HC Deb 27 March 1893 vol 10 c1189
MR. RENSHAW (Renfrew, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that all the counties in Scotland, except the Counties of Berwick, Haddington, and Forfar, have acted on the Rule laid down by the Scotch Office in 1890, and appointed medical officers who are debarred from accepting private practice; and whether, in view of the importance to the efficient sanitary administration under Scotch County Councils that their medical officers should be absolutely independent, and also in view of the provisions of "The Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act, 1890," he will continue to distribute the grant on the conditions laid down in 1890?


I am informed that not only the counties mentioned in the question, but Orkney and Shetland, Bute and Arran, Kinross and Ross-shire, were made exceptions to the Rule. I think the County Councils can best judge whether or not their medical officer should take practice, and that was certainly the intention of Parliament. I express no opinion about, and still less against, the policy of confining the medical officer to his public work; but where so many exceptions have to be made they should be made, if necessary, by the body which has total knowledge and total responsibility.


Does the right hon. Gentleman adhere to the Rule of 1890?


I thought I had explained the reasons of the departure. There are so many exceptions, that I think it necessary they should be made by the County Councils themselves, and not by the Central Board, which was not intended by the Act of Parliament to make the exceptions.