Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
One would think that the very first care of such a Government would be (pending the total abolition of all vaccination laws whatsoever) to make regulations that shall involve the least possible inconvenience and not one penny of expense to the wage-earners, who are not only the most numerous but the most indispensable portion of the population. Why continue this absurd legal mockery, with its "solemn declaration" and its "conscientiously believe" ungrammatically repeated twice over in four lines of a "Statutory Declaration?" Do they think that English parents of any class would take the trouble to apply for an exemption if they really believed vaccination to be beneficial? Why not, then, be satisfied with a simple declaration: "I decline to have my child vaccinated"--a printed form to that effect to be obtained at any post office, where it can be filled up and signed, and posted (free) to the Vaccination Officer, or, preferably, to the Registrar of Births?
We, who know the evils of vaccination without one particle of redeeming good, wholly deny the right of any Parliament to enforce it. And when we consider that it was first introduced more than a century ago, in the pre-scientific era of medicine, that all the predictions of its upholders have been falsified, that to inoculate healthy but helpless infants with pus from a diseased animal is an outrage on Nature and a crime against humanity; and, lastly, that probably not one in a hundred of those who voted for the successive vaccination laws ever gave a day's serious study to the question, but voted blindly, trusting to the erroneous statements of a profession which has, in all ages, made too many mistakes to be considered infallible, we, who know all this, "CLAIM"--not as a favour, but as OUR RIGHT--complete freedom from this medical tyranny.
I have myself made a careful study of the facts and statistics of vaccination for more than a quarter of a century, and I feel able to form a more trustworthy judgment as to the uselessness and the dangers of the operation than any number of class-biased doctors, or--in this matter, at all events--ignorant legislators. I therefore speak plainly what I know to be true, and claim boldly what I feel to be just and right.--Yours truly,
Alfred R. Wallace, D.C.L., F.R.S.