HC Deb 20 April 1883 vol 278 cc740-1

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether it is the case that, while the Detailed Annual Report of the Registrar General for Ireland for the year 1879 was published in the autumn of 1880, and the Detailed Report of the Registrar General for England for the same year early in 1881, the Detailed Report of the Registrar General for Scotland for 1879 has not yet been issued; and, whether he can explain how it is that the work of the Scotch Department is so much behind that of the English and Irish?


The Detailed Annual Report for 1879 was sent to the Home Office on the 30th of March last, and will be immediately presented to Parliament. The Detailed Annual Report is distinct from the Annual Report. The Annual Report for 1882 is in the press, and will be issued in a few days. The Detailed Annual Report for Scotland must always be issued later than these for England and Ireland, owing to the system of duplicate registers in Scotland. The duplicate registers close on 31st December, and are compared in the parishes by the examiners during the course of the following year, before one copy is sent to the Registrar General, so that the last of them does not reach the hands of the Registrar General till a year after it is closed, and the preparation of the Detailed Annual Report proceeds in the following year. The current Reports are kept up to date; but the Detailed Annual Report must always be about two years after date. Temporary causes, especially the long illness and death of the Superintendent of Statistics, have retarded its preparation in the present instance still longer; but these being removed, its issue will before long be as much accele- rated as the Scotch registration system admits.