks to the Attorney General for the concession lie had just made, for it enabled him (Mr. Cropper) to thoroughly support the hon. and learned Gentleman in the clause before the Committee. It seemed to him that the penalties originally contemplated would have been too severe to follow a mere act of treating, which might not have been done by the candidate, or even with his knowledge. The clause, as amended, would, he believed, have the full approval of the Judges of the country; whereas, if it had remained unaltered, he (Mr. Cropper) did not think that approval would have been accorded to it.
said, he hoped the Attorney General would make it a rule, during the discussion on the Bill, never to yield in any way to any person professing Conservative opinions. Let the Attorney General see what was the consequence of yielding. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in order, he (Mr. Labouchere) thought, to get his Bill through, said he would yield to the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis). The Attorney General said he would meet him half-way. He (Mr. Labouchere) called it more than half-way; but some hon. Gentlemen did not think it yet reached that point. What happened? Why, immediately up jumped the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes), who expressed the belief that the Attorney General ought to go a little further; that he should also accept the Amendment of his (Mr. Raikes), which was that the right hon. Gentleman and every other hon. Gentleman in the House might make his constituency drunk up to a certain day without any ill effects to himself. The right hon. Gentleman wanted something more, like Oliver Twist. The Attorney General must remember that there were two ways of bribery—one was by giving cash, and the other by giving the equivalent of cash. At the present moment, and since the Ballot Act was passed, he (Mr. Labouchere) suspected there was a great deal more done by beer, and that was called treating, than by means of actual cash. There were generally a large number of persons who were willing to sell their vote for a pot of beer. As a matter of fact, the candidates themselves, in many instances, treated when it was a question of beer. He did not go out in the streets and ask men to come in and have a glass of beer with him, but he had persons to do the work for him; and if treating took place with his knowledge and consent, it appeared to him (Mr. Labouchere) to be bribery in as vicious and as objectionable a form as it was possible to imagine. He, therefore, could not think for a moment that the clause would be better when amended as suggested by the Attorney General. There was another point he would like to mention to the Attorney General. If it were proved that a person had allowed treating with his knowledge and consent, even if the words "with his knowledge and consent" were omitted from the clause, would he not be made actually responsible as though he did it himself? Would he not be accessory before the fact; and would it not be considered that as it had been done, and done with his knowledge and consent, he was as responsible as if he had actually done it himself? If so, perhaps there was no great objection to the Attorney General making the alteration; but he. (Mr. Labouchere) would certainly like to be assured on the point.
said, that if a candidate actually employed somebody else to go about and treat, the candidate would be as responsible as if he had done it himself. But then, when they said "done with his knowledge and consent," they went beyond that, and applied the case where he had not actually employed an agent.
said, they must all feel amused with the style of argument which was being initiated by the new Democracy, in the person of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere), who had advised the Member of the Government in charge of the Bill not to listen to any arguments advanced by any Member on the Conservative side of the House. They were not such a set of idiots as not to know that under the iron heel of the new Democracy they would have no rights whatever. Happily, the proceedings of the House wore not to be made such a perfect farce as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton sometimes tried to make them; and he (Mr. Lewis) hoped the Attorney General would not be led away by anything the hon. Gentleman had said, but that he would deal reasonably with every suggestion, no matter from whence it came. The hon. and learned Gentleman (the Attorney General) assumed too much in supposing that he (Mr. Lewis) had not got a case of injustice under the present law to produce. He always said there was a most flagrant case where a Liberal Member was unseated for treating, which was not personal treating.
I asked for personal treating.
said, the case he referred to was that at Bristol. It was tried by Mr. Baron Bramwell. They had at Bristol a test election—an election which had no legal bearing on the actual contest. Someone, during the test election, gave a pot of beer, and that very act upset the election which subsequently took place. That was as gross a case of a man suffering for a miserable act of so-called treating as could be imagined. And, indeed, in his opinion, never were there two greater acts of injustice than were committed against two Liberal Members, in the cases of Norwich and Bristol. With reference to the Amendment now under discussion, he thanked the Attorney General for the concession, so far as it was a concession. Considering that he (the Attorney General) had such a severe instrument to brandish about, the hon. and learned Gentleman had been very tender in the use of it; and he (Mr. Lewis) had no doubt that before the consideration of the Bill was concluded he would become even more tender. He (Mr. Lewis) was not in the habit of falling in love with concessions directly they were made; and he wondered whether the concession just made would have any good effect in regard to cases he had mentioned, and which evidently had made most impression upon the Committee—namely, those border line cases which were the causes of so much difficulty to the Judges. He did not think it would have any effect upon such cases, and he was afraid he could not accept the Amendment. He dared say he would be in a minority; but he had this consolation—that minorities were sometimes proved to be in the right. He did not consider that the concession of the Attorney General went far enough; and, therefore, he should go to a Division.
said, he did not rise to detain the Committee more than a minute; and he was afraid here, again, he should incur a little displeasure from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis). So far, however, as he (Sir William Hart Dyke) was concerned, he was inclined to support the present proposition of the Attorney General. It seemed to him that it was agreed on both sides of the House that a very grievous evil existed, both as to bribery and other kinds of corruption; and, having conceded that, what they had to do was to frame a Bill which would work fairly. It was with that view he was prepared to accept the proposal of the Attorney General. He would like to urge one word with reference to a remark which fell from an hon Friend—namely, that, even as the clause was now amended, the candidate would run considerable risk under the Bill of incurring heavy penalties. It would be necessary for them to ask themselves the question, what did hospitality mean? It was possible to conceive that a man who had an election hanging over his head would have to shut up his house altogether; because, if he asked a few notorious politicians to join him at dinner, it might be held that he was guilty of a corrupt practice. He (Sir William Hart Dyke) impressed upon the Committee to be careful not to be led away by any Quixotic idea as to corrupt practices. Unless they were very careful in this legislation, it might possibly happen that, instead of curing the evil, they might make the Bill impotent and unpopular.
said, he thought the concession the Attorney General had made was one which the Committee might reasonably accept. They were all desirous of putting down corruption and bribery; and, though the concession was not as complete as he (Mr. Cowen) should like it to be, it was a fairly workable proposal, and he should be glad to see the Committee accept it. Hon. Gentlemen spoke of elections. They necessarily spoke of the election in the district with which they wore connected; and he was not surprised to hoar the different opinions which came from the different parts of the country. In the North of England treating did not exist at all; they did not know of it. It might exist in another form; indeed, he believed the political organizations which had now sprung up would develop a description of corruption which had hitherto been unknown. The point he particularly wished to press upon the Committee in regard to this Amendment was, the harsh effect it would have upon local resident candidates. Upon a man who lived in a borough, a man who represented the life of the place, who was closely identified with all the associations and societies in the borough, this clause would operate so harshly that he would rather prefer to become a candidate in a borough with which he was not associated. At any rate, he (Mr. Cowen) was disposed to accept the clause as amended by the hon. and learned Attorney General, because he thought they ought to be prepared to punish a candidate, if they were prepared to punish a constituency.
said, he was what might be called a local resident candidate, and yet he should have no fear of the consequences if this clause were passed. Judges, in considering election cases brought before them, had regard to the ordinary habits and practices of a man's life; and they never would regard as treating anything which was in the nature of reasonable hospitality. If a man, of course, went out of his way to entertain a constituency, of course the Judge would hold that to be treating. They were not, however, changing the law in that respect; and he did not believe the clause would be found to work any more prejudicially to resident candidates than the present law did. He might point out to his hon. Friend (Mr. Cowen) that this was not, perhaps, the very best place in the Bill for discussing a question of local candidates.
considered that the reason for making a distinction between treating and bribing was very obvious; and he considered the concession of the Attorney General a very useful one.
agreed with his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Galway (Colonel Nolan) that the concession made by the Attorney General was a very serious and a very substantial one; still, he thought that, even as the clause would now stand, it might have some very vexatious consequences in Ireland. He (Mr. O'Brien) could very easily conceive circumstances in which the clause might prevent even ordinary hospitality. Certainly, the vagueness of the words of the clause supplied ample room for the exercise of the discretion, or indiscretion, of an Irish Judge.
remarked, that his hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle (Mr. Cowen) was glad the Government had made this so-called concession. He (Mr. Samuelson) did not regard it as a concession at all. His hon. Friend thanked the Government for the concession, on the ground that he wished to see the candidate punished more severely than the voter. It seemed to him (Mr. Samuelson) that the so-called concession would have a totally opposite effect. Supposing a man in a constituency was guilty of treating, or other corrupt practice, with the knowledge and consent of the candidate, the candidate would lose his election; but beyond that he was not punished. The person, however, who treated with the candidate's knowledge and consent, and in his interest, was liable to all the penalties contained in the 5th clause. For instance, he was liable to be fined £200, to be sent to gaol for a year; he was liable to disfranchisement, to be struck off the register of electors; and he was not to hold any public or judicial office within the meaning of the Act. All that happened to the candidate, however, was the loss of his election. Supposing, in a manufacturing borough, the employers of labour chose to put in force all their power in favour of a particular candidate, and that it was clearly proved that the candidate know they were doing so, although he did not directly authorize them to so act; the candidate would reap all the benefit of the undue influence without being punished at all. It was quite evident to him (Mr. Samuelson) that, if he chose, any candidate could prevent undue influence being used, just as much as he could prevent treating. It seemed to him that there was no great wish that the time of the House should be saved in future Sessions; for he thought that they were now only providing for the introduction of further Corrupt Practices Bills. He wished that the hon. and learned Attorney General would, when he had introduced a good section, stand by it.
said, he could not join in the congratulations to the Attorney General for whittling away this clause. He wished the hon. and learned Gentleman bad been as firm as he was yesterday, when spiritual intimidation was the subject of discussion. The concession which the Attorney General had just made would have a most injurious effect. Indeed, he (Mr. Callan) regarded it as another proof that the Government and the Attorney General were not really in earnest, or that, if the hon. and learned Gentleman (the Attorney General) was in earnest, he had Taunton before his eyes, and the reports which appeared in the papers as to his going to seek some other constituency had no foundation in fact; the hon. and learned Gentleman wished to safeguard himself in advance against what he knew to be the practice at Taunton. [" Oh, oh ! "] Was it a crime, in the mind of English Radicals, to refer to Taunton? He did not at all wonder to find them ashamed of Taunton, and the practices prevailing there. He regarded the concession as a sop to treating and to corrupt practices. For what did it amount to? Why, that a candidate, if he gave his consent to treating, was not to be punished. What more subtle form of corruption was there than that of treating, not by the candidate or by any of his recognized agents, but by persons who acted on behalf of the candidate, but who were not actually his agents. He (Mr. Callan) was surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General should in any way allow an opening for treating—the most subtle and most dangerous, the most insidious and the most disgraceful form of corrupt practice.
said, he thought it was necessary that he should say a few words, because his hon. Friends who complained of the course which the Government had taken did not in any way represent his view. If his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General was to have any chance of carrying this Bill through in a reasonable time, and with the general concurrence of the House, he should be disposed, as far as possible, to meet the general views of the House, and not set up a standard which, in his judgment, would be very unreasonable and impracticable. Some of his hon. Friends, he thought, did not understand the effect of the concession made, which really amounted to this—If a candidate committed bribery, or bribery was committed with his consent, he would come under this clause; but if there was some treating done other than by himself, he would not come under the clause. He thought that was a fair arrangement; and he, therefore, entirely accepted the Amendment of the Attorney General. Question put. The Committee divided:—Ayes 306; Noes 47: Majority 259. — (Div. List, No. 144.) Amendment proposed,
Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."In page 2, line 9, after the word "practices," to insert the words "other than treating or undue influence."—(Mr. Attorney General.)
said, it appeared to him that there was, in the present day, a very serious element of corruption besides that of mere bribery and treating. That element was the surrender of opinion by hon. Members for the purpose of obtaining votes. Not long ago this subject was referred to by the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Lewis), who said the Attorney General for Ireland had come forward with an election cry of "Porter and no rent," and that the effect of that was corruption. He should find another opportunity of bringing this matter before the Committee; but his reason for supporting the Amendment was that he wished, as far as possible, to cut down these punishments for acts which wore not in any way looked upon as degrading. Question put, and agreed to.
proposed to insert, in page 2, line 11, after the word "candidate," the words "duly nominated." The word "candidate" was a very indefinite expression. A man might be abroad, and telegraph his address to a constituency; and he wished to provide that a candidate must be duly nominated, by being put before the constituency by the Sheriff, as a candidate, and then the penalties would apply to him. He wished to define the candidate strictly, in order to increase the penalty, and visit it on the rich and the public man just as much as on the private, obscure individual. He also wished to insert the words "or ever holding any Office under the Crown," which would strike terror into the minds of ambitious candidates who expected to hold Office and sit on the Treasury Bench. Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 11, after the word "candidate," to insert the words "duly nominated." — (Mr. Callan.) Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
said, Clause 6 contained a provision dealing with this matter. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Amendment proposed,
Amendment agreed to.In page 2, line 12, after the word "election," to insert the words "or treating or undue influence has been proved to have been committed in reference to such election by any candidate at such election."
moved an Amendment limiting the period during which a candidate who had been penalized for corrupt practices could not be a candidate for the same constituency to seven years, instead of for 10, as proposed by the Bill. He thought the proposed disqualification was so severe that the Judges would seek every possible loophole to avoid a decision against a candidate; and, therefore, to make the Act work more in consonance with justice, it was desirable to reduce the term to seven years.
, before this Amendment was put, suggested that an Amendment of his own, disqualifying such a candidate from ever sitting in the House of Commons, would properly be first considered. Amendment proposed,
Question proposed, "That the word 'ever' stand part of the Clause."In page 2, line 12, to leave out the words after the word of,' to the first words or of,' in line 14, inclusive.—(Mr. Raikes.)
pointed out that a man might be hold guilty of corrupt practices through his agent without having committed any corrupt practice himself; and he might not be aware of what the agent had done. All they had to do was to protect the constituency, and not allow the candidate to go back, lest the corrupt practices might be repeated. Clause 3, however, dealt with a person who had himself been guilty of corrupt practices; and the question was whether, having sown the seed of immorality in the constituency, he should afterwards reap the benefit of it? Those corrupt practices might make him popular in the constituency, and the object of guarding against that danger was effected by per- petual disqualification for that constituency; but it was not necessary to carry it further, as the hon. Member for Louth proposed.
said, he thought it an extreme assumption that a candidate who had been found guilty of corrupt practices would continue to be popular in a constituency. A candidate who had been found guilty of undue influence or personation, or aiding and abetting personation, was certainly likely to be unpopular rather than popular; and, consequently, he did not see the necessity insisted upon by the Attorney General of excluding a candidate from ever again going before the same constituency. Even where there had been extensive bribery brought home to a candidate, he should think that, in nine cases out of 10, the candidate would be extremely unpopular with the vast majority of the constituency. Bribery, as a rule, only affected a small portion of a constituency, and was, as far as possible, carried on in the dark; because, if it was generally known that a candidate was guilty of bribery, he would become unpopular with a far larger number than those he would be popular with through bribery.
said, his view was that harm would be done by making the punishment too severe; and that the real object of the Bill would be attained more speedily by dealing with offences by means of prompt detection, than by making the sentences so severe that people would disapprove of them. He had the strongest objection to a provision making irremediable penalties for all time; and he believed the adoption of this proposal would cause serious hardship. Very often an offence of bribery was an act intended innocently; but one which the Judge would rightly interpret as bribery. The Committee would remember a case in which a Gentleman who sat for a short time on the Liberal Benches was unseated because he had given a holiday to a number of work-men on the polling day. That was held, and rightly held, by the Judges to be a bribe; and although it had been done several times in the same borough it was held to be sufficient to unseat him. There had been cases in which an act of charity, general in scope, had been interpreted to be an act of bribery; and Members of that House had been unseated because of gifts of coal. Such gifts were by the candidate himself; and, as the Bill stood, they would be held to disqualify him for his whole life for the same constituency; and in the case of a resident candidate, who was constantly visited by applications which came to him, whether he was a candidate or not, because of his residing there and having ample means, he might be at any time held by the Judges to have been guilty of bribery in respect to some donation he had made to a local charity. That, he thought, would be too severe a penalty. It was not with the least desire to make this Bill less effective, but, on the contrary, more effective, that he expressed these views; and he hoped the Attorney General would be disposed to accept some modification of the penalty, so far as regarded a particular borough. The Attorney General had said the object of the Bill was to prevent bribery having a lasting effect on a constituency; but 10, 12, or 15 years would take the constituency far enough from the act of bribery to prevent any such influence, and mischief would be avoided by not making the penalty too severe.
said, he thought the severity of the penalties would serve as a protection to the candidate by enabling him to refuse to pay the black mail so often levied upon him, because of the danger of doing so. He must adhere to the course which he had already stated.
