§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Lord Advocate, Whether an old woman named Ann Macdonald, residing in King Street, Tain, was found dead in a room there on or about the 3rd of October; whether she died from the effects of starvation; whether, a fortnight previous to her death, she applied for parochial relief and was refused, with the exception of 2s., which was appropriated by the deceased for payment of the rent of her room; whether the criminal authorities failed to hold a post mortem examination of the body; and, whether the Inspector of Poor for the parish of Tain acts in that capacity for four other parishes, and whether such a state of matters will be allowed to continue?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR),
in reply, said, that a woman named Margaret Macdonald, about 50 years of age, was found dead in her room at Tain on the 2nd of October. She did not die of starvation. Provisions of various kinds were found in her room. She never applied for parochial relief, but aliment to a small extent was spontaneously given her by the Parochial Board between the 15th of August and the 23rd of September; and shortly before her death she received payment for out-door work she had done. The body was examined by a physician on the day of her death, under the Sheriff's warrant, in the ordinary form; but it was 1290 not found necessary to open it, her death being attributed to diarrhœa, from which she was known to have been suffering. There was no fault or neglect on the part of any of the officers concerned, and he (the Lord Advocate) did not propose to take any steps in the matter.