Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
I am unable to attend the meeting of the Annual Conference at Eastbourne, but I trust it will further the ends of the League. I am sorry to see how little educated public opinion seems to have been influenced by all the work that has been done, and that total repeal of the iniquitous laws seems as far off as ever. I feel sure that nothing will hasten on that object but making it the one question at every by-election, and urging every anti-vaccinator to vote only for the candidate who promises to support total repeal. In the meantime I trust that an Amendment of the last Vaccination Act will be demanded in Parliament in order to carry out the expressed intention of the Government, and give every person an exemption who declares before a magistrate his conscientious objection to vaccination. The absurd expression: "shall satisfy the magistrates that he has a conscientious objection" has led, as might have been expected, to opposite interpretation of the law, many of the more prejudiced occupants of the Bench maintaining that they must be satisfied that the objection of the applicant is in their opinion a valid one, and as no evidence will do this, no exemptions will be granted by such persons. Again urging that this great question of the liberty of the subject must be made the question at every election, both local and Parliamentary, if we wish to regain our freedom from the oppression of a false medical dogma which is the disgrace of the century, I am, etc.