said, he thought the Attorney General had taken too large a view of the question of a compromise. He could not see why the hon. and learned Gentleman, having made one in regard to the question of corrupt practices, should not consider whether he could not make another also on the subject of penalties. If a man had got himself elected to Parliament by corrupt practices, and Parliament was disposed to take a severe view of the matter and to make it a disqualification, be had no objection to raise; but he did not see why, for a particular constituency, the sentence should be for life, while in regard to all other constituencies it should only be for seven years. He would take the case of one borough close to another. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Arnold) represented the borough of Salford. Suppose his hon. Friend were, by some gross judicial error—for it could not be anything else, but such things would happen sometimes—suppose his hon. Friend were disqualified for life on account of corrupt practices from sitting for Salford, was it not absurdly illogical to say that it was quite right to disqualify him for life, in regard to the borough of Salford; but that he ought only to be disqualified for seven years in regard to the adjoining borough of Manchester? So, also, in the case of Rochester and Chatham, which were practically one town. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) might be disqualified for life for sitting for Chatham, and only for seven years for sitting for Rochester. He would take another case—namely, that of a county town. He knew an instance in which a man contested a county town, and the election was voided on account of corrupt practices, and it was decided to run him for the county at the next General Election. Was it not absurd to say that they ought to disqualify a man for life from sitting for a county town, but only for seven years for sitting for a constituency all around that town. The disqualification should cover a far larger area than the constituency represented, or the Committee ought to be content with seven years all around. If they wished to make it disqualification for life for corrupt practices of this kind, let them do it; but they should not make an illogical difference which could not commend itself to the good sense of the Committee. All the ingenuity of the Attorney General could not justify such an anomaly; and he thought the Committee ought not to be called upon to I make the penalty too high.
said, that, whether the fault was committed by the candidate or his agent, it seemed to him that the penalty should be borne in regard to the particular place; but the difficulty he was in was that nothing would ever induce him to vote for perpetual punishment, which was repugnant to the legislation of this country, and so repugnant to the right feeling and good sense of all mankind that, in ordinary punishments, it was never enforced. He objected to put into an Act of Parliament punishments which would exclude hope altogether from the human mind. That was a position in which he thought the Legislature ought never to place any individual. He was, however, quite content that the clause should be altered so as to inflict a severe penalty. He thought the suggestion of the noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill), that it should be seven years, was by no means long enough.
said, he had not insisted upon the punishment being seven years in all cases; but what he had said was, that it should be equal all round.
remarked, that if it were for 25 years he should not consider it too long; but he objected to the words "for over." No punishment ought to be perpetual.
said, he was afraid, after what the Attorney General had said in the course of the debate, that he might consider himself bound to take a Division upon the matter. He would, however, remind the hon. and learned Gentleman of one reason which had induced him to bring the matter forward. The case of treating was originally alluded to in the Bill, and he should have been willing to see bribery alone punished with the most severe punishment; but, having regard to minor offences, it did not seem to him unreasonable that the punishment should be materially reduced. If, however, it were the wish of the Committee he would withdraw the Amendment.
was bound to say that he did not consider that, by accepting the Attorney General's modification, they were at all precluded from discussing this part of the clause. He (Mr. Rylands) was in the position of not agreeing with the remarks of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Randolph Churchill) and his hon. Friend beneath him (Mr. Arnold), because it appeared to him that the arguments they had used hardly met the case now before the Committee. He himself saw no great choice between an exclusion for 25 years and one for life; and he was bound to say that he was not much troubled about the strict logic of the matter. If it could be shown that it was necessary to inflict such a penalty in order to check very materially the local corruption which might arise in the case of a person connected with a borough becoming a candidate, he should be very much inclined to look upon the penalty with very great favour. Of course, the object of the Bill, as it stood, was a very clear and a very desirable one. It was this—they knew that certain gentlemen within a borough frequently spent large sums of money in corrupting the constituency; and he understood the object of the clause was to prevent the possibility, at any future time, of the corrupt influence sown in a political borough being made to operate favourably if the same candidate again presented himself. That was, no doubt, a desirable object. But he remembered the case of Mr. Bevan, at Gravesend. Mr. Bevan employed a considerable number of work people; and, adopting the course which was usual in the borough, he allowed his workpeople to have a holiday on the polling day, and gave his manager instructions to pay the men their wages. Mr. Bevan did that in perfect innocence, and at the time he did it he did not think it was either corruption or bribery. It was the custom in the borough; but, nevertheless, it was bribery done by the candidate himself; and the effect of this clause, if it had been in existence, would have been that Mr. Bevan, who was to be the candidate for Gravesend at the next election, would have been prevented from ever sitting for that borough again. Mr. Bevan, no doubt, had great local interest in the borough; and he (Mr. Rylands) would not contend for a moment that the Judges ought not to deal even with a mistake of that kind, if it led to corruption, and they would be bound to deal with it, with the utmost severity. He knew another case which was within his own knowledge in relation to an hon. Friend of his who was a Member of the House at the present moment. Under the existing Act of Parliament a candidate had the right to pay the travelling expenses of voters, not only the expense of conveying them to the poll, but their travelling expenses. But his hon. Friend not only went to the extent of paying the travelling expenses, but he actually gave the voters money to pay for their loss of a day's work. Now, he had no doubt that if that act of his hon. Friend had been brought before an Election Judge, the Judge would very properly have held that his hon. Friend had been guilty of personal bribery, and he would have lost the opportunity of ever representing that borough, with which he was locally connected, as long as he lived. He (Mr. Rylands) knew perfectly well that the act was done in error, and with no intention of committing bribery. In point of fact, it was a mistake. He thought it was a very foolish mistake; and if a man made a mistake which was properly held to be bribery it was right that he should be punished for it; but surely it was too severe a penalty to exclude him for over from representing the same place. He was quite willing to go with his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney Gene-ml in punishing bribery; but, at the same time, he was disposed to believe they would gain nothing for the promotion of purity of election by putting into the Bill penalties which the feeling of the country would in some cases regard as unfair and unjust.
said, he thought there was too much disposition to talk of the Attorney General having made concessions. He did not understand that when the hon. and learned Gentleman accepted an Amendment from any part of the House it was conceding anything. He did not understand that the Bill was brought in by one side of the House against the other; but, on the contrary, he considered that it was the outcome of a general opinion in regard to the necessity of putting down an atrocious system. It was, therefore, only right that the Bill should express the mind of the whole House, and not of any particular section of it. He repudiated the insinuation that a desire to mitigate a penalty meant the approval of a corrupt practice. The laws of the Modes and Persians were said to be unalterable; but he had never heard that the Bills of the Medes and Persians were unchangeable. On the contrary, he had no doubt that the Modes moved Amendments and the Persians proposed new clauses, and that both were accepted.
said, no doubt the Attorney General would feel bound, after the concessions he had made, to divide against the Amendment. He should like to make a suggestion. As a rule, when a division was called, hon. Members who had not been present during the discussion rushed into the House, and, without knowing what had taken place, followed the Government Whips into the Lobby. He would, therefore, suggest that in this instance, instead of adopting the usual practice and appointing the Government Whips as Tellers, it would be more satisfactory to appoint independent Tellers.
said, the question was, whether a Member who had been convicted of corrupting a constituency should be allowed, after a period of retirement, to return to that constituency and take advantage of the corruption he had been guilty of? he should certainly vote against anything of that kind being allowed.
expressed a hope that the Attorney General would accept the Amendment. Hon. Members might be guided in the matter by their own age, whereas a young Member might vote for a longer period. The older Member would consider a shorter one more desirable.
said, he hoped the hon. and learned Attorney General would consent to reconsider the clause. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy. (Sir George Campbell) said that after a candidate had gone to the wilderness, he might in course of time come back and take advantage of the corruption of which he had been guilty; but the clause provided a sufficient penalty, he thought, to render it at all likely that he would receive any advantage from an act committed many years before. His noble Friend the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) had pointed out the anomalous character of the clause as it now stood. A candidate, having been found guilty of corruption, was to be disqualified for life from sitting for a particular place, but only for seven years from sitting for another place. As his noble Friend had observed, it was perfectly true that some of the boroughs in the country lay so close to each other that an act of corruption performed in one was almost the same as an act of corruption performed in the other. His noble Friend had instanced the case of Salford and Manchester, which were practically one town, and of Chatham and Rochester, which were in the same position. He thought that 10 years would be quite sufficient time to keep the Member out of the constituency, and he hoped the Attorney General would not press the clause as it now stood. His hon. and learned Friend must see that the feeling of the Com- mittee was against him. No one had opposed the Bill in a factious spirit; and he trusted that his hon. and learned Friend would meet the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Raikes) in a conciliatory manner.
desired that there should be no misunderstanding in regard to the words he had used. He had no wish to enter into the question whether the disqualification should be for 10 years, or 20 years, or 25 years. The noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) asked what was the difference in regard to corruption between a person who corrupted one constituency as against another constituency? The noble Lord asked, why not make the penalty the same all round, whether it was seven years or 10 years? Now, it appeared to him (the Attorney General) that there was this difference. In the case of a constituency with regard to which the particular offence was committed, the corruption had had an effect upon that constituency, and in no other case did they obtain that conjunction of cause and effect. They must mark with a heavy penalty the offence of systematically corrupting the constituency; and, that being so, he could not enter into the question of a reduction to 25 years, or 15 years, or any other time. The hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Stanton) said the clause would affect old men more than young men. He was afraid that that consideration prevailed in all punishments awarded to crime. It might be said that it was a less punishment to an old man to be hanged than to a young man, because, in the course of nature, he had less time to live.
remarked, that if the Government wished to deal with all permanent corrupting effects of bribery with respect to a borough, and believed those corrupting effects to be guarded against by permanently excluding a particular candidate from that borough, he thought that they were mistaken. The more and more it had appeared of late—and it would appear more and more in the future—that where bribery was committed it was rather Party than personal bribery. That had been the case to a large extent in recent years, and to a still larger extent hereafter; wherever bribery was committed it would be found to have been committed in the interest of Party, out of Party funds, and Hot in the interest of the candidate, out of the candidate's own pocket. That was a most dangerous form of bribery; but, nevertheless, that most dangerous form of corrupt influence would be left entirely untouched by the provisions of this general clause, to which so much importance was attached. If it was to the interest of a Party to corrupt a borough, the first candidate who would be chosen for that purpose would be a man of straw, whose excessive expenditure and punishment would only increase the popularity of the real candidate, who would put up afterwards when the good seed had been sown. In point of fact, the candidate who would be excluded from standing for the borough again would only be the nominee of a man whose popularity would subsequently carry the constituency against all comers. The Attorney General's clause providing an excessive punishment against the individual was merely directed against a state of things which, to a large extent, had either passed away or was passing away. He (Mr. O'Donnell) thought it would be very much better to have something like a moderate punishment against the individual, and not an excessive punishment, which would only insure the future success of the nominee of the party who had been punished. There was another consideration which especially affected Ireland. If they held out to partizan Irish ex-Attorney Generals the enormous temptation of finding a candidate guilty of an offence which would remove that candidate permanently from public life, the dangers which already beset a candidate before an Irish Judicial Bench would be increased a hundredfold; and the possibility of unjust decisions being arrived at would be still stronger than before. His own belief was that, in many respects, the existing provisions of the law were too severe as they stood. He was perfectly certain, for instance, that if the penalty of corrupt practices at present did not exclude a candidate for seven years from sitting for the borough in which the corrupt practices were alleged to have been committed, Mr. Justice Lawson would never have investigated the charge preferred against him (Mr. O'Donnell), and excluded him for seven years, if he could have known that he would have been elected again within a month for another constituency. If Mr. Justice Lawson had dreamt of that being the case he would never have gone the length of investigating the long string of charges that were brought against him. Personally, he was sceptical about the benefit of adopting this legislation so long as the Government refused to adopt the rational course of throwing all legal expenses connected with elections upon the rates, and forbidding all other expenses. So long as this legislation only had that effect it would simply result in getting hold of the smaller kind of offences, while the graver offences would slip through. Even where they did not break through, and where they had committed a very serious offence in laying out vast sums of money in corrupting a borough for the benefit of Party, what was the good of excluding them for life from representing a borough, when it was in the power of an unscrupulous Government immediately to reward them with Baronetcies? The only remedy for the evil was to throw all the legitimate expense upon the rates, and to forbid all other expenses. So long as the Government declined to do that, a Corrupt Practices Bill would only result in occupying the time of the House, which might be more usefully employed.
said, he was surprised to find that no one who had taken part in the debate had referred to the principal question raised by the clause, which was not so much whether a man should be put out for seven or 10 years as to who it was to put him out. At the present moment the maximum election punishment could only be inflicted by a Judge and a jury. That was the existing state of the law; but they were going to change all that, to throw over the jury, and give the Judge the sole power of inflicting the maximum penalty. At the present moment no Judge could keep a man out of a constituency for even a period of seven years; but a jury could.
said, the hon. and gallant Member would find that he was mistaken if he would refer to the 48th section of the Act.
said, that, el course, the Attorney General's knowledge of the law was superior to his own; and if the hon. and learned Gentleman said he was wrong he would bow. His own impression, however, was that the penalty of seven years' disqualification could only be imposed after the trial of a Petition, and not by a Judge acting without a jury.
said, the penalty of seven years was inflicted if a candidate was named in the Judgment upon a Petition.
objected to power being taken away from the jury and given to the Judges. If a man was to be disqualified for ever for one constituency, or for a considerable number of years for any constituency, it was well that a jury of his fellow-citizens should pronounce judgment upon him. It was extremely inconvenient, and even dangerous, to hand over to a Judge the enormous power contemplated by the Bill. Of course, he would be informed by English Members that they had full confidence in their Judges. It was very pleasant to hear that; but even they might find, on future occasions, that the system of giving enormous power to the Judges would cause a large amount of inconvenience. The position of Irish Members and that of English Members was very different. The English Members practically appointed the Judges in this country—that was to say, half of the House appointed one-half of the Judges, and the other half the second half of the Judges. The Irish Members, however, had nothing whatever to do with the appointment of the Irish Judges; and, therefore, they very naturally looked upon their Judges in a very different light to that in which Englishmen looked upon their Judges. Suppose the President of the United States—
I must call upon the hon. and gallant Gentleman to address himself to the Question before the Committee.
said, he objected to the transfer of power in this matter from jury to Judge. His impression was that the matter might be properly raised at this point. He would, however, take the earliest opportunity of reverting to the subject.
said, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Salford (Mr. Arnold) had stated it was perfectly un- reasonable to make a life disqualification in regard to the representation of a particular constituency. If a large number of years were specified the disqualification would practically amount to life. For instance, if he (Mr. Biggar) were disqualified to contest any particular constituency for 10 or 15 years, his chances of over representing that place would be very small indeed. He was of opinion that the House should, by all the means in its power, put down bribery of all kinds. He had not the slightest doubt that on the other side of the House there were hon. Gentlemen who gave largo subscriptions to the particular system of religion with which they were connected, and to the Temperance Societies and other organizations connected with the religion. Now, the system of bribing religions seemed to be one of the most pernicious kinds of bribery that could be imagined; and the Committee would do well to do all it could to prevent it.
said, the Committee had been led away from the consideration of the real point at issue. The question before them was not the difference between bribery and treating, or how far parties belonging to different denominations might have been guilty of corrupt practices; but it was whether a Member should be for ever precluded from sitting for a constituency with which he and his family might possibly have been connected for centuries; and that room, therefore, should be made for some adventurous spirit, like Schnadhorst of the Birmingham Caucus. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) had asked if they were to fight over a question as to whether a man who had intentionally corrupted a constituency should ever be allowed to sit for that constituency again; and the Attorney General entirely misled the Committee, because he said that this clause was directed to the punishment of a man who had intentionally corrupted a constituency. He would aid the hon. and learned Gentleman in every way in his power to punish not only the corruptor, but the corrupted; but he feared it was just possible that some injustice might be worked by the clause. He would give the Committee twos illustrations. He was present at the hearing of the Election Petition against Mr. Benjamin Whitworth. In 1868, the hon. Gentleman was elected Member for Drogheda by an overwhelming majority; but in the following January a Petition was brought against him, and it was tried by the redoubtable Judge Keogh. He (Mr. Callan) sat the hearing out from beginning to end; and he was never more astounded in his life than when Mr. Justice Keogh declared that Mr. Whitworth was not only guilty through his agents of undue influence, but that Mr. Whitworth personally was guilty of undue influence, and that the hon. Gentleman was disqualified for sitting for the borough during the then Parliament. What, however, happened? In the following week the supporters of Mr. Whitworth held a meeting in the town, and the son of Mr. Whitworth was unanimously chosen to succeed his father, and on a later day he was fortunate enough to be elected without a contest. Such was the way in which a Member of the Liberal Party was punished. If the present Bill had been in existence at that time Mr. Whitworth could never have sat for Drogheda again. At the next election Mr. -Whitworth was defeated; but in 1880 the hon. Gentleman defeated a Gentleman who was half a Liberal and half a Home Ruler. During the present Parliament Mr. Thomas Dickson, the Member for Tyrone, was unseated for Dungannon, the capital town of Tyrone. Sligo was a corrupt borough, and Sligo was disenfranchised.
The remarks of the hon. Gentleman have very little relevancy to the Question before the Committee.
said, he was simply stating that Sligo was a corrupt borough, and had been disenfranchised. He was perfectly in Order, for when the Prime Minister referred to Sligo he was not called to Order. He remembered the Petition being tried in the County Donegal, in which he (Mr. Callan) was the respondent. The allegation against him was that he was guilty of treating; but what was the evidence? Some gentlemen drove up in a carriage to the hotel at which he was staying. They had a glass of wine and a sandwich, and he insisted upon paying for them. If the Judge had believed that he gave the wine and sandwich with the intention of influencing the votes of the gentlemen he would have been obliged to unseat him, and to disqualify him for ever from sitting for his county during the present Parliament—if the Judge had not been a common-sense man like Baron Dowse, but had been as malignant as Judge Keogh, or as great a purist as Judge Lawson, he would, under a Bill like this, have disqualified him for ever from sitting for the county again. He (Mr. Callan) would rather take a plank bed for 14 years than be deprived for ever from sitting for his constituency, though under this Act, if they indulged in the smallest treating of electors without any guilty intention, they would be liable to be disqualified for ever.
asked if the hon. Gentleman was in Order in talking about treating?
