§ 64. Sir HENRY CRAIK
asked if the Secretary for Scotland's attention has been called to a speech delivered by Sir George M'Crae to the Young Scots' Society on 4th December at the Odd fellows Hall, in which he characterised the proposed scheme of the Poor Law Report for Scotland, drawn up by the majority of the Royal Commission, as impracticable; whether he is aware that the scheme was drawn up and approved by, amongst others, Sir George M'Crae's predecessor, Mr. Patten M'Dougall; whether Sir George M'Crae had the authority of the Local Government Board to make this speech; and, if not, whether he will undertake that for the future the Regulations which govern the utterances in public of permanent officials should be applied to Sir George M'Crae?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I am informed that the speech in question, of which the published reports are necessarily incomplete, was a lecture, mainly historical, on the evolution of the Poor Law, and was in no sense intended as an attempt to forecast the future lines of Poor Law legislation; indeed, the lecturer expressly disclaimed any such intention. At the same time I think the lecture was in some respects open to the criticism suggested in the hon. Member's question, and I had already communicated in that sense with Sir George M'Crae before the question appeared on the Paper.