HC Deb 09 May 1944 vol 399 cc1683-4
1. Mr. Buchanan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that John Mathieson, 135, Cumberland Street, Glasgow, was knocked down, on the night of 16th March, and removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary in an ambulance called by the police; that subsequently his sister called at the police office and was told no accident could be traced; that next day she reported the matter to central police, again being informed that no trace could he found; that the brother came home after a week in Glasgow Royal Infirmary; and, as he had his identity card in his possession, what steps he proposes to take to see that similar incidents do not occur again.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

I am aware of the accident which led to the admission on 21st March of the injured party to Glasgow Royal Infirmary by St. Andrew's ambulance which had been called to the scene by a member of the public. Police headquarters did not have a report of the accident at the time of the sister's enquiry. When a report was received she was through an error not informed as they understood that Mr. Matheson was not being detained in the Infirmary. The police and hospital authorities have both expressed regret to Miss Matheson for the distress and annoyance caused her and have taken steps to prevent a similar occurrence in future.

Mr. Buchanan

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that the police knew within a comparatively short time of the accident? Why was this man's sister first of all not informed of the accident that night or the next day and kept running about for a whole week before anyone notified the deputy chief constable?

Mr. Johnston

There was a most unfortunate chapter of accidents but Mrs. Mathieson has been good enough to say that she accepts the apologies which have been tendered.

Mr. Buchanan

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that in these matters, with these police, there is a feeling that if a case happens to be in Gorbals, or a working class district, the same attention is not given to it as if it was among the well-to-do? Will he take steps to see that one district is no less well treated than another?

Mr. Johnston

I am very sorry to hear that. I have no means of knowing whether the statement is justified or not, but I will pass on my hon. Friend's representation to the proper authority.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Would it not be advisable also for the authorities of the infirmary to examine an incomer's identity card so they could know the where abouts of the victim?

Mr. Johnston

I will certainly consider that suggestion. I understand that steps have already been taken to ensure that a similar unfortunate occurrence shall not recur.

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