I have already said that it appeared to me the hon. Gentleman's remarks were somewhat irrelevant to the Question before the Committee.
rose to continue his observations, but— It being ten minutes before Seven of the clock, the Chairman loft the Chair to report Progress; Committee to sit again upon Thursday.
Madagascar—Capture Of Tamatave By The French
I wish to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the report contained in the evening papers is true, which states that the French Admiral at Madagascar has taken Tamatave, has settled himself there, and has taken the Custom House, and also established himself firmly in those parts?
I cannot, of course, say whether the report is true; but I made it my duty to inquire this evening, and up to half-past 6 no information had been received at the Foreign Office.
The House suspended its Sitting at Seven of the clock.
The House resumed its Sitting at Nine of the clock.
, in rising to call attention to the Laws relating to Vaccination; and to move—
said: Mr. Speaker, I think it is likely that there are many hon. Members who regard the question that I am about to bring before the House as a somewhat unimportant one, and who look upon me as having no right to take up a portion of the time of the House for its consideration in a Session that stands marked by the great block in its Business and the great difficulty of progression. I hope to be able to show that this is not entirely true, and that I hold a very different opinion. In my opinion, hardly a more important question could possibly come before the House of Commons than that upon which I have now to ask their attention. Whether we regard the question as a question of individual right against medical tyranny, or whether we regard it as a question of national health—because now it can no longer be denied that there is the possibility of the accumulated corruptions of our ancestors being transmitted to the coming generation—or whether I point to the view of the extreme suffering and wrong under which individual protestors against the law are now suffering, or to the view of the question taken by the statesmen of the past period, or by the statesmen of the present period, its importance cannot be denied. George. Canning and Sir Robert Peel declared, 40, or 50, or 60 years ago, in almost identical words, that whatever might be the opinion of the value of vaccination, nothing should induce them to make it compulsory, being a thing so entirely contrary to the spirit of British liberty and British privilege. Also, our own Premier gave utterance to these words—"That, in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient and unjust to enforce Vaccination under penalties upon those who regard it as inadvisable and dangerous,"
It is quite clear, therefore, from the statements of these statesmen, that the question is one of very considerable national importance; and if I could convince the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister—I am sorry I have not the honour of seeing him hero at this moment—[Mr. WARTON: Hear, hear !] —if I could impress upon him the amount of persecution going on throughout the country in consequence of the infliction of these laws; if I could point out to him the number of persons who are suffering under fines and imprisonment for conscience sake; and if I could bring before his mind the hundreds and thousands of children who are suffering disease and death as a consequence of this system, I think I should have grounds for inducing him to make that inquiry of which he spoke in those words. I might point to another matter, although it is an entirely inferior one; and that is the lawless spirit of evasion which is quite sure to spring up in a community where a wrong and tyranny is done. I can tell him of fathers who neglect to register the births of their children, in order to attempt to escape the infliction of this law. I can tell him whore parents flit about from one part of the country to another, in order, if possible, to avoid the surgeons and the police. The late President of the Local Government Board (Mr. Dodson), when appealed to by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood), as to whether, in cases where children had died from the infliction of vaccination, there would not be a just appeal to the magistrate for mercy and consideration, said with commendable kindness that although it would not, of course, alter the law, he hoped that in such cases such a plea would be regarded with respect and consideration. That, of course, was very kind of him; but it leaves us where we were. There have actually been cases where magistrates have asked a father objecting to vaccination whether he has lost any of his children through it, because, otherwise, he could not entertain his objection. This may, indeed, be said to be out-Heroding Herod. Whatever answer the House of Commons may give to my appeal tonight—and I am quite uncertain as to what it may be—ono thing I feel, from my own experience and from what I have heard, that the amount of support I shall get to-night will bear a very close ratio to the number of Members who have thought it worth while to study this question for themselves. That has been my experience. I sat on the Select Committee of 1871 upon these laws, and I entered that Committee with that traditionary conviction that 99 men out of 100 still have, that it was a matter-of- course, and that nothing could be said against it. I signed that Report which defended the excellence of vaccination and its safety. I did, not, however, support the right of compulsion, and I submitted a clause to the Committee which would have removed the difficulties of the case. I merely suggested that anybody should be free from the necessity of vaccinating his family who would sign a declaration that he had a conscientious objection to it; and in answer to a suggestion that there were many who had no real objection to it, and only fell foul of it from apathy, I replied that a small fine in the form of a stamp should be appended to the declaration. Had that been done, the subsequent difficulties that have arisen would never have occurred. But the House will see that, having committed myself to sign that Report, it became a matter of conscience with me. I had done may little best to endorse and to maintain the opinion of the excellence of vaccination. I was led by my political objection to this compulsion to look more and more into the medical and scientific side of the question; and I was brought to the conclusion that not only was there some evidence against vaccination, but that there was nothing whatever to be said in its favour—that it was an absolute delusion, a positive superstition, an unscientific error to begin with—and a foolish practice from the very first. It became, therefore, my duty to devote myself to the solution of this question, and I have done so to my humble best, and I will not cease until this law is removed from the Statute Book. Now, I have questioned many people since I came to that conclusion, both medical and lay, and I can say I have not found one man who really took the trouble to examine this question for himself who came out of the consideration with the same fulness of conviction with which he entered it. Now, I should like, if the House will allow me, to give the opinions of some persons who are of infinitely greater importance than my- self. [Mr. WARTON: Oh, no!] acknowledge the kindness of the hon. and learned Member for Bridport; but I will not stoop to be flattered by it. Dr. G. F. Kolb, a distinguished German, and a member extraordinary of the Royal Statistical Commission of Bavaria, says—"I regard compulsory and penal provisions, such as those of the Vaccination Acts, with mistrust and misgiving and, were I engaged on an inquiry, I should require very clear proof of their necessity before giving them my approval."
Dr. Vogt, Professor of Hygiene and Sanitary Statistics in Berne, and probably the largest collector of statistical information, entered into an examination of the figures firmly believing that they would confirm his conviction; and, having registered and abstracted the particulars of the deaths of 400,000 cases of small-pox, he was compelled to admit at the end that his belief in vaccination was absolutely destroyed. Here is the case of a German physician going into the question for the purpose of defending the practice of the vaccination. Dr. Boing, stung by the assaults of anti-vaccinationists, set himself to prove its value, and has to present with unfeigned grief the reverse. He candidly states—"From childhood I have been trained to look upon the cow-pox as an absolute and unqualified protective. I have from my earliest remembrance believed in it more strongly than in any clerical tenet or ecclesiastical dogma. Open and acknowledged failures did not shake my faith; I attributed them either to the carelessness of the operator, or the badness of the lymph. In the course of time the question of vaccine compulsion came before the Reichstag, when a medical friend of mine supplied me with a mass of pro-vaccination statistics, in his opinion conclusive and unanswerable. This awoke the statistician within me. On inspection I found the figures were delusive, and a close examination left no shadow of doubt in my mind that the so-called statistical array of proof was a complete failure."
Now, Sir, this question naturally divides itself into two portions—vaccination and compulsion. It is quite possible to conceive that vaccination might be good, and compulsion unjustifiable. At the same time, if I can prove that vaccination is an evil, I shall, of course, weaken the basis of compulsion. I will address myself, with the leave of the House, for a short time to the question purely of compulsion. I think that even were vaccination to provide all the benefits that its defenders maintain, the grounds against compulsion are amply sufficient to justify its abolition. I object, then, to compulsion, because it is the most absolute invasion of the sacred right of the parent, of the right of individual liberty, at the bidding of medical supervision, that this country knows. There is, in my opinion, no law upon the Statute Book, not obsolete, of so tyrannous and crushing a nature as that which compels vaccination. Let the House look for one moment to what extremities such a law leads. It amounts to the State declaring that families shall not choose their own medical men. There are plenty of medical men now who are opposed to vaccination; and yet, if such a man enters a family and gives his advice against vaccination, the State declares that the parent shall not have the right of taking such advice. A distinguished physician, not only in this country but elsewhere—Dr. Wilkinson—was the medical adviser of a man whose child was ordered to be vaccinated. The doctor remonstrated, and said—"No one can lament more than I do that the results of investigation should fall out in disfavour of compulsory vaccination. It is certainly not pleasant to be obliged to change one's convictions on so important a subject; and it is the more painful because it involves the relinquishment of a legislative measure by means of which we believed ourselves able to cope with one of the most fearful scourges of human society."
But the vaccinating officer and the magistrate at Westminster laughed at the opinion of the medical man, because they found he was Vice President of the Society for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination. It did not much matter in this case, because the man paid the fine; but in the case of a poor man the declaration of the magistrate would have sufficed to condemn the child, perhaps to death. I object, then, again to compulsion, quite irrespective of the effects of vaccination, because, ex hypothesi, on the very ground on which it is defended, it is proved to be not needful. No one will say that the State has a right to interfere with the medical treatment of particular children. It is said that an unvaccinated child is a source of danger to the public. How can it be so when all the community are protected by vaccination? Everybody can be protected and assisted who desires to be protected and assisted; and when, there- fore, you call this unvaccinated child a centre of danger and disease to the whole community—the whole protected community—I say that is an insult to the common sense of Englishmen. I object to compulsion—or rather I should object to it if I believed in vaccination—because, under any circumstances, it must be highly impolitic, because the course of a particular medical system, even if it were the best ever invented, would be sure to have many opponents. Those who really believe in vaccination, who believe in pure lymph, in good administration, in careful operation, and so forth—it is their business to bring to the homes of the poor all these things freely, and not to make them antagonistic to every favourite system by a compulsion which, under no circumstances, can be justifiable. I object to it, again, as a flagrant case of class legislation. It is a flagrant case of the oppression of the poor. The wealthy and those well-to-do do not suffer from these laws. At the worst, they have to pay a fine which is nothing to them; and in nine cases out of ten, or in 99 cases out of 100, the courtly medical man does not trouble his client with more than a simple remonstrance. That is not the case with the poor. They cannot afford to pay the fine. They are sent to prison. If I could give to the House in a few words the numberless letters I have received of remonstrance and complaint and indignation, many of them accompanied with the hideous photographs of their mutilated infants dying from the infliction, I think I should have the most powerful argument I could produce. There is the case of our workhouses. There go the surgeon and policeman. There go the infants vaccinated when but a few days old, and the mothers, too, a day or two after their confinement. A witness at an inquest the other day said he had vaccinated 1,500 women in that condition, and it was said that they did not object. They did not object. No; the order is—"Strip your arm," and the operation is performed, and there is an end of the affair. I really think it makes one's blood burn within one's veins that they should go on so in a civilized country. May I ask what hon. Members of this House would say if their wives were to be ordered to be vaccinated on the day of, or the day after, their confinement? Then, it is said—"Well, these opponents of the system must not stand in the way of saving thousands of lives." It saves no lives at all under any theory. As an element and a factor in the national mortality small-pox is nowhere at all. These years of small-pox epidemic are not the years of the largest general epidemic. One zymotic disease succeeds another, and the most deadly of them is not small-pox. I will read in this sense a few words from the late respected Dr. Farr, who poured contempt on the idea that vaccination could eradicate a particular zymotic disease. He said—"Apart from any question of my belief in vaccination, the child is not fit to be vaccinated. It is suffering from a severe skin disease; and, in my opinion, no decent doctor would venture to have it vaccinated."
A vicious system like this can only exist, like slavery in America 40 years ago, by indefinite extension; and we actually have the recommendation that the whole community of infants is to be vaccinated against every zymotic disease, and, under the pretext of the national health, the whole country would be made one vast hospital. Less, perhaps, than at any other time can the demand of compulsion be maintained now, because a wiser and a truer school of medical science has arisen of late years which preaches that doctrine which was preached by the late Lord Beaconsfield—the advantages of sanitation. There are now men such as Dr. Richardson, Dr. Alfred Carpenter, the celebrated surgeon, Mr. Lawson Tait, of Birmingham, and others, who are adverse to vaccination, and whose opinions I do not in any degree misrepresent when I say that they declare that vaccination never can, or will, stamp out small-pox; but that small-pox, and all other zymotic diseases, can, may, and shall be stamped out by sanitation. What is the argument used by hon. Gentlemen, both in and out of Parliament, in favour of this system? They say that the opinion of the Medical Profession is unanimous in its favour. I have sought medical opinion on this subject for many years, and I can answer for it that it is by no means unanimous. In the first place, medical men, like laymen, had for the most part not examined into the question at all. They simply had taken the tradition as they found it, and they had not examined into the particulars of the case. But I have found many medical men who were doubtful in their opinion, some who were anta- gonistic to it altogether; and I do not hesitate to say that it is, at least, my firm conviction that not only might compulsion go, but that vaccination might go altogether, without causing any great stir amongst the large body of the Medical Profession. Now, it must be remembered that medical men—I do not say more than, but as much as, any other class of the community—are subject to the public opinion that surrounds them, and to the public opinion of their confiéres; and they dare not, therefore, take a step that would be hostile to the prejudices of the day. Dr. Alfred Carpenter, explaining the other day how it was that all medical men were not teetotallers, after giving some reasons for their prejudices, their traditional opinions, and their mistakes, and so on, uttered these pregnant words—"To operate on mortality, protection against every one of the zymotic diseases is required, otherwise the suppression of one disease opens the way to others."
The same thing applies here; and I have not the least doubt that many medical men are very doubtful about vaccination. I have appealed to one or two young men—medical students—and I have said, "Won't you examine this question? Don't take the traditions of your predecessors." I am sorry to say the reply has been—" We can't afford it. We have our livelihood to make, and we must take the course open to us. We are made to say these things, and to assert the truth of vaccination before we are allowed to pass, and to make 60 practical operations. We cannot, therefore, afford to take up your abstract theories." Now, I have thought it worth while to get the opinion and advice of a number of men whom I might call the medical attendants of the poor —the chemists in our large towns—and I have received a large number of expressions of opinion from them entirely adverse to compulsory vaccination. I will not trouble the House with them; but I will venture to give the House one as a sample—"The medical man would do what is right if the public made it worth his while. All medical men cannot afford to be total abstainers, because, if they were, they would be tabooed and 'Boycotted.'"
Now, there is one class of the community for whom I entertain no high opinion, and that is the small body of highly-paid medical gentlemen who sit behind the throne of the President of the Local Government Board, and who are more powerful on these matters than is the President of the Local Government Board. They are, I have not the slightest doubt, honourable and intelligent men; but they are men whose raison d'être is vaccination. They are irresponsible in the advice they give, or they are only responsible to the President of the Local Government Board. My right hon. Friend has probably not very deeply studied the question of vaccination. It is very natural that he should not have done so; and if I may be permitted to say so, from the answers he has given in this House, I should assume, certainly, that he had not done so. But surely it is a most unfortunate and painful position for the right hon. Gentleman to be put in, to be the mouthpiece of a set of medical experts upon doctrines upon which he has had, and can have, no sound opinion of his own. I will venture to refer to an answer given the other day. In answer to the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) he declared that cases of vaccinated syphilis were of the most trifling description in point of number. He also declared, in answer to my Question, whether it was not a fact, as tested by the highest medical authority, that it was impossible in many cases to detect syphilitic taint in a child from whom the lymph is taken, that he understood the Report of the Committee was that such facts must be taken in proportion to the number of cases. Now, if my right hon. Friend had taken the trouble to ask the opinion of one very talented member of that Board—Dr. Ballard—he would have come to a very different conclusion. Many years ago Dr. Ballard wrote an excellent essay upon vaccination, which gained a prize, and Dr. Ballard said—"I have had many opportunities of witnessing the evil effects of vaccination, as large numbers of mothers bring their children to me for advice when suffering from vaccine inflammation, and I have seen scores of the most distressing cases, where the poor child's arm has been one mass of scab and corruption; and in not a few cases I have known it to prove fatal. Consequently, for years I have believed the law of compulsory vaccination to be a curse and a disgrace to our 19th century civilization."
