22 MAY 1941, Page 14


Snt,—I have just seen the letter by Dr. A. V. Hill in your issue of the 2nd instant. The two reasons which Dr. Hill puts forward in opposition to the judicial ruling that anti-vivisection societies are "Good Charities" are that the chief activities of these societies "lie in attempting to prevent members of the Forces from being inocu- lated" and "persuading parents not to have their children immunised against diphtheria." The activities of anti-vivisectionists must of course include opposition to the treatments introduced as the result of cruel experiments on animals and seen to be against the physical well-being of the community, but both the statements made by Dr. Hill are inaccurate. We are not trying to prevent members of the Forces from being inoculated ; we are doing what we can to make known that they are entitled to refuse not only inoculations but also vaccination—a dangerous primary operation in an adult, as the Ministry of Health have several times pointed out. In regard to the inoculation against diphtheria, we are really trying to persuade parents that while it cannot possibly promote the health of their children to have a poisonous product of disease put into their blood, even in small quantities, they have no guarantee that this will afford any protection. It has been authoritatively stated that "the natural

risk of clinical diphtheria is about to per cent, of persons born." And yet, although only a small proportion of the to per cent, have been "immunised," no fewer than 3,000 cases of diphtheria have already been recorded in fully-immunised children.—Yours faithfully,


British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, 138 Widemarsh Street, Hereford.