§ MR. WEIR
To ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that the Return, Parochial Medical Officers (Scotland), is inaccurate in stating that the post of medical officer for Harris was vacant only once during the seven years prior to 1903, inasmuch as Dr. Macdonald 1214 was appointed to North Harris early in 1897, and during the end of 1898 Dr. Fletcher was appointed, in South Harris a Birmingham doctor was appointed to succeed Dr. Robinson in 1898, and Dr. Fraser was appointed in 1900; and will he take steps to have the accuracy of the Return tested, in so far as Barra and South Uist are concerned.
(Answered by Mr. A. Graham Murray.) The Local Government Board have communicated with the inspector of poor of Harris in regard to the Return of Medical Officers furnished by him, and they find that, since July, 1896, there has been a change in the medical officership of South Harris five times and in that of North Harris twice. It appears that there has been some misunderstanding as to the meaning of the Return. The inspector explains that he understood the inquiry to mean the number of times that the parish was without a medical officer, and did not regard as vacancies those occasions on which one medical officer succeeded another without an interval of time. The Board are inquiring into the details of the Returns received from Barra and South Uist.