but since his appointment we have heard nothing on that subject from Dr. Bal- lard. Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson told the members of the Chirurgical Society, in April, 1871, first, that a child born of syphilitic parents may exhibit no signs of disease for months after its birth; second, that the public vaccinator may operate on the child and use lymph taken from it without being able to detect the presence of syphilitic poison; and in October last Mr. J. Brindley James, a public vaccinator, felt it his duty to warn the British Medical Association that any practitioner might be misled by the plump, clear-skinned, and healthy appearance of a syphilitic child. Nor can the tainted character of the lymph be more easily discerned, if at all. Dr. Warlomont the late eminent Director of the Belgian Government Animal Vaccine Depot, stated before the Vaccination Conference, held in London, December, 1879, that—"There were numerous cases on record to prove that vaccine virus and syphilitic virus may be introduced at the same spot by the same puncture of the vaccinating lancet;"
and it is believed that it was owing to this circumstance that the French Government distinctly exculpated the military surgeon at Algiers, who infected and practically ruined by vaccination 58 unfortunate recruits. There can be, I think, no doubt, that if the French Government had not entertained the same idea, they would have severely punished the operator who spread dismay and disease amongst the 58 unhappy Algerian soldiers. It is, however, impossible to obtain a fair representation of the views of anti-vaccinationists. They are said to be only half-a-dozen fanatics, the real fact being that the upholders of the present system are really only some dozen fanatics who occupy official positions. The defence of vaccination is conducted, not by scientific methods, but like a case at Nisi Prius. Now, these gentlemen who sit behind the right hon. Gentleman have great power over him. They command, too, absolutely, the Medical Press, if not, to a great extent, the Lay Press also. Nor is that all. Not long ago a correspondence took place, to which I was a party, in the London newspapers, and a little article was sent round to numberless country papers, not printing my letter, but professing to give an account of it; but it was such an account as to induce people to say—"What idiots these people must be." I think this body is to be blamed for that; and also, I think, in that they do not assume the dignity which they ought to do as scientific men and judges, but rather have become noisy Press advocates. With great difficulty I persuaded the Government to have an inquiry into the lamentable Norwich case last year. There was nothing now in such a case. Such cases occur again and again. We got an inquiry upon it, and that was a great gain. The Government sent down two Inspectors to examine into the case. These Inspectors acted with the utmost justice and impartiality. They endeavoured honestly to bring out the truth of the matter, although, doubtless, they would have been glad for some excuse for the system of vaccination. The theory was broached and worked out, whether or not blame attached to the operator for using a certain class of lymph. It was discussed, and it was disproved—disproved, because all the cases had not had that lymph used. The Inspectors naturally said—"We give it up; we want no more examination into that part of the case." They gave their Report, which was naturally antagonistic to us, inasmuch as it did not admit the evil of vaccination. But a discontented supporter of vaccination goes down, and after an inquiry, during which he did not see the witnesses, he stepped in and struck in the face the Government officials, and brought up this theory again which had been disproved. There is, I say, no maintaining such a law as this, even by so good a Tory as the hon. and learned Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton), because it is based upon neither truth nor equity. It is based simply upon this—that because a certain Act, no matter whether good or bad, has got upon the Statute Book, thereby it is made almost impossible to remove it. These Bills forming the Vaccination Law were passed by a small band of experts using their influence throughout the country. Public opinion was not exercised at all. The country did not in the least know what was going on, and with our present experience it would be impossible to pass the law at this moment. Then, why have we to move heaven and earth to get it blotted from the Statute Book? But this compulsion was the fruit of a fluke. It was not in the Bill introduced by the Government after the Committee of 1871. It was added in the House of Lords by a majority of 1, and it was not struck out of the Bill when it came back to the House of Commons, only because it was thought the Bill was an admirable one in itself, and that to do so would be to prevent its passing; and yet that fluke of flukes has now become a sacred pillar of the Constitution. Does it not strike the House that it is an astounding theory to inoculate with poison every human being that comes into the world under the idea that you are protecting it from a disease—putting into its veins poisoned matter which medical men now acknowledge it is perfectly impossible to decide as to what may be called its purity, either chemically or by the miscroscope, so that the healthiness of the lymph can only be tested by the result which it produces? You see a coffin as the result! There is the first evidence of the ill-conditioned character of the lymph. Vaccination is no longer thought of as merely a little scratch that does not affect the constitution. And yet you are to be told that the whole community is to be poisoned for the chance of a very small number avoiding small-pox. Because the stories that are told us of the universal danger of everybody taking small-pox, except they are protected by vaccination are a myth, dispersable in a moment. The largest mortality known in London in the last century, during an epidemic of small-pox, was 4,000, out of a total number of 20,000 cases. That would be equivalent to 2 or 3 per cent of the population. Now, it is contended that in the problematical hope of saving 2 or 3 per cent, the whole population is to be poisoned by vaccination. But the failure of vaccination as a prophylactic is shown by the fact that in the Metropolitan hospitals, during the years 1870–1–2, out of 14,808 small-pox patients, 11,174 were vaccinated. Indeed, it is affirmed that throughout the country 90 per cent of the population had been vaccinated, and yet during that epidemic 44,840 died. Nor is this confined to this country alone. The same statistics prevail all over the world. Dr. Kolb says—"A vaccine vesicle highly syphilised presented an appearance perfectly irreproachable;"
But I appeal to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron). He has told us the same thing. He says—"In the Kingdom of Bavaria, into which the cow-pox was introduced in 1807, and where for a long time no one except the newly-born escaped vaccination, there were, in the epidemic of 1871, no less than 30,742 cases of small-pox, of whom 29,429 had been vaccinated, as is shown in the documents of the State Department."
"The recurrence, therefore, in the latest period of mortality almost as high as that experienced prior to the Vaccination Act, shows either that the protective virtues of vaccination are mythical, or that there is something radically wrong in our national system of vaccination."
, in an article in The Nineteenth Century, is actually driven to apologize for the enormous mortality by small-pox in the last epidemic by saying that it was such a severe one. That is hardly a satisfactory explanation. I should like to give the House, in a few words, the real history of this tradition of small-pox. The tradition was that small-pox was widely disseminated before Dr. Jenner came to save the world, and that the moment vaccination was discovered small-pox was checked. But anyone who takes the trouble to go back to Jenner's time, and to view it critically, will find that the ideas entertained as to this science, and as to the valuable deductions which grew from his experiments, were to the contrary effect. Before vaccination was heard of, small-pox had begun to decrease. We have the authority of the late Dr. Farrar for that. After 1800 there was little vaccination for many years, and small-pox gradually decreased. No thanks, however, to vaccination for that. From the time that Jenner's hospitals were in such a condition that he dare not open them to the public—from that time the records are links in the long chain of evidence I in and out of both Houses of Parliament, and in medical works, &c., all bearing testimony to the failure of vaccination. I will not trouble the House with too many instances; but I will just put one or two in order to show that I am correct. Barron, in his Life of Jenner, says—
Dr. Birch, surgeon of St. Thomas's Hospital, says—"From 1804, reports of failures in vaccination had begun to multiply."
I will ask the House to let me read a little longer extract from The Medical Observer, published in 1810, in which are recorded the particulars of 535 cases of persons having small-pox after vacci- nation, including their names, with an index pointing to the authorities as witnesses; also similar details of 97 fatal cases of small-pox after vaccination, and of 150 cases of injury arising from vaccination, together with the addresses of 10 medical men, including two Professors of Anatomy who had suffered in their own families from vaccination. Concerning these remarkable evidences, Dr. Maclean observes—"Every post brings me accounts of the failures of vaccination."
There is a great similarity between the vaccinators of 70 years ago and of the present day. Things went on in this way. Vaccination was not very heavily practised, and yet not in one instance was there an increase of small-pox. about 1853, the experts resolved on compulsion. They gave a long list of towns where they said vaccination was not worth keeping up at all, in consequence of its being greatly neglected; but they did not attempt to show in those towns where vaccination was practised that small-pox did not exist at all. Now, it happens that in the year 1853, when they began this crusade, there was the lowest number of deaths from small-pox ever known within the memory of man, being only 211. In England and Wales there were 3,151, against 6,000 or 7,000 in the previous year. Well, they got their compulsion, and what happened then? Why, since then small-pox has increased by leaps and bounds. There have been three epidemics since that time. In the one of 1857–9 there were 14,244 deaths in England and Wales; in that of 1863–5 there were 20,059; and in the last, which was a very heavy one, that of 1870–2, the deaths were 44,840. I know that it is possible to manipulate these figures in various ways, so as to make them have a different appearance. The Registrar's Returns of 1851 was another case in point; and how anyone after that can hold up his hand and say there is evidence that vaccination has an effect upon small-pox requires a firmer faith than most men in this House possess. With reference to Scotland. In 1861–2 about 20 per cent of births were vaccinated; there was no epidemic at the time, and deaths by small-pox were moderate. On January 10, 1864, compulsion came into force; there was no epidemic, and the low rate of mortality and the advantageous condition of mortality were attributed to the Compulsory Act. In 1868, instead of 20 per cent vaccinated, there were 97 per cent; and surely now Scotland should have been safe? But what is the result? In the four years, 1871–4, there died of smallpox in Scotland 6,260, or 50 per cent more than died in the four years prior to compulsion. The fact is always the same. Whenever there is no epidemic people do not die of small-pox, and whenever there is an epidemic people die, whether they have been vaccinated or not. In the Committee of 1871, Dr. Corrigan declared not only that small-pox was being stamped out, but was stamped out in Ireland; and, in fact, that during a whole quarter of the year there had not been a single small-pox death through the length and breadth of Ireland. But an epidemic came in the next few years, and burst out in increased force, and killed a larger proportion than in the last century, when everybody was not vaccinated. Just in the same way my right hon. Friend (Sir Lyon Playfair) said small-pox was "stamped out" in Scotland; but it was only stamped out when there was no epidemic, and not when there was an epidemic. What are the answers we get to these tremendous facts? They are of a monstrous description, and I am almost ashamed to hear how they influence men in this House. There is the old and ancient fable, that nurses in small-pox hospitals who are re-vaccinated do not have the small-pox. In the first place, I may be permitted to say it is not a fact. Some of them have had small-pox and some have died. But everybody who has studied knows that that has nothing to do with it at all. People of the age of the nurses are not usually susceptible to small-pox, and if nurses and surgeons were all liable to attack it would be very serious for the patients. But, taking it as a fact, what can it prove? 45,000 persons died, most of whom were vaccinated within the last decade. You say the nurses who were vaccinated did not die. Why did they not die? The elements of vaccination were the same to both. You, therefore, fall into the mistake of proving too much, for you prove that the small-pox hospital is a greater protection than vaccination. Then, it is said, you never see people marked now. That is a roundabout argument to prove that small-pox has diminished. This would only show that there was not a great diminution of quantity, but only of severity. The Medical Profession take a little credit to themselves when they can fairly get it, and they declare it is due to the purity of lymph used in vaccination. They also attempt to divide small-pox deaths into the vaccinated and unvaccinated. But it is impossible, in a great number of cases, to detect whether a person has been vaccinated or not. We know, moreover, that these statistics are not fairly and honestly taken. I will not use the word honestly, but say not fairly taken. I received a communication only three days ago from the master of a Workhouse Infirmary during the small-pox epidemic, and he declares to me that it was the regular course to put "unvaccinated" at the bed head of everyone who died of small-pox. [Cries of "Name!"] Certainly not. We have to bear in mind—[Renewed cries of "Name!"] The fact is—[Loud cries of "Name!" and" Order!" during which the remainder of the hon. Member's sentence was inaudible in the Gallery.] But whether it is a fact that vaccination was performed before or not, the doctors look upon it as proved that it was not; and in other cases, where the contrary is proved, it is looked upon as of no value at all. I charge upon vaccination, then, in the first place, that it is not successful; I charge upon it, in the second place, that it gives disease in many cases by the inflammation it produces; and I charge upon it—and it is now proved beyond all doubt—that it can taint the cleanest blood with any blood disease that exists in the infantile blood from which the lymph has been taken. I have been told by medical men, who have turned their specific attention to cancer, that that disease has been largely increased by the poison of vaccine; and as for that other, and more dreadful disease, there can be no doubt of its action in regard to it. I say nothing of what has occurred at the leading vaccine establishment, in London, because that proves nothing new; everything that occurred there was known before. The President of the Local Government Board declared a few days ago that the cases in which disease was contracted were infinitesimally small; and Dr. Carpenter speaks of millions of people vaccinated, and disease being hardly known through it. But this is not in accordance with the testimony of higher medical authority. Dr. Brudenell Carter says—"Although numerous, they the are few in comparison to what might be produced. It will be thought incumbent on the vaccinators to come forward and disprove the numerous facts decisive against vaccination here stated on unimpeachable authority, or make the amenae honourable by a manly recantation. But experience forbids us to expect any such fair and magnanimous proceeding; and we may be assured that, under no circumstances, will they abandon so lucrative a practice until the practice abandons them."
While my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) says—"I think that a large proportion of cases of apparently inherited syphilis are in reality vaccinal."
And, speaking of the blindness of the Medical Profession in this country on the question, he said—"I suspect that isolated examples of syphilitic infection, through vaccination, are much more common in this country than is generally admitted."
I can appeal also to the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Hibbert), who, writing to his constituents in 1880, said—"In France, where the chief of the National Vaccination Service clung less closely to this theory, he saw the danger much earlier, and in 1867 published a list of upwards of 160 cases of syphilitic infection through vaccination, which had been brought under his notice in little over a year."
—or six times as many—"This Return shows an increase of deaths from syphilis of infants under one, from 255 in 1847 to 1,554 in 1875,"
Had he not been an official, I am sure that, with the courage which distinguishes him, he would say this must for ever put an end to vaccination. I do appeal to the House to once and for ever put an end to compulsory vaccination. We owe it to ourselves and to foreign countries to do so. The curse originated with us—let us not be the last to remove it! Switzerland has throw off the yoke. France is agitating against it. Germany is rising against it, with a power se great that our friends there believe that when the real discussion comes on in the Reichstag, they will have a majority against it. Our Colonies are against it, and only five years ago the Town Hall at Montreal was razed to the ground to show that the people would not endure it; and hostile opinion was ripening in the United States. A hundred and fifty years ago the quackery of inoculation was in full blast; and 40 years ago it was held to be a misdemeanour not to comply with vaccination. But that, too, has been changed; and if we are not prepared to sweep it away altogether, at least let us now, and at once, do away with this shameful and infamous tyranny of compulsion. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution."In my opinion, one of the most unsatisfactory features in connection with vaccination, and one which leads me to support the proposed modification of the Vaccination Law now before the House of Commons."
