Review of Reviews,  18 (1898), 111–22.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary


Vaccination, Government, Ethics, Politics, Medical Practitioners

    Heralds the 'defeat of the Government over the Vaccination Bill' as 'a victory of the greatest importance, for it is a victory which almost for the first time definitely and formally extends the area within which conscience is recognised as king'. The amended bill now allows that 'any parent who satisfies the Justice of the Peace that he has conscientious scruples which forbid him to assent to the vaccination of his children is to be exempt from compulsion. This concession, bitterly assailed by the medical police, who as always are dominated by the fixed idea that the health of the community can only be secured by the sacrifice of the liberties of the subject, makes a great advance, the full significance of which is yet but dimly appreciated'. (119) Applauds the 'dogged determination of anti-vaccinators to go to gaol rather than submit their children to inoculation', and acknowledges that the government 'capitulation' by which the 'anti-vaccinators reaped their reward for many years of painstaking agitation throughout the country' was occasioned by the 'conviction on the part of the majority [in Parliament] that their seats would not be safe unless some concession was made by the Government' after 'a dead set was made against the Conservative candidate by the anti-vaccinators' in a by-election at Reading (120).

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