I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the Secretary for Scotland is aware that, although it is stated in the Fourth Annual Report of the Local Government Board for Scotland (1898), page xxiii., that the Commissioner for the Local Government Board made an exhaustive inquiry into an outbreak of infectious disease in South Uist, it is true that the Commissioner refused to take the evidence of the clerk to the Parish Council of South Uist, who was the first person officially most conversant with the facts at issue; and, seeing that the parish council complained to the Lord Advocate and the Secretary for Scotland as well as to the First Lord of the Treasury of the misstatement of facts and refusal by the Commissioner to take evidence, whether any steps have been taken to inquire into or to rectify the statements complained of as misrepresentations by the parish council.
I am informed by the Local Government Board that they are not aware that their Commissioner ever declined to receive the evidence of the clerk to the parish council. On the contrary, the clerk to the parish council was cited to Lochboisdale with other witnesses but was unable to be present, being stormstaid at Castlebay. Any books and documents which the clerk might have produced were produced by the inspector of poor. It is not the intention of the Local Government Board to reopen the inquiry which they consider sufficient.