My hon. Friend has left me no easy task to follow him; but I trust the House will allow me a few minutes, while I express my own belief in the cause he has championed, and while I say that, like him, but without concert with him, I came to the conclusion that vaccination is a myth and a delusion, and is productive of constant mischief to the community. This was brought about by having my attention called to the injustice of accumulated penalties. These penalties, I am sure the House will see, are insupportable, being productive of most cruel wrong to the population; and I am glad that this is one of those social questions which this Parliament has found time, at last, to deal with. It has heard the plain truth on this subject spoken to-night, and an accumulation of facts such as I think my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) will find it difficult to destroy. I have no doubt that he will meet it by statistics. Probably the House has not altogether followed the statistics of my hon. Friend (Mr. Taylor). Why? Because it is impossible to deal with the statistics advanced on either side unless hon. Members will apply their own intelligence to them, and, after investigation, decide for themselves who is right. This social question must be determined on its merits. But it is said by hon. Friends of mine to whom I have spoken on the subject—"My medical man tells me you are all wrong." Well, I have great respect for the Medical Profession when it is engaged in scientific inquiry, unpaid by State emoluments, and untempted by the fees extracted from a vast community of patients whenever a rumour of smallpox epidemic presents itself. But the Medical Profession has been marked in the past by many absurd errors, many differences of opinion, and men of successive generations have gradually emancipated themselves from old superstitions. Therefore, if I say anything to-night respecting the Medical Profession, it is in the most respectful manner to invite it to use its uninterested powers in the settlement of this great scientific question. My friends say—"How can you argue in this way? I assure you my old mother or aunt used to tell me that people were always pock-marked, and you never see anything of the kind now." And yet the same persons ought to be aware that at that period we did what we could to propagate small-pox by almost universal inoculation, which is now an unheard-of evil, and prohibited by law. Every Member of this House is wise enough now to see it was an evil. Why not then? Because the Medical Profession pursued and promoted the practice, and did everything, short of obtaining an Act of Parliament, to perpetuate it on the Statute Book. Happily for us, it was not so perpetuated. My hon. Friend (Mr. Taylor) has shown that small-pox began to decrease in the beginning of this century. Why? Because people became cleaner than their ancestors. They began to pay more attention to sanitary precautions. If you want any proof of it, where do you find small-pox? Is it in the handsome mansion, with the luxuries of modern civilization about it? No. You go into the crowded courts and the rookeries of the great cities. Why, this is a disease of great cities; but it is, happily, yielding to sanitation. Clear away your rookeries, open out your alleys, and clean your dirty ways, and small-pox will die out. That is the remedy that is obvious, and I can scarcely bear to speak of any other that depends on poison. Inoculation seems to have come like a fetish from the East, as something which was to be worshipped here; and the people of England fell down on their knees and worshipped it. That went on from the middle of the last to the early part of this century. And what was offered to the public instead? The author of the new remedy, in effect, said—"Here is something which I cannot explain, which is to be found in sores on the udder of the cow. I have a shrewd suspicion that it may have been an infection conveyed to the animal by the rough hands of the horse boys employed in milking who came from the stable, and brought horse grease from the festering, suppurating heels of the horse, thus communicated to the cow." No one to this day can say what cow-pox is; and if you want it renewed you are obliged to depend upon some mythical account of a case of cow-pox being discovered in some Province of France or part of Belgium. Some of our medical men have actually inoculated the cow with the small-pox, and then, treating the result as lymph, have vaccinated thousands—aye, hundreds of thousands—of our fellow-countrymen. Nobody can tell where the genuine article began—this "benign vaccine lymph," as it is called in the phraseology of vaccination. Instead of inoculating an infant, a surgeon could say—" Here is a simple matter that will create, possibly, a swelling on your arm, and possibly cause some constitutional disturbance; but I promise you it will give you immunity from small-pox." That was a tempting offer. What wonder, then, that the practice of inoculation died down, that small-pox became less frequent, and that vaccination was gradually and surely taken up in its place? At first immunity was promised. A few years went by, and they found it would not give immunity for a lifetime. Then they said—" You must be vaccinated every seven years." Next it was said—" You must have four or five marks from the operation, and according to the extent and proportions of the cicatrices so you will have immunity." But that did not do. Here are signs of a great Profession failing in their own belief, tottering in their faith in this extraordinary remedy; and so my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) points out to them that they will avoid all difficulties if they will use calf lymph. That will not transmit syphilis and skin diseases, he says; but who knows what else it may transmit? Has it been scientifically investigated? There are diseases in cattle, and there are states of health in cattle which may become disease when put into au infant. The President of the Local Government Board, when answering a Question from me on this subject—frequently he an- swers a Question by only seeming to answer it—said it was quite true that calf lymph does create even more constitutional disturbance, inflammation, swelling, pain, &c., than the human lymph. Why, Dr. Seaton, one of the doctors of the Poor Law Board, was of that opinion, and was against introducing it for that reason; and nothing but the hon. influence of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) induced the Board to procure a calf and station it somewhere in the neighbourhood of Holborn, to enable those who preferred it to try this benign vaccine lymph. Many Members of this House can relate sad instances of suffering among their own friends from the effects of vaccination; and if they suffer, what wonder that the poor are made to suffer, and that their prayers and entreaties go up in vain to the magistrates, who, sitting on the Bench, and having the power, "if they think fit," think fit to the extent of crushing the poor men, and causing them, in many instances, to be sold up, because they resist this inhuman law. The notice taken of this question may be useful to the Medical Profession. We do not disdain outside criticisms in my own Profession. We have had to submit to them many a time, and have benefited by them. The same may be said of the Military Profession. Anti-vaccinators have been called fanatics; but they are only defending their hearths and their homes and their innocents. It has been said that they tell untruths. How many untruths have been told on the other side? I can name a medical gentleman, living near Birmingham, who states that where a child died from erysipelas caused by vaccination, the fact was suppressed, because it might give rise to an unjust feeling against vaccination! The same thing was done in the Norwich case recently. Now, those hon. Gentlemen who called "Name, name!" when my hon. Friend was speaking will please to take that fact, and I will give them any reference they choose. Our poor brethren stated loudly that they suffered from disease owing to this practice of vaccination, and the Medical Profession to a man rose up and denied it. But what happened? Why, before the Committee of the House of Commons, Mr. Simon, the head of the Department of of which Dr. Buchanan is now the head, denied it and jeered at it. But, in a few days, it transpired that Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson, one of the greatest authorities on syphilis, could give evidence on the subject. He came before the same Committee, and stated that it was too true that syphilis was conveyed by vaccination, and gave it as his opinion that it was impossible to tell in all cases whether the child from whom lymph was to be taken was or was not syphilitic. A Member of this House described to me the results of re-vaccination upon himself. He was urged to be re-vaccinated some three years ago, and at last, on the persuasion of his doctor, he gave way. What was the result? The doctor said—"I have found a good subject—a most beautiful child—I know all its history—from which to procure the vaccine. The child is a perfect picture of health." My friend was vaccinated from that child, and in a fortnight or three weeks he broke out with a most loathsome eruption, extending from head to foot. There was nothing to justify or account for it but the vaccination. The disease would not yield to treatment, and my friend was sent to Harrogate to take the waters. There he put himself under another physician, who informed him that he had been vaccinated with impure lymph. Here was a Member of this House, possessing every security that wealth could give him, and able to obtain the highest medical services. Then, compare the case of a poor man compelled to bring his child to the public vaccinator, and who cannot help himself. A police magistrate for London told me that more than once he has had a child brought to him who was one mass of sores. The mother said—"The child was well till it was vaccinated," and the magistrate believed it. This is testimony as to suffering which is still going on. Now, this is what the anti-vaccinators protest against, and it is what the whole Medical Profession has denied. Even Mr. Simon, who had denied the possibility, admitted that among the replies he got to some 500 or 600 applications he had sent out to medical men abroad, two or three of them had mentioned similar facts to him. The famous French surgeon, M. Ricord, referred to already by my hon. Friend, gave his testimony that it was so. I should like, as my hon. Friend has done, to call attention to what vaccination really is; and I hope the House will not surrender itself entirely to medical opinion, but that it will consider for itself. Let us see what certain medical men say as to this horrible poisoning. Many are shocked at this practice already; and, if not, I believe they will be as soon as they are fortified by inquiry into the matter. The famous John Hunter, no doubt, by some, may be said to be old-fashioned; but the Medical Profession regard him still as one of the greatest physiologists. He did for himself what Dr. Corey has done, inoculated himself to test scientific results, and gives his opinion that—
That will be recognized as being true in the future. Many of the Medical Profession are opposed to that opinion, because they believe that such stuff as this is a preventive of a disease of which they exaggerate the proportions, and in regard to which they deny their own powers of treatment. A medical Staff officer in the Prussian Army, referring to the effects of vaccination on disease, says—"Any extraneous substance introduced into the blood modifies the vitalized or living fluid. The introduction, by communication, of minerals or vegetable poisons is hazardous, and in certain cases may be destructive; but the introduction of animal products from any living body, be it a man, a cow, or an ass, is infinitely more pernicious, because, like it, it is vitalized."
These who have been congratulating themselves on being re-vaccinated will, perhaps, take that piece of evidence, and discuss it in relation to their own case. Dr. Buchanan has taken upon himself to deal very hardly with the reputation of a brother medical man, Dr. Guy, the vaccinator in the Norwich disasters, in regard to this matter. Dr. Guy has in his time been rewarded and complimented; but Dr. Buchanan first ascribes malpractice to Dr. Guy in the use of ivory points, and then admits that there is an inferior sort of ivory, unknown to the operator, which might possibly retain that which would infect the vaccine. See how that points in the direction we are indicating—that there are many possible chances in this operation to communicate disease. There may be neglect on the part of the vaccinator, for whom it is to be said that he has to get through a large number of cases in a short time. And yet you ask us to accept vaccination by compulsion, when you have not taken the commonest precautions of science to ascertain whether the operation may be safely performed! You are forcing this upon our population, when you have no right to do it. Dr. Buchanan wrote a Memorandum some time ago, in which he demonstrated the extraordinary benefits of vaccination. He said—"I myself have been vaccinated, and twice successfully re-vaccinated; and yet, in the exercise of my official medical duties during the late outbreak in Prussia, I have been attacked with small-pox in the most virulent and confluent form."
He ought to have known that there are a large number of persons who cannot safely be vaccinated, either from ill-health, or from proneness to inflammatory disease, and who are more likely than any others to catch the small-pox and die of it. The unvaccinated class consists of those who cannot be vaccinated because it is dangerous—children and others. But it consists also of all your nomad population, of your arabs, tramps, and poor people, who live under the conditions most opposed to health, and most likely to render them liable to this disease. Now, what do you think of the reasoning laid before the British public by the head of the Medical Department of the Local Government Board? It is that, from a medical and statistical point of view, the unvaccinated and the vaccinated live under exactly the same conditions. I hope before we have gone on long we may begin to use our own judgment, as well as rely on eminent medical men. I would call the attention of the House to a case in which a poor woman, an inmate of St. Pancras Workhouse, in this Metropolis, was, by order of the medical officer, vaccinated within a few hours of her confinement; and I would ask if the Department will stop that most inhumane practice? I do not believe that the Medical Profession, as a body, approve of the practice. It is monstrous that poor waifs and strays, in such circumstances, should be subjected to vaccination when admitted to a workhouse. You will be surprised to hear that small-pox is 72nd in the order of diseases and in the order of fatality last year. It is said that last century, during an epidemic in London, when that City happened to possess 1,000,000 of inhabitants, some 4,000 persons died in one year of small-pox. Therefore, these vaccinators now say that the deaths before vaccination was introduced into London were 4,000 per 1,000,000. It is quite as unfair as if I took the epidemic years of 1871–2, and said so many thousands had died under vaccination, and had given that average per 1,000,000. The House may be surprised to learn that in 1881 there were 57,000 deaths from bronchitis, 48,000 from phthisis, 33,000 from heart disease, 17,000 from scarlet fever, 13,000 from whooping cough, and 13,000 from cancer. I will not mention such causes as drowning by accident; but pleurisy caused from 1,200 to 1,300 deaths, and boils 1,066. I come on to small-pox, the deaths from which are given at 648. [Ironical cheers.] Will hon. Gentlemen tell me why, in 1871–2, there died 44,000 of small-pox? Then the population had been vaccinated, for vaccination had been brought into perfect play in 1857, and the population was enjoying its unrestricted advantages. Now, I want to point out the increase of the deaths from infantile diseases in one year owing, as we contend, to vaccination. The argument on the one side is, small-pox once very rife; now very greatly reduced. The catechism founded upon that is this—What is the cause that scarlet fever is so rife? The answer is—"Nature." What is the cause when it diminishes? "Nature." What is the cause when cholera increases? "Nature." What is the cause when small-pox is abundant? "Nature." What is the cause when small-pox is scarce and rare? "Vaccination." It is a question of statistics founded upon very doubtful evidence. How do you find out the unvaccinated? You have Returns from the hospitals; but in confluent small-pox you cannot find the marks if there has been vaccination. People, too, have been admitted with 16 or 17 marks; but how do you tell? They may ask the poor patient when he is nearly dying. It may be poor Joe, from Tom-all-alone's, and the medical man naturally says—" Write it down 'unvaccinated.'" But people say to you—" Do you accuse the whole of a respectable Profession of being in league and falsifying all the statements? I do not say wilfully falsifying; but they have something else to think about than investigating these matters, and if a thing is doubtful they will, according to their prepossession, put it down this way or that way. ["No, no!"] It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen to say "No, no;" but will they put themselves in the position of those who are collecting these facts? Do they imagine that a medical man, whose time is busily occupied with the living sufferers, will go searching the arm of a poor dead patient? Why, he would do it at risk to himself. Even in the last year or two a surgeon has fallen a victim, though he was vaccinated; and nurses have been attacked and died of small-pox. The Report of the Registrar General, who is not a medical man, contains pages of reasoning facts in favour of vaccination. They are all possessed with a belief in vaccination, and they stand by it. Now, there are seven or eight diseases specially inoculable by vaccination; and all or most of these have increased the number of deaths of children under one year of age, as shown by a Return moved for by me (No. 433), 1877. Among them syphilis. Another disease is cancer, which has greatly increased in the population of all ages. It has increased 70 per cent. Now, the House would like to pause, and turn to the medical gentlemen and ask them, can they guarantee us against the possibility of this fearful disease being propagated by vaccination? The study of this question by medical men is yet in its infancy. They are busy with microscopes, and saying that certain diseases can only be conveyed if there is a speck of blood in the vaccine. They really know little about the subject yet, and until they have amply satisfied us that they are agreed among themselves, we ought not to approve of these compulsory laws. Diseases of the mesenteric glands, or internal scrofula, have increased 30 per cent; and it is highly probable that that may have been caused through vaccination, until the contrary is ascertained. Twenty-fourth in order of fatality on the list of diseases comes scrofula, which has maintained its previous rate. The next is the disease of syphilis; this has increased 127 per cent, and has multiplied four-fold in proportion to the births, as compared with the rate in 1847, when the statistics were first taken. The 61st cause of death is one of phlegmon or boils; this has just doubled. This heading formerly included pyæmia or blood poisoning, now separated; and we can easily see that boils and pyæmia are the sort of disease that could be easily conveyed by vaccination. In these circumstances, is it to be wondered at that the law is evaded and prosecutions take place? I hope this House, as the guardian of public liberty, will sot itself with determination to have these prosecutions stopped. They have amounted to thousands. Poor men have had their beds sold from under them, both here and in Ireland, and have been forced to endure cruel poverty, because, in their own simple language, they had seen So-and-so's child dying, or little Mary suffering dreadful pains in consequence of vaccination. And yet the magistrates are called upon to perform these duties under a law so little supported by scientific knowledge, and so discredited by competent persons. I believe it is tottering to its downfall, and I hope this House will not be the last of the Legislative Assemblies—I hope it will be among the first—to take off this iron grip from a suffering population, and say that no man shall, against his will, incur the dangers to his offspring which this practice offers. Motion made, and Question proposed,"Of course, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated live under the same conditions."
"That, in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient and unjust to enforce Vaccination under penalties upon those who regard it as unadvisable and dangerous."—(Mr. P. A. Taylor.)
, in rising to move, as an Amendment, to leave out all the words after the word "That," in order to insert the words—
said, that when he saw his hon. Friend's Notice on the Paper he assumed that the hon. Gentleman would dwell rather on the question of penalties than argue how far the law relating to vaccination had been successful or otherwise. For his own part, his voice had been always raised against cumulative penalties upon those who had refused to have their children vaccinated. The whole action of that House had, generally speaking, been against cumulative penalties. There were several arguments against such penalties as sanctioned by the pre- sent Vaccination Laws. In the first place, they worked most unjustly. The rich man was able to pay them; but the poor man, who was unable and was unaided by his friends, was obliged to go to gaol. And yet what they wanted to do was left undone, because they dared not take the child out of its mother's arms and have it vaccinated according to their Statutes. It was in the Consolidation Act of 1867 for the first time that the cumulative penalty was laid down, and ever since there had been a great outcry against the hardship and injustice of the infliction. In 1871, a Committee appointed by the House, and composed of very able men, sat to consider this subject. On that Committee were, among others, the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), the late Mr. Stephen Cave, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), Lord Robert Montagu, the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Jacob Bright), the right hon. Member for Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hibbert); and they came to the unanimous conclusion that when two penalties or one penalty of £1 had been imposed on the parent, no further penalty should be inflicted in respect of the same chill. That recommendation of the Committee was based upon the opinions of the ablest authorities that could be obtained by the House. A great deal of feeling existed as to these Penalty Clauses, and the popular dislike of them had occasioned a long series of difficulties. In 1875 a Blue Book was published, which contained statistics of the prosecutions under the Act. If these figures were brought down to date they would show that an enormous number of persons had since been prosecuted and fined, and that very many children still remained unvaccinated. Indeed, so great were the difficulties experienced by the Boards of Guardians that the Local Government Board, while the late Government was in Office, sent out a Circular begging the Guardians not to prosecute the same person more than once, lest "fruitless contests" with the parents should tend to defeat the object of the Act by exciting sympathy for the persons prosecuted. Surely the Local Government Board must have felt, when they issued that Circular, that the law as it stood was very unsatisfactory. He was one of those who had been vaccinated and re-vaccinated without finding any benefit or any harm from it. For his own part, he held that the balance of evidence was decidedly in favour of vaccination; but it seemed certain that the operation was not always harmless. A well-known authority on the subject had, in fact, admitted this, and had said that it was impossible to guarantee either perfect safety or perfect care in the performance of the operation, and cases had even been known in which syphilitic eruptions had been caused by vaccination from an apparently healthy child. These and similar facts naturally created alarm; and he thought, therefore, that while the law should be enforced quietly and judiciously the accumulated penalties did more harm than good. The hon. Baronet concluded by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice. Amendment proposed,"A Select Committee of this House be appointed for the purpose of ascertaining whether a limitation of the accumulation of penalties for non-vaccination can be effected without endangering the practical efficiency of the Vaccination Acts,"
—instead thereof. Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "a Select Committee of this House be appointed for the purpose of ascertaining whether a limitation of the accumulation of penalties for non-vaccination can be effected without endangering the practical efficiency of the Vaccination Acts,"—(Sir Joseph Pease,)
Sir, if the Resolution of my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) meant nothing more than it expresses, a very short argument would be necessary to meet it. But it must be read between the lines, as a distinct attack on vaccination, root and branch. When my hon. Friend began his agitation, he did not dispute the protective powers of vaccination; but he objected to its compulsory application. That is all that is implied in express terms in his Resolution now; but his speech shows it means much more than it expresses. In the mind of my hon. Friend, vaccination itself is an evil thing, and ought to be extirpated. If he so believed, his Resolution ought to express his belief, and he should bring in a Prohibitory Act, as was done in the case of inoculation in 1840. My hon. Friend and the Association with which he acts attack vaccination on two grounds. The first is, that it is positively injurious, as a means of introducing disease into the bodies of the vaccinated; and the second is, that it has no protective power against small-pox, which it is supposed to prevent or mitigate. I will deal with these fundamental objections in order. The assertion that vaccination produces disease was carefully examined by a Committee of this House in 1871. An active Member of that Committee was my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester; and he will bear me out when I say that we carefully heard the evidence of the anti-vaccinators, and formed a unanimous conclusion upon the evidence which they produced. The allegation that vaccination has been known to produce syphilis was practically proved, in a few cases in which vaccine lymph had been taken from children suffering from congenital syphilis. The possibility of such infection is a terrible fact; but, fortunately, one of the extremest rarity. We had it in evidence that, among 151,316 re-vaccinations of soldiers, not one such case had ever been observed, although among them syphilis is far from rare. Since 1852, about 17,000,000 infants have been vaccinated in England and Wales; and among these, if there were any large truth in the allegations, not tens but hundreds of cases must have been observed; and yet it is extremely doubtful whether half-a-dozen central cases of propagation have been reasonably suspected. But though this offensive disease is only possible by the grossest neglect, certain skin diseases, such as erysipelas and eczema, are alleged to be consequences of vaccination. Admittedly, they may follow the irritation of vaccination, just as they follow the irritation of teething, or as erysipelas frequently appears after a surgical operation. Generally, they are instances of post hoc; but, in a few cases, as at Norwich, they are propter hoc. Very rarely have they been fatal. That they have been so in very rare instances does not constitute an argument against vaccination. Who would forbid the use of anæsthetics in surgical operations, because patients have died from their use? Who would stop the use of narcotics, because to some persons they produce the sleep of death? Who would prevent men drinking water, because sometimes polluted water produces typhoid fever? So the Committee of 1871, after hearing all the evidence tendered against vaccination as the producer of disease, came to the conclusion, in the words of the Report, that—
It is true that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester moved the omission of these words; but what were those which he proposed to substitute? They were these—"There need be no apprehension that vaccination will injure health or communicate any disease."
