Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Old Orchard, Broadstone, Dorset,
Dear Miss Loat,
I feel more and more every year that vaccination is the most unscientific, the most harmful, and in every way the most wicked delusion of the nineteenth century. But all the issues are so confused by the interests and class prestige of the doctors, and these have such weight with the Government and the general public, that we shall, I fear, not get rid of it until we have an enquiry into the whole mass of statistical evidence that now exists. This enquiry should be carried out by trained statisticians only. Doctors and anti-vaccinationists are to adduce the statistical facts they rely upon, and the Commission or Committee of Enquiry are to examine the trustworthiness and weight of this evidence, and report what it demonstrates as to the effect of vaccination and re-vaccination upon comparative smallpox mortality. Opinions are to be rigidly excluded.
No one can say that such an enquiry would not be of the greatest value, and I have not the slightest doubt as to the result. This enquiry would settle the question once for all. It would satisfy the public and force the Government to abolish the whole ghastly mass of legislation on the subject. The opposition of the doctors to such an unbiassed enquiry will alone condemn them in the judgment of every thinking man or woman.
--Yours very truly,