No. 160
14 December 1870
My Lord,
I have consulted the Executive Council on the subject of Your Lordship's Circular Despatch of the 17th October, respecting the advantages of compulsory vaccination, and the possibility of enforcing the system in this Colony.ButManuscript image But, I fear that the circumstances of such a Community as this altogether preclude any reasonable expectation that the same results could be obtained as are seen in better organized societies. The white population are well enough disposed to adopt the precaution of Vaccination wherever it is within their reach, as I am informed by Gentlemen oftheManuscript image the Medical profession, but the impossibility of establishing any efficient system for the registration of Births in a wild Country like this would render comparatively valueless any attempt to enforce a compulsory system.
2. Even, however, if such a measure could be enforced with regard to the White population, it would be quite out of the questionamongManuscript image among the Indians who are far more numerous. Great numbers of Native tribes have been vaccinated from time to time, and I am informed that during periods of alarm from Small-pox many of them have, of their own accord, come to Medical men to be vaccinated. But, I am advised and I believe that in consequence of their superstitious prejudices and suspicions it would beexceedinglyManuscript image exceedingly unsafe to attempt to apply any compulsory system, even if it were not impossible to do so. And where the Indians are so much in communication and contact with the white population all over the Colony any regulations which affect only the latter must be futile.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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CC 23/1
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Vaccination. I have noted this answer. Despatch to be returned to Dt and Put by.
WR 25 Jan
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At once.
RGWH Jan 25/71
EHKH 26/1/71
K Jan 26/71
Musgrave, Anthony to Wodehouse, John 14 December 1870, CO 60:41, no. 742, 301. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B70160.html.

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