I think, then, as my hon. Friend himself, acting as a judge, after hearing the evidence, characterized the subject "as infinitesimal in respect of proportion," I need not trouble the House with any further remarks on this branch of the subject. I therefore pass to the second postulate of my hon. Friend—that vaccination is no protection against smallpox. Do not forget what is the nature of the disease against which we seek protection. Sir Thomas Watson describes it, in a few words, as—"That some few cases of disease have been communicated by vaccination; but the danger is so infinitesimal in respect of proportion that, subject to the conditions mentioned above, the Committee do not hesitate to express their conviction of the practically safe character of the operation."
Against this mutilative and hideous disease we seek to erect barriers by vaccination. Individually, persons, since the time of Jenner, protected themselves. The amount of protection, even by its discoverer, was thought to be equivalent—but no more than equivalent—to that of an attack of small-pox. In most cases, when men have had measles, scarlatina, or small-pox, they are protected from future attacks, but not invariably, for there are some persons who are subject to more than one attack. In the call of the House of Lords to the Royal College of Physicians, to report to Parliament on the whole subject of vaccination, this liability is stated in express terms. This Report is dated 1807, or nine years after Jenner had published his discovery. The words are—"The most hideous, loathsome, disfiguring, and probably, except hydrophobia, the most fatal also of the various diseases to which the human body is liable."
That is precisely the state of our knowledge now, so that it is no discovery of the anti-vaccinators that there are cases of post-vaccinal small-pox. In examining the state of vaccination, we must compare the mortality from small-pox with that of the last century. This, Dr. Farr tells us, was 3,000 per 1,000,000 of the population annually for the whole country. For the first 40 years of this century, vaccination was promoted among the people by charitable agencies, and the mortality had fallen to 600 per 1,000,000 by 1840, or it was then only one-fifth the amount of last century. Still, 600 per 1,000,000 is a high rate of mortality; and Parliament began, in 1841, to give funds for gratuitous vaccination, so as to spread it more rapidly among the people. This continued till 1853, and the mortality was now 305 per 1,000,000, so that gratuitous vaccination of the State reduced the mortality to one-half. Then, in 1853, Parliament passed an obligatory law, which remained without efficient administrative means of enforcing it till 1871; but still, during this period of obligatory vaccination, the mortality fell to 223 deaths per 1,000.000. In that year a law was passed, making it compulsory on Boards of Guardians to appoint vaccination officers; and, since that time, the average mortality has been 156 per 1,000,000. Every successive step, then, in promoting vaccination has been followed by a great reduction in the rate of mortality. Voluntary efforts reduced the mortality of the last century from 3,000 to 600 per 1,000,000; gratuitous vaccination by the State reduced it to 302; an obligatory law, inefficiently administered, reduces it to 223, and the same law, under vaccination officers, further reduces it to 156. That is the general result as regards England and Wales. Scotland and Ireland did not get a compulsory law till 1863, or 10 years later than England. Their mortality at that time was from 50 to 100 per cent greater than that in England. In the next 10 years there were two years of a very heavy epidemic; but still the average mortality of this decade was 214 per 1,000,000 in Scotland, and only 108 in Ireland. From 1875 to 1882, the rate in Ireland has bean only 72 per 1,000,000, and is scarcely measurable in Scotland, for it is only 6 per 1,000,000. My hon. and learned Friend the Mem- ber for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood), both in and out of Parliament, points to the epidemic of 1871–3 in Scotland, as a refutation of what they deem a supremely silly remark of mine, that the Vaccination Acts in Scotland were sufficient to stamp the disease out of that country. That is exactly what it has done. The words "stamp out" are borrowed from the Cattle Plague Commission, of which I was a Member. The Cattle Plague Commission thought that the measures recommended by them were sufficient to stamp out the disease, but not to keep it out, for great epidemics are like huge tidal waves, which may roll over any ordinary embankments. And recollect that these embankments are never continuous, for the residue of the unvaccinated always leaves holes in our embankments, which allow the advancing waves to pass through at all times. Vaccination is, under ordinary conditions, a sufficient protection; but, in the presence of a great epidemic, it is overtopped, and small-pox spreads over a country, attacking the unvaccinated and those whose protection has worn out by age—as it increases in volume, the vaccinated, too, are carried away by it; but vaccination is their life-belt, and they rarely perish. It was so in Scotland, in the great epidemic to which I will allude later on in greater detail. When such an epidemic strikes a population, they become terrified, and they rush in crowds to be vaccinated. At that time, the compulsory law had existed for eight years in Scotland, and only the infant population had come under its influence. But still the people of Scotland, not being blessed with Anti-Vaccination Societies, rapidly extended vaccination among themselves, and stamped out the epidemic. Since then small-pox has scarcely existed in that country. For the last few years, the total number of deaths have not exceeded 10 per annum. These great reductions in the rate of mortality from small-pox I believe to be wholly due to vaccination; but my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester attributes them to the improved sanitation, and to the improved habits of the people. But, if that were true, this sanitation must equally affect other diseases, besides small-pox; and no doubt it does, but to what amount? If we compare the period of gratuitous vaccination with that of efficient compulsory vaccination, the Registrar General tells us that, among children under 5, the small-pox mortality has decreased by 80 per cent; while that from all other diseases has only decreased by 6 per cent. As ago advances beyond 15 years, mortality does decrease in other diseases, probably from sanitation; but it increases as regards small-pox, showing how little influence that has as a factor in governing the progress of that disease. The cause of the increased mortality in small-pox at advanced ages is, probably, that there are still many unvaccinated, and that among the vaccinated the protective power wears out as age advances. The fact, however, conclusively shows that improved sanitation has little connection with the large reductions in the rate of mortality from small-pox over the whole community. The results which I have described are the figures of the Registrar General, and are derived from an examination of long periods, so as to include the epidemic and non-epidemic years. How is it that they sound so differently from the figures given by the Mover of the Resolution? He startles you with large figures, such as 40,000 deaths in the Metropolis during an epidemic, and he rarely throws them into comparable rates of mortality. He also relies chiefly on the Returns of London mortality, and puts on one side the saving of life throughout the country. But I intend to meet him on his own ground, and to show that the case for compulsory vaccination is best supported by epidemic periods. Modern science tends to show that such diseases as small-pox arise from the growth in the blood of minute organisms. Now, like other crops, there are good and bad years fur this growth. Just as there are good years for pears, apples, and plums, so there are good years for small-pox, measles, and scarlatina. In the case of small-pox, these good years come every fourth or fifth year, and then the crops are good, or excessive. There are three varieties of small-pox, which represent themselves in the epidemics. The first is discreet small-pox, where the pustules are separate and distinct, and it is rarely fatal. Then comes the confluent smallpox, where the pustules run together. In this form nearly half, or 50 per cent, of the unvaccinated die. Of the vaccinated, when attacked, 15 per cent die. Thirdly, comes the black, or malignant form, which rarely attacks the vaccinated; but when it does it proves as fatal to them as to the unvaccinated, for 95 per cent of the persons attacked by this form of small-pox die. It rarely visits this country now in an epidemic form; but it did appear in a marked manner in the epidemics of 1871–2, and the London epidemic of 1881. It was largely seen in the epidemic which devastated France in 1870, and which passed all over Europe in that and the two following years. Just as "Black Death" followed in the train of the Wars of the Red and White Roses, so did malignant small-pox follow the camps of the French and German Armies in 1870. Both Powers had about 500,000 men in the field, but under very different conditions. Germany was quite prepared for the war, and had its troops under perfect organization. All its recruits were re-vaccinated. In ordinary times, France also encourages the re-vaccination of the recruits; and in the year before the war about 40,000 recruits were so treated. But Prussia does it more systematically, and in the same year vaccinated 216,426 of its soldiers. Nevertheless, in the earlier part of the year 1870, the Paris garrison had scarcely any small-pox, while 1,000 of the civil population had already died. The recruits, who were hurried in from the Provinces, soon added to the military deaths. Dr. Leon Colin, the Physician General of the French Army, has published a work on the small-pox epidemic during the war. He tells us that the levies hurriedly raised were unvaccinated. I give his own words—"Where small-pox has succeeded vaccination, it has been neither the same in violence, nor in the duration of its symptoms, but has, with very few exceptions, been remarkably mild, as if the small-pox had been deprived by the previous vaccine disease of all its usual malignity."
and the consequence was that during 1870 and 1871 no less than 23,469 French soldiers died of the disease, of whom 1,600 died in the garrison in Paris, out of an Army of 170,000. The smallpox followed the German camps also; but only 263 of their well re-vaccinated soldiers died. It was not because they were Germans that small-pox spared them; for it attacked the City of Berlin in January, 1871, and was nearly as fatal to the civil population there as it was in Paris during the siege. Ger- many had an obligatory law; but it was inefficient, and without penalties. I contend that the German soldiers escaped on account of their re-vaccination. Many hundreds of them were prisoners in Paris during the siege, and only one of them was attacked by a mild form of small-pox. Could a more pronounced experiment on a large scale have been made in regard to the value of vaccination? This epidemic became pandemic; for it not only devastated Europe, but invaded both North and South America, as well as the South Sea Islands. Before describing its ravages in this country, I may as well say how far it influenced our 90,000 re-vaccinated soldiers. It entered our Army, as it did this country, in 1871, and lingered in it during 1872; but during these two years it only killed 42 soldiers. The epidemic of 1871, however, struck the civil population of England and Wales strongly, and was exceptionally severe in the Metropolis. With the exception of local outbursts in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Salford, the small-pox, since 1873, has been very small in all our large towns, except London, where it has lingered, and came as a renewed outburst in 1877 and 1881. Most of the arguments of the anti-vaccinators are derived from Metropolitan small-pox. Thus, in 1880, the total deaths in England and Wales from small-pox were 648, out of which London alone was responsible for 71. The epidemic of 1871–2 was general and severe; but the recent epidemics of 1877 and 1881 have been mainly Metropolitan. I mentioned that, before vaccination was introduced in the last century, the deaths from small-pox throughout the country were 3,000 per 1,000,000, over periods embracing epidemic and non - epidemic years; but, in the heavy malignant epidemic of 1871–2, the death-rate was 928 per 1,000,000 over the whole country. The average death-rate from small-pox in the Metropolis before vaccination was above 4,000 per 1,000,000, and in the great epidemic year 1871 it was 2,420 per 1,000,000. So that, even in this exceptionally severe epidemic, the death-rate was only about one-half of that of average years in last century. The anti-vaccinators say—Why did it enter into a Metropolis, of which, at least, 95 per cent of the people are vaccinated? But that 5 per cent means a residue of 190,000 unvaccinated persons, besides all the imperfectly vaccinated, and those in whom the protective effects have worn away by age. Surely, that is soil enough for a good harvest of small-pox. While, therefore, other parts of the country seem to have recovered from the great epidemic influence of 1871, London has not yet gained control over the disease. It had practical immunity in 1873–4–5; but outbursts came in 1877 and 1881—in the latter year, to about one-third of the extent of 1871, but still amounting to 640 per 1,000,000. That, large as it is, represents only one-fifth the average mortality of the last century. The other parts of England and Wales, during the same year, had only a mortality of 100 per 1,000,000. The anti-vaccinators point to the fact that there were absolutely more cases of small-pox among the vaccinated than among the unvaccinated during the epidemic—a fact which obviously must arise when 95 per cent are vaccinated. Looking at the epidemic generally throughout the Kingdom, the argument may be put in this way. When the 1871 epidemic went over the country, there was an infant population of more than 3,000,000 under five years of age. It consisted of two classes in daily intercourse with each other; but one class (the vaccinated) was 30 or 40 times more numerous than the other. They, however, lived intermixed, residing in like houses, eating the same food, and breathing the same epidemic air. In the class which was 30 or 40 times the size of the other, 413 deaths occurred; while, in the smaller class, 1,780 deaths occurred—that is, four deaths occurred in the smaller class for every death which occurred in the class which was 30 or 40 times larger. If you convert that into a rate of mortality for each class, you will find that the rate of mortality was from 120 to 160 times greater among the unvaccinated, than among the vaccinated children. The only circumstance which differentiated these millions of children was vaccination; and, as the incidence of small-pox was so enormously different in its mortality, according as the class was or was not vaccinated, the conclusion as to a very large amount of protection in the case of children is irresistible. If you carry the argument to the general population of all ages, the Registrar General tells us that, in the same number of people, the vaccinated give one death, and the unvaccinated 44 deaths. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester bases his argument also on the fact that the town which he represents, though so badly vaccinated, has had little smallpox, or practically none at all, in recent years. That is equally true of well-vaccinated and badly-vaccinated towns throughout the country. In 1872, Leicester was not a badly-vaccinated town; and, perhaps, my hon. Friend might argue that was the reason why it had 313 deaths. Well, I earnestly hope it will not soon come under an epidemic wave; for I can give him an instance of a large town which did neglect vaccination amongst its people, and of the results which followed when an epidemic struck it. Leipsic was the centre of a most zealous propaganda against vaccination, in which the Anti-Vaccination Associations were powerfully assisted by the Press. The result of their agitation was that infantile vaccination had been greatly neglected; and Leipsic was in that happy state which Leicester now rejoices in, of having refused to vaccinate its children. Leipsic had been singularly free from small - pox, as Leicester now is. In 18 years, from 1851 to 1870, it had only 29 deaths from this disease, and the Anti-Vaccination Propaganda pointed to it with triumph. But the pandemic reached this town of 107,000 inhabitants towards the close of 1870, and killed 1,027 of its people, or at the rate of 9,600 per 1,000,000. The infantile death-rate was terrific. There were 23,892 children living under 15 years of age; and among them were 715 deaths—actually 3 per cent, or at the terrible rate of 30,000 per 1,000,000. I have given an example and a warning; but I doubt whether my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester will profit by it. If my hon. Friend cares to know my authority for these statements, I refer him to accounts of the Leipsic epidemic by the German physicians, Wunderlich and Thomas. The Vaccination Acts are not sufficient to resist a great epidemic wave; but they act as a breakwater and lessen its force. In the last Metropolitan epidemic of 1881, it was found that 90 in every 1,000,000 of the vaccinated died from its effect; but no less than 3,350 per 1,000,000 of the unvaccinated perished. The reason for that is, that even when confluent small-pox strikes the vaccinated, it becomes modified or mild in 73 per cent of the cases, and retains its virulent form in only 27 per cent. But when it strikes the unvaccinated, 97½ per cent of the cases pass through the virulent form, and only 2½ per cent become mild. Hence the perils of attack are vastly greater among the unvaccinated than among the vaccinated. An analysis of 10,000 cases in the Metropolitan hospitals shows that 45 per cent of the unvaccinated patients died, and only 15 per cent of vaccinated patients. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester treats these hospital statistics as wholly incredible; but they are verified by the hospital statistics in our Provinces, and also by those of all other countries during the pandemic. He can only deny them by assuming that a huge conspiracy exists among the medical men of all nations for the purpose of injuring mankind at large. A conspiracy has some supposed advantage to be gained by its success. But how can doctors all over the world benefit by keeping doctors poor through making their patients healthy? These statistics of disease correspond in countries which have compulsory laws and in those which have not. Across the Atlantic there is no direct, though much indirect compulsion, and no motive to falsify statistics of mortality. But in America the mortality among the unvaccinated was even greater than in London during the pandemic. In Boston the rate of mortality among the unvaccinated was 50 per cent; in Philadelphia 64 per cent; and in Montreal 54 per cent; while the deaths of vaccinated patients ranged between 15 and 17 per cent. The arguments of anti-vaccinators are so Protean that one never knows where they are. When they assert that vaccination is no protection against small-pox, and does not lessen mortality, our reply is conclusive. But, in the same breath, they admit a largely diminished mortality by vaccination, but say that it does not lessen the sum of human mortality, for when small-pox deaths lessen, other diseases increase; and they seem to invite us to enter a Golden Age, when all of us should take small-pox as of yore, in order to protect us against other diseases. They attach no importance to the discoveries of modern science, which clearly point to the fact that each disease is specific in its character, and that as little could you produce bronchitis, scrofula, or consumption from vaccine virus as you could produce a rose from a cauliflower or a mastiff from a guinea-pig. That other diseases may produce a greater number of deaths when devastating small-pox is subdued is as certain as the mortality of man, for if he does not die of one thing he will die of another. But an expensive Return was made to the House in 1877, giving the deaths from 15 diseases before and after vaccination. This Return showed that some diseases had an increased, and some a lessened mortality; but for their purposes they are ludicrously perplexing. Thus, the main increase was in bronchitis, which has about the same relation to vaccination as the Goodwin Sands have to Tenterden Steeple. Erysipelas, scrofula, and convulsions, which are the pet outcomes of vaccination, had actually decreased upon the whole population. Syphilis, indeed, had marvellously increased; but the Registrar General has since told us that the classification was different in the first and second period, and could not be compared. While, therefore, fully admitting that man is mortal, and that he must die of something, I believe, both in logic and in fact, that the conclusions drawn from this 1877 Return are just as worthy as if I asked the House to accept as a conclusion that the few deaths from small-pox in Ireland in 1882 were the causes of the increased number of Fenian assassinations in that year. Surely the history of this last epidemic tells us most clearly that the foe is at our doors, stronger and more hostile than he has ever been during this century. It is the same form of small-pox which killed Queen Mary, wife of William III., described by Macaulay in these terms—"The different. Armies raised thus in haste, and placed in the field without time for revaccination, were exposed, both at their places of gathering and in their marches, to the attack of this epidemic;"
"When he thus described small-pox, everyone was as subject to it as we are now to measles; and happy were the survivors who passed through with unimpaired health or without disfigure- ment. Now, thanks to vaccination, though its malignity at the present time is as great as then, we have, to a large extent, protected the population by compulsory laws; and it is this protection which it is sought to remove by a Resolution, concealed in its purpose, but obvious in its design. I fear that I have wearied the House by statistical results; but they could not be avoided. To my mind they prove conclusively that small-pox is now as malignant and loathsome a disease as it was 200 years ago, and that it is only kept at bay by the protective influence of vaccination. This Resolution, if adopted, would bring us back to the year 1840, by which time charity vaccination had reduced the mortality of 3,000 per 1,000,000 to 600 per 1,000,000; for I presume it would be followed up by another Resolution preventing State funds being used for optional vaccination. Compulsory vaccination has reduced the mortality, including epidemic periods, to one-fourth this amount; but we are to renounce this advantage because there are certain parents who think the law is unjust and oppressive. We have many laws interfering with personal liberty. We restrict hours of labour to working men, although many of them think our restriction unjust. We punish the rash traveller who jumps into a train in motion, although it would injure no one but himself. If small-pox affected an adult individual only, his right to it could scarcely, however, be disputed. We do not punish a man for burning down his own isolated mansion, if no one is injured but himself. But we do punish him if he risk a neighbour's property by his act. Every case of small-pox is a new centre of contagion. A man may exercise his own personal taste for any disease which he chooses, provided that he does not injure his neighbours by his idiosyncracy. But when he produces the omissional infanticide of his own and his neighbour's children by neglect of duty, the State may intervene to protect the young population from a fatal and mutilative disease. This disease is just as fatal and hideous as it was in the last century; but it has been controlled by wise and beneficent laws. Will you allow the country to slip back to the period of voluntary vaccination, and disseminate many thousands of new centres of contagion among the community? That is the question which you are asked by the vote of to-night to determine."The Plague had visited our shores only once or twice within living memory; but the small-pox was always present, tilling the churchyards with corpses; leaving on those whose lives it spared the hideous traces of its power; turning the babe into a changeling, at which its mother shuddered; and making the eyes and checks of the betrothed maiden objects of horror to the lover."
