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The International Anti-Vaccination Congress (S383ac: 1885)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A short anonymous note carrying a brief communication from Wallace. Printed on page 8 of The Belfast News-Letter issue of 28 July 1885. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S383AC.htm

[By Our Special Wire.]

     London, Monday.--The fourth International anti-Vaccination Congress was opened, by the invitation of the Burgomaster and Municipal Council, at the Hotel de Ville, Charleroi, Belgium, yesterday, under the presidency of Dr. Hubert Bohens. There was a good attendance of delegates from England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries, and letters of sympathy were received from friends of the movement in America and Canada, regretting their inability to attend. Professor W. F. Newman wrote, "I honour the devotion, with sacrifice of liberty and of money, which carries you on against vaccination, and the ability with which you prosecute a career which has only one certain result--triumphant success. You invite me to share your efforts, but as I have now attained eighty years of life, it is not wonderful that I am forced to decline." Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., in his letter, said, "I am unable to attend the International Anti-Vaccination Congress, but desire to express my sympathy with your efforts. I trust the day will soon come when there will be complete individual freedom with regard to medical treatment, and when it shall be impossible to force the views of the medical profession, whether these views be right or wrong, upon an unwilling public." Dr. Alfred Russell Wallace stated, "I beg to express my warmest sympathy with the cause which this Congress is assembled to advocate. I wish you speedy and complete success in overthrowing the cruel and despotic vaccination laws under which almost the whole civilised world now groans." Sir J. Clarke Jervoise; Mr. Joseph Arch; Dr. Garth Wilkinson (London); Mr. J. A. Picton, M.P.; and Mr. P. A. Taylor, ex-M.P., also wrote in a similar strain. Dr. Hubert Bohens (the president) read an elaborate and spirited inaugural address on the general aspects of the vaccination question, and among the papers to be read was one by Mr. Wm. Tebb, of London, on "Vaccination in England."

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