§ MR. FRASER-MACKINTOSH (Inverness-shire)
asked the Secretary for Scotland, If his attention has been directed to a printed statement lately issued by the proprietrix of South Uist, where it is alleged that the crofters and others to a large extent decline to pay their share of the parochial rates and assessments; whether he will cause inquiry to be made as to the truth of the above allegation; and, whether the arrears of rates in South Uist, if greater than the average, has any connection with the prevalent distress in the locality?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR) (&c.) Clackmannan,
(who replied) said: Attention was directed to this printed statement, and the serious results likely to ensue from the non-payment of rates in various island parishes in Inverness-shire were brought under the notice of the Government by communications from the Board of Supervision and other persons. Directions were consequently given, under which a special inquiry is now being made into the whole circumstances connected with the arrears of rates and the distress alleged to exist in certain parishes in Skye. When the Report has been received it will be the duty of the Government to consider whether the inquiry should be extended to other districts, including South Uist.