said, that as his hon. Friend the Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) had made frequent references to him in the course of his speech, the House would consider him entitled to explain his views on the matter. He had never been afraid to express what he considered to be the truth, because it did not happen to coincide with the general opinion of the Medical Profession. He had examined the vaccination question for himself, and had adopted a view resulting from a thoroughly impartial investigation. His hon. Friend had not gone so far as many anti-vaccinators, and had not denied the infectious character of small-pox, which was really the basis of the case of many anti-vaccinators. He had maintained, however, that the disease was one purely due to defective sanitation. While maintaining that, he had omitted to mention, in regard to the last epidemic in London, a most remarkable fact—namely, that during the last small-pox epidemic in London, taking two classes of children, one vaccinated privately, and the other by the public vaccinators, the smaller class — those who were vaccinated privately — the children of wealthy parents, who could afford to pay considerable attention to the operation—suffered three times as heavily as the majority of the children of the poor who were vaccinated at the public stations. He would not traverse the facts so ably laid down by the right hon. Gentleman who had preceded him (Sir Lyon Playfair), but would point out one fact to which the right hon. Gentleman had not alluded—namely, that it had been discovered by Dr. Marston that the effectiveness of vaccination depended not merely upon the operation having been performed, but upon the extent to which it was performed. Dr. Marston had divided his cases into the unvaccinated; those whose vaccination was doubtful—who said they had been vaccinated, but bore no traces of it; and those who had one, two, three, or four marks, and with regard to whose vaccination there could be no doubt whatever. This division of cases had brought out a remarkable fact, which had been followed up by a large number of investigators ever since; and the consequence had been that during the past 40 or 50 years large numbers of cases had been tabulated in that way. Two years ago he had had occasion for another purpose to analyze these figures, and he found that amongst 27,215 cases of small-pox amongst persons concerning whose vaccination or non-vaccination there was no doubt, of 8,600 persons unvaccinated, 3,400, or 40 per cent, had died; whilst out of the other batch of over 18,000 vaccinated persons the mortality had only been 7½ per cent. Thus, the mortality amongst the unvaccinated was shown to be six times as great as amongst the vaccinated. It was said those statistics were not worth the paper on which they were written, for the reason that when severe cases of small-pox occurred, it was impossible to detect the vaccination marks, and the patients were, therefore, put down as unvaccinated; but the mortality amongst those whose arms bore no traces of vaccination was not 90 per cent, as was the case amongst the non-vaccinated; but 28 per cent. That, in itself, appeared to knock the feet from under this theory of which he was speaking. But wherever it was possible to see the vaccination marks it was possible to count them; and, in the case of vaccinated persons, the question as to whether there were one, two, three, or four marks was one about which there could not be reasonable doubt. The statistics collected within the last 50 years showed that the mortality in cases of small-pox occurring in persons bearing only one mark of vaccination, was twice as great as that in cases where there were two marks, and throe times as great as where there were three or four marks. The hon. Member for Leicester said that was all nonsense, and that if the matter were looked into it would be found that the mortality was really only affected by the age of the persons attacked with the disease—that was to say, that if they took cases occurring in children of the age of five years they would find that there was no correspondence between the amount of vaccination and the amount of protection from the disease of small-pox. In a document which had been widely circulated—his open letter to Dr. Carpenter — the hon. Member had made statements of this kind. He had stated that amongst a certain number of cases of children under five who had only one mark the mortality had been 22; where they had two marks, '28; three marks, 18; four marks, none; and five marks, 16. He further asserted that the same result was to be obtained in the cases of persons of between 30 and 40 years of age. If these statements had been correct, he (Dr. Cameron) confessed he should have given up faith in vaccination, and have believed it to be the utter delusion the hon. Member said it was; but, on inquiry, he found that the hon. Member took only the statistics for a single year. He (Dr. Cameron) had taken the statistics for 10 years, and he found that the death-rate amongst cases of five and under, and between 30 and 40, exactly corresponded to the law laid down by Dr. Marston. The hon. Member, he found, had made his computation on an absurdly inadequate basis. He had based, for instance, his percentages with regard to four marks in children on seven observations, and with regard to five marks on six observations; and he had done the same thing with the cases of between 30 and 40 years of age. The hon. Member twitted believers in vaccination with a foolish credulity; but, surely, if he could attach any importance to percentages based on such absurdly inadequate figures, his hon. Friend (Mr. P. A. Taylor) exhibited a credulity to which his opponents could lay no claim. As to mishaps sometimes occurring in vaccination, they were by no means necessarily attendant upon the operation. They might avoid them by avoiding vaccination from the human subject; by going to the calf they could insure absolute immunity from any of these evils about which so much was said. He did not believe the dangers of their present system of vaccination were anything near as great as the hon. Member bad described; but; if they were, they could avoid them absolutely by going to the calf. His (Dr. Cameron's) complaint was, that the present practice was not efficient, for the reason that no attempt had been made to renew the virus in circulation in this country. If the virus were renewed, he believed that the protection, instead of being what it was—and it was now a great protection—would be many times greater. This had been proved in the early days of vaccination, when, in large populations, years had passed without a single death from small-pox. New virus had recently been employed in Belgium and other countries, and experience in these places had shown the good effects of it. He believed that if the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) would apply his active and inteligent mind to this matter, with the view of renewing the virus in circulation in the country, he would do more than could be done by almost any compulsory law to make vaccination an absolute safeguard against small-pox. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last, that compulsion could not be done away with at present, because just now they had small-pox of a virulence unknown 50 years ago; and if they did away with it, with such a disease as this epidemic in the country, the result could hardly be other than to let loose on the population of the country for a generation at least a scourge the ravages of which would prove fatal to an extent unknown in the previous history of the disease.
My hon. Friend who has just spoken will not, perhaps, at this hour of the night, expect that I should follow him into the question he has brought before the House; but I can assure him I sympathize with the views he expresses as to the extreme care with which we should inquire into the defences of a scientific nature to be provided against small-pox, and that I fully appreciate the services he has rendered in the past by the manner in which he has watched over the National Vaccine Establishments, and by the judgment he has on several occasions shown by putting Questions in the House as to the nature and character of lymph used. The two hon. Members who opened this debate—namely, the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. P. A. Taylor) and Stockport (Mr. Hopwood)—used language so strong and so extravagant with regard to the effects of vaccination that I can only say that my feeling in listening to them, having been frequently vaccinated myself, was one of astonishment at finding myself alive to tell the tale. My hon. Friends had been so completely and crushingly answered upon the statistical side of this question—certainly in their manner of dealing with figures—by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Bench behind me (Sir Lyon Playfair), that it is not necessary for me to do more than very briefly allude to that portion of the question to-night. Sir, the House has often had the advantage of hearing the right hon. Gentleman upon scientific and semi-scientific subjects; but I do not think we have ever enjoyed a greater treat in the way of scientific exposition than that he has afforded us to-night. It is always in his power to use figures so as to make them thoroughly intelligible to the whole House, and he has never shown his possession of that power more clearly than on this occasion. My hon. Friends the Members for Leicester and Stockport spoke a great deal about the effect of improved sanitary conditions upon the suppression of small-pox; they gave improved sanitary conditions as their reason for the decline, which they cannot deny has taken place, in the mortality. if we contrast the three successive periods—firstly, between 1847 and 1853, when vaccination was very general but optional; secondly, the period between 1854 and 1871—which the right hon. Gentleman spoke of as the obligatory period as contrasted with the permissive—and, thirdly, the period which has elapsed between 1872 and 1880, during which the obligation has been enforced by vaccination officers, we shall find, I think, one most important fact which was not mentioned by my right hon. Friend—namely, that the decline, which has been immense, has been exclusively amongst children under 10 years old. Now, that statement cannot be consonant with the other statement made by my hon. Friends—namely, that the decline in small-pox mortality has been owing to improved sanitary conditions. The reduction in the death-rate from small-pox, as between the first and third periods, has been from 100 to 51 among people of all ages, and it has been from 100 to 20 in the case of children under five years old. The corresponding reduction in the case of all other causes of death taken together has been from 100 to 93 in the case of persons of all ages, and 100 to 04 in the case of children under five years old—that is to say, that this extraordinary diminution has been entirely confined to small-pox, and has not extended to other diseases. The right hon. Gentleman (Sir Lyon Play-fair) has fully and exhaustively dealt with the question of the prevalence of small-pox during the period before the introduction of vaccination. He has told the House that the period of absolute freedom from vaccination, for which the hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport sigh, will be what he called the "golden ago," when every human being has had the small-pox. I may illustrate the truth of the hon. Gentleman's position by giving a quotation from one of the books of the day—to show the prevalence of small-pox during the last century. I saw it stated that in regard to election matters the destinies of the country were, at one period, ruled by Mr. Addington, who was said to be like the small-pox, which everyone was obliged to have at least once in his life. My hon. Friend the Member for Leicester refers to inoculation; he says that 150 years ago it was in full blast, and I took down those words with some astonishment. It was in 1717 that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote her celebrated letter; but, although experiments were tried upon condemned criminals in 1721, it was not till 1745 that inoculation began to become at all general, and not till 1780 that it really became general. In London, between 1660 and 1680, there being no inoculation at that time, the mortality was considerably over 4,170 per 1,000,000. This was increased, but only slightly, under inoculation, 50 or 60 years later, when it was 5,160 per 1,000,000. Between 1760 and 1780 the mortality had risen to 5,120 per 1,000,000; but with the vaccination which was begun to be practised at the beginning of the present century, the mortality fell with startling rapidity, as has been shown by the figures given by my right hon. Friend. Therefore, it is impossible for the hon. Member to argue that any approach to greater mortality during the last century was owing to inoculation. But, besides London, we have reliable statistics with regard to at least one other place. There is an interesting pamphlet, entitled An Inquiry into the Prevalence of Small-Pox at Kilmarnock. There was in that town, in 1728, a schoolmaster, who, during the whole of his life, kept a careful register of the mortality in Kilmarnock, and a list of every death, with the cause of death set forth. That register has been most elaborately examined in the present day, and it was found that in those years the death-rate in Kilmarnock from small-pox, there being no inoculation—that is, before inoculation had reached that town—was 20 times greater than it is at the present time; while the death-rate from small-pox, in regard to children under five years of age, was 33 times greater than at the present moment. I will not weary the House by going through this register in detail; but I merely state the general results arrived at by an examination of these figures. The hon. Member for Leicester attempted to disprove the statement which has been frequently made, that the most carefully vaccinated cases—namely, the cases of the nurses in the London Small-Pox Hospital—are absolutely free from small-pox, although exposed to the greatest possible danger from that source. The hon. Member said that some of the nurses had died, but he gave no time or date; and I am prepared to state that I am sure he has been misinformed. I have made the most careful inquiry, and I have reason to believe that the nurses have always been vaccinated on appointment, and that the authorities have never known of the death from small-pox of a nurse in the London Small-Pox Hospital; and that in all the hospitals under the control of the Metropolitan Asylums Board there have only been three cases of small-pox among the nurses, and those have been slight cases caused by actual contact with persons suffering from the disease. I venture to say that it is a notorious fact, not only to every medical man, but to every Member of this House, that persons exposed to such dangers as these nurses are in their ordinary duties must have contracted small-pox and died had they not been protected by vaccination. The case of the London postmen has not been mentioned this evening; but it is a very interesting case. We have a Report respecting the 10,504 persons who are permanently employed in the Postal Service in London. This is the permanent number, and an immense number of persons must, therefore, have passed through the Service in recent years. All these persons have been required to undergo vaccination, unless they had been vaccinated within seven years previously; and out of the total number between 1870 and 1880 there has not been even a single case of death from small- pox, and there have only been 10 cases of small-pox, and those were of the slightest kind. In the Telegraph Department there has not been quite so complete an enforcement of re-vaccination; but there have only been 12 cases among an average permanent staff of 1,500 men. My right hon. Friend behind me, in speaking of the great epidemic and its effects on London, said he calculated that 95 per cent of the population had been vaccinated. My calculation is 96 per cent; but, whether my figures or his are right, there is, practically, no difference, and I will assume that mine are right, and will give some facts upon them. Assuming that 96 per cent are vaccinated, and 4 per cent unvaccinated, if the hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport are right in their contention that vaccinated and unvaccinated persons are equally liable to small-pox, we may see what the figures ought to have been, and contrast them with the actual figures. In the whole of the Metropolitan Asylums Board Hospitals, during the great epidemic, of 1,358 deaths, not 4 per cent, but 40 per cent, were among persons who were altogether unvaccinated. If we take a more recent epidemic, that of 1878, we find that of the total deaths in London up to the end of May information as to the presence or absence of marks of vaccination was supplied in the death certificates of 679 cases. That was towards the end of the epidemic, and these were deaths from small-pox in which there was some knowledge as to whether the persons had been vaccinated or not. Four hundred and fifty-three of these had not been vaccinated, and only 226 had been vaccinated; and that means that out of 3,360,000 people vaccinated in London 226 died, while of 140,000 unvaccinated persons 453 died. The hon. Members for Leicester and Stockport spoke of the increase in mortality from certain other diseases, and they were forced upon that point by my right hon. Friend (Sir Lyon Playfair). It is very difficult to deal with all diseases with scientific accuracy, because, as everyone knows who has looked into this matter, there have been changes of classification; and if you compare, even in the present day, the mortality in one town with that in another, you will find differences in regard to certain diseases, caused by a difference in classification as between town and town. That is more so as between county and county. There has been, on the whole, a steady diminution of mortality in the country, from 22·2 in 1851–60 to 21·4 between 1870 and 1880, and to 19·3 in 1881–2. But now the hon. Members contend that there has been an increase in mortality in certain diseases caused by vaccination, although I must say they were judiciously vague upon that subject. My right hon. Friend has made a reply to that which I wish to repeat. It is the only one of his arguments which I will permit myself to repeat; but it is so important that I feel it is necessary to call attention to it. The one disease put before us as caused by vaccination is erysipelas, and yet there has been a distinct decrease in the mortality from that cause. After what my right hon. Friend has said, I will not deal at any length with the question of communication of syphilis. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport quoted the evidence of Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson, I wish, for a moment, to call attention to what that evidence was. The hon. and learned Member spoke of Mr. Hutchinson, who is a great authority on this subject, as if he had been a witness on his side. I will not go through the evidence of Mr. Hutchinson question by question, but will read a few lines from the analysis of that evidence, which is to be found in the index to the Report. The analysis says that—
That is a complete summary of his evidence."Mr. Hutchinson gave evidence to the effect that there had been cases of this communication infinitesimal in numbers through an admixture of blood in the lymph—that is, through distinct malpractices in the vaccination; and that the risk is so slight that it should not stand in the way of compulsory vaccination. He says syphilis cannot be convoyed by pure lymph even from a syphilitic child."
What about Dr. Corey's case?
Dr. Corey's case has been referred for examination to a Scientific Committee, and Mr. Hutchinson, in whom my right hon. Friend has expressed his confidence, is one of the gentlemen who have undertaken to carry on that inquiry for us. The hon. Member for Leicester spoke of the experience of Germany. I was astonished to hear him state that the experience of Germany was on his side; and he spoke generally, as though there had been a growth of European opinion in his direction. I cannot admit that that is, in the least, the case. If we look to other countries in which there has been a change in the law in recent times we find that there have been five changes, and of these, four are against my hon. Friend, and one which is apparently in his favour. I believe that in one Swiss Canton the compulsory law has been repealed, and that is the only one. In Denmark, re-vaccination was made compulsory in 1871 for the first time; in Holland, in 1872, it was made compulsory on all school children; in Roumania, both vaccination and revaccination were made compulsory in 1874; in Spain it was imposed, in 1874, on all persons under State control; and in 1875 a general law was, for the first time, imposed in Germany. There had been general vaccination in some States before that time; but in 1875 a general law was made for the whole of Germany. That law imposed vaccination on all children, and re-vaccination on all school children, and it is even a stronger law than that in this country. The hon. and learned Member for Stockport said that the point which was held most sacred by the Government—I think he spoke generally of the Local Government Board, and not under this Administration in particular, but under the Administration of both sides—was the principle of reiterated compulsion or repeated penalties to enforce vaccination. I do not know on what authority he made that statement; but I should like to call attention for one moment to the position which has always been taken up by the Local Government Board on that subject. The hon. Member for Leicester was a Member of the Committee of 1871 which reported upon this subject. That Committee reported to this House that the parent was liable to repeated penalties under the Act of 1867; but in Ireland he was not so liable. Now, it is a remarkable fact that there is no part of the British Empire in which the Vaccination Laws appear to have produced more favourable results than Ireland, unless it is Scotland; but both Ireland and Scotland are in a more advantageous position than England in this respect. The Scotch law on the subject is not very easy to explain in a few words, and I swill refer hon. Members to the evi- dence of the Scotch witnesses to see how the Scotch law stands. But the Scotch law differs from the English law; and one of the Scotch witnesses was asked whether there were any cases of repeated penalties in Scotland, and he said "No," and expressed his view of the Scotch law in these general words—
Yet under the Scotch law there is much more immunity from small-pox, and much more vaccination than in England. The Committee of 1871 expressed their doubt as to the wisdom of that law, and stated that it was desirable to secure in the highest degree the support of public opinion for the law on vaccination; and that Committee of which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) was Chairman, and of which the late Mr. Stephen Cave, the right hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith), the senior Member for Birmingham (Mr. Muntz), the right hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor), and the former Secretary to the Local Government Board (Mr. Hibbert) were Members, unanimously agreed to the Report which made the recommendation I have just mentioned. The result of that unanimous Report by a Committee, the opinions of the Members of which ought to possess such great weight, was that a clause founded upon it was carried through this House in 1871, but rejected by the House of Lords. Since the rejection of that clause by the House of Lords the policy of the Local Government Board has been to discourage repeated prosecutions. The policy of the Board was stated in a letter known as the Evesham letter, written by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth) who was at the head of the Local Government Board under the late Administration. In that letter it was pointed out, in 1875, that—"There is much more deference to the feelings of the parents in the Scotch than in the English Act."
In 1881, my Predecessor, the present Chanceller of the Duchy of Lancester (Mr. Dodson), stated, in a letter known as the Oldham letter, that he saw no reason for modifying the views expressed in the Evesham letter; and, consequently, the policy of the Board continued in accordance with that letter. In June, 1880, a Motion was brought before the House by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron); and in the debate on that Motion the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said that the Government intended to sanction the abolition of cumulative penalties. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth), speaking from the Front Opposition Bench, said he agreed with his right hon. Friend that no benefit was likely to arise from repeated prosecutions. As that is somewhat important, I would ask the House for permission to read a few words from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman said that he agreed with the opinion—"The Guardians should carefully consider with regard to each individual case the effect which the continuance of proceedings is likely to have in procuring the vaccination of the individual child and in insuring the observance of the law in the Union generally. The Board are prepared to admit that when, in a particular case, repeated prosecutions have failed in their object, it becomes necessary to carefully consider the question whether the continuance of a fruitless contest with the parent may not have a tendency to produce mischievous results by exciting sympathy with the person prosecuted, and thus creating a more extended opposition to the law. The Board entertain no doubt that in all cases the Guardians will not fail to exercise the discretionary powers confided to them in the manner best calculated to give effect to the law."
And the right hon. Gentleman added—"That no benefit was likely to accrue from repeated prosecutions and convictions in the cases of those parents who would not allow their children to be vaccinated. That concession he had endeavoured to effect during the time he was in Office. … When in Office, he had taken some trouble to ascertain the probability of au Act being passed, if introduced; and the result of his inquiries was that he had reason to believe legislation in that direction, during the late Parliament, would not have been successful. He did not think it would be more so in the present one, inasmuch as it was extremely difficult to get the majority, which he believed were in favour of the law in its present form, to vote for any change, though sonic change was, he thought, required."—(3 Hansard,  1851–2.)
These opinions are my own opinions also, and they are the opinions of those who were responsible for the adminis- tration of the Department over which I have the honour to preside. These who see the actual working of the present law are, in fact, of opinion that repeated penalties defeat their own object, and that they do not secure proper respect for the law by the people of this country. But just as the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sclater-Booth) is doubtful that this is the view of the House, I am doubtful also on the same point. The present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Dodson) brought in a Bill in July, 1880, founded upon the opinions which had been expressed by himself and by the right hon. Gentleman opposite in the course of the debate. That Bill was badly received, both by the House of Commons—and I am sorry for it, because, in my opinion, it was a wise measure, and one which would have been advantageous to the country—that Bill was badly received both by the House of Commons and by deputations from all parts of the country. ["Hear, hear!"] Hon. Gentlemen cry "Hear, hear!" but I frankly admit that those who had to do with the working of this law believed it would be desirable, in the interest of vaccination, to get rid of cumulative penalties. Certainly, I doubt whether that is the opinion of the House. I should have thought that a more practical debate, and a more useful debate, might have been raised, if my hon. Friends (Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hopwood) had brought a Motion before the House which would directly have tested the opinion of the House upon the subject of repeated penalties. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor), I gather, despises all change with regard to repeated penalties. I think the hon. Member would desire to see the law harsh, because he is of opinion that harshness would cause resistance, and therefore strengthen the agitation which he leads. That is my opinion and it is not because I am unfavourable to vaccination, that I am opposed to cumulative penalties. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Hopwood) has made it a charge against the Government that they are desirous of retaining repeated penalties, as though he would have been glad to see repeated penalties abolished; and on that matter I fancy I see a difference of opinion between the Mover and Seconder of the Motion. Of course, I do not exactly know whether my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Hopwood) is opposed to repeated penalties; but, if that be his view, he had better raise the question distinctly before the House by bringing a Motion forward on the subject. We have various Motions before the House to-night, and the Amendment which is immediately before the House is the Amendment proposed by the hon. Baronet the Member for South Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) in favour of an inquiry by a Select Committee. I do not think that is a case for a Select Committee. The Committee for which my hon. Friend moves is not a general Committee, with regard to the advantages or disadvantages of vaccination; but a Committee to inquire whether there could not be some limitation to the penalties imposed tinder the law. I do not think my hon. Friend's own end would be much served by an Inquiry, because he has already the unanimous Report of the Committee of the House in his favour. He has the Report of the Committee containing names amongst its Members as weighty as any he can find in the House. Therefore, any further inquiry would have little effect in serving the hon. Gentleman. I would rather invite the hon. Gentleman to move a Resolution regarding repeated penalties, so that the opinion of the House may be ascertained in regard to them. I would like my hon. Friend to withdraw his present Amendment, because I should prefer to support the Amendment which stands in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and which will, if the present Amendment be withdrawn, be moved. That Amendment is one expressing the view of the House in favour of vaccination; but afterwards it goes on to speak of such modifications as experience may suggest. I believe that one of those modifications would be that which is favoured by my Predecessor in Office—namely, the abolition of repeated penalties. In that sense I shall vote for the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh, if the right hon. Gentleman has an opportunity of moving it."For his own part, he would be glad to see the cumulative penalties removed, for he believed by that means a good deal of unnecessary hardship would be prevented."
said, he thought the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) had exercised a wise discretion in dealing, as he had, with the Resolutions before the House. It was quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman had said, that in the Office where he (Mr. Sclater-Booth) once administered, and also in the House, he had deprecated the practice of inflicting repeated penalties. The right hon. Gentleman, however, had not stated the foundation of his (Mr. Sclater-Booth's) views on the subject; and therefore he would trouble the House with a few observations on that point. It was evident that the compulsory system of vaccination was desired by the House, and he believed by the country; but Parliament had never gone so far as to require that infants, whose parents declined to bring them to be vaccinated, should be taken from their parents vi et armis, for the purpose of undergoing the operation. The House had shrunk from doing that; and, so long as it did so, there would always be difficulty with regard to cumulative penalties, because the parents, comparatively few in number, who would submit to these penalties were quast-fanatics; and the infliction of cumulative penalties had the same kind of mischievous effect as imprisonment or prosecution in cases of religious fanaticism in former generations. When cumulative penalties came to be put into operation in particular cases, it was quite evident it had a mischievous effect. He endeavoured, during the time he was in Office, to mitigate the hardship of the penalties; but when Parliament was asked to remove the power of inflicting the cumulative penalties, the proposal entirely changed the compulsory principle which underlay the whole of their Vaccination Laws. The mere removal of cumulative penalties would not be satisfactory to the House or to the country, and that was not the policy he would desire to see in force. He did not think it would be wise, under the circumstances in which they found themselves, to enter further into the question. It might be possible, however, to place the Local Government Board Inspector in charge of the case, after the recovery of one or two penalties from the parent, and that officer might be held responsible for continuing, or for forbearing to continue, the summoning of the parent. That might, probably, be the best solution of the question. He did not think Parliament ought to agree to the abolition of cumulative penalties unless with some security of this sort. He had never advocated the abolition of the cumulative penalties except in this sense; and it was only on account of the difficulty in which they found themselves in regard to the cumulative penalties that he had expressed himself adverse to the policy of retaining them. He had no doubt that the application of the law required to be enforced by some system of cumulative penalty; but he thought the administration of the law, after a certain number of penalties had been recovered, should be placed on some public authority, rather more weighty, or rather more responsible to the House, than the local authorities who now administered the Act.
, said, that after the very strong expression of opinion on the part of his right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board (Sir Charles W. Dilke) on the question of cumulative penalties, and considering that the Amendment to be proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) provided for such modifications as experience might suggest. He was quite prepared to do what he felt was desired by the House—namely, that he should withdraw his Amendment in order that the issue might be taken upon the Resolution of the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Taylor) and the Amendment of the right hon. Gen-man (Sir Lyon Playfair).
said, that before the Amendment was withdrawn, he wished to say that the House was by no means bound by the opinion of the Head of the Local Government Board, or by the opinion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Devon (Sir Joseph Pease), in respect to cumulative penalties. If they abolished cumulative penalties they would have Anti-Vaccination Societies raising subscriptions, and the whole object of Parliament would be defeated. Cumulative penalties were not novel things in law. He had had to do with the administration of the Education Act; and if a parent declined to send a child to school, it was a very common thing for him to be repeatedly summoned and fined. If cumulative penalties were abolished in this case they ought also to be abolished in the case of the drunkard. In that case, after a certain number of convictions there would be no cumulative penalties, and the habitual drunkard would be able to be drunk and disorderly for the rest of his life. He wanted to know why a different law was to be applied in the case of vaccination to the one they applied in the case of School Board prosecutions, and in prosecutions for drunkenness? If the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board ever proposed to abolish cumulative penalties, he (Mr. T. Collins) hoped the House would not do what appeared to him to be so foolish a thing as to remove cumulative penalties and allow the law to be set at nought.
said, an occurrence took place at Rotherhide not long ago, the recital of which would possibly impress the bitterest enemy of vaccination. A man who had been a vehement anti - vaccinator ingeniously managed to arrange affairs so that no members of his family were vaccinated. During the late epidemic one of his children took small-pox. The child recovered, but the mother, who nursed it, took small-pox and died; two other children died of the disease, and three more had to be taken to the hospital. Bad as this was, there was more to come. The anti-vaccinator borrowed from a neighbour a suit of black clothes in which to attend his wife's funeral. Shortly after the clothes were returned their owner took small-pox, was conveyed to the hospital, and died there. Since then, other houses had become affected, and in all 16 cases of small-pox had been taken to hospital. Comment on such a case was needless. They could not have a more conspicuous example of the danger that they were subject to by having anti-vaccinators in their neighbourhood; and he sincerely trusted that a very decisive majority would pronounce in favour of vaccination.
said, with the permission of the House he would say just a very few words in reply. They bad had a very interesting speech from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair), and, as the President of the Local Government Board said, it was one of his excellencies that he knew how to deal with figures well. In re- gard to that, of course it was impossible at that hour to follow all the statistics, and he (Mr. Tayler) was quite prepared to leave the matter to the judgment of the House and the country, and would now only say that the right hon. Gentleman had largely dealt with mere assertion and the recognition of foregone conclusions. He asserted that danger from vaccination was rare and infrequent, and he called him (Mr. Taylor) as a witness to this as a fact, and read something which, in past years, he moved in the Committee on the subject, observing that, if that were so, then he need say no more. But this was a little hard upon him, seeing that he had since read his recantation, and had come to the conclusion that vaccination was altogether a mistake. While the right hon. Gentleman appealed to him to confirm his assertions, he forgot higher authorities—higher authorities than himself—medical authorities, notably that of Mr. Brudenell Carter. He declared that small-pox had decreased, and he declared that the decrease was due to vaccination; but he went no way to prove it. He forgot that small-pox had distinctly diminished, according to the evidence of Dr. Farr, before vaccination came into operation at all. He declared that because smallpox continued to diminish that vaccination caused it; but, in a similar way, he might declare the power of vaccination to stop the Plague, which had not appeared in England for two centuries. He took little account of distinguished medical authorities, who arrived at a different belief to himself, as to the influence of vaccination on zymotic disease. He drew a distinction that he (Mr. Taylor) was quite unable to comprehend as to the meaning of his own expression, "stamping out the disease;" and he said—"We can stamp it out, but we cannot keep it out." To ordinary minds it would mean that vaccination would prevent people dying of the disease; but he said it would not do that. Nevertheless, he said it would "stamp out" the disease. There was only one more matter he would touch upon—the story, the bogus story, that the right hon. Gentleman brought forward of the mortality from the disease in the French and German Armies during the Franco-German War—a bogus story founded on the Report of Dr. W. B. Carpenter.
said, his authority was not Dr. Carpenter, for the quotation which he read was from Dr. Colin, the Physician General of the French Army.
said, no one really believed that the number of deaths was 22,000; and he had the authority of Dr. Bayard for saying that these were not the numbers that died, but the numbers that had the disease. Again, it was asserted that the whole of the French Army were re-vaccinated before the war; and Dr. Carpenter replied —"Yes; the whole of the original Army." But it must be recollected that those recruits who fought at Orleans and the latter part of the campaign were not re-vaccinated; and he had the authority of Dr. Oidtmann for saying that the mortality among those who were re-vaccinated was greater than among those who were not. The deaths from smallpox in Paris in 1871 were said to be 1,600; and the illustration of vaccination and small-pox in Paris in that year was one of the most remarkable that had been recorded in history, and an able memoir of it had been written by Dr. Spinzig. In January of that year there was a great fear of a coming epidemic. Re-vaccination was enjoined on everybody; and all Paris was excited on the subject. In one Mairie no less than 2,000 persons presented themselves for re-vaccination. They held the opinion that there was danger in human lymph, and they went direct to the calf. Month after month the epidemic increased, and during the time re-vaccination was in operation the mortality still went on increasing, until the medical authorities decided on vaccinating no more, and, in a few months, the mortality returned to its normal character.
said, he wished to say a word on the withdrawal of the Amendment. If the Amendment was withdrawn, those of them who, like himself, were in favour of the abolition of cumulative penalties would have no alternative but to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Leicester. The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Sir Lyon Playfair) meant simply the status quo, whatever interpretation might be put upon it by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board. However beneficent a discovery they might believe vaccination to be, it did not follow that the best moans of extending its usefulness throughout the country was to enforce it by pains and penalties; and if he voted for the Motion of the hon. Member for Leicester, it would be because he wished to protest against these cumulative penalties.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
To leave out from the word "House," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "the practice of Vaccination has greatly lessened the mortality from small-pox, and that Laws relating to it, with such modifications as experience may suggest, are necessary for the prevention and mitigation of this fatal and mutilative disease,"—(Sir Lyon Playfair,)
Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
The House divided:—Ayes 16; Noes 286: Majority 270.—(Div. List, No. 145.)
Main Question, as amended, put.
Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House, the practice of Vaccination has greatly lessened the mortality from small-pox, and that Laws relating to it, with such modifications as experience may suggest, are necessary for the prevention and mitigation of this fatal and mutilative disease.
Electric Lighting Provisional Orders (No 9) Bill
On Motion of Mr. JOHN HOLMS, Bill for confirming certain Provisional Orders made by the Board of Trade under "The Electric Lighting Act, 1882," relating to Bristol, Grantham, and Lowestoft, ordered to be brought in by Mr. JOHN HOLMS and Mr. CHAMBERLAIN.
Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 238.]
Public, Buildings (Doors) Bill
On Motion of Mr. COLERIDGE KENNARD, Bill making it compulsory on all constructors of public buildings that Doors should be hung so as to open outwards, ordered to be brought in by Mr. COLERIDGE KENNARD, Mr. BERESFORD HOPE, Viscount FOLKESTONE, and Mr. WILLIAM FOWLER.
Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 239.]
House adjourned at half after One o'clock.