HC Deb 21 February 1887 vol 311 c171
MR. A. SUTHERLAND (Sutherland)

asked the Secretary for Scotland, Whether, in view of the large number of applications to the Crofters' Commission to fix fair rents, the time necessary for the proper consideration of these applications, the recent decision of the Court of Session that notwithstanding the provisions of "The Crofters' Holdings Act, 1886," the landlords can use diligence to recover arrears of rent, and are actually using such diligence, the Government intends to amend the said Act, or take such other steps as may facilitate the fixing of fair rents in the districts subject to the operation of the aforesaid Crofters' Act?


While there is no reason, either in justice or law, why landlords should, in every case refrain from claiming the whole or part of their arrears; I am of opinion that they would be extremely ill-advised, both in their own and in the public interests, if they were so to press their legal rights that any crofter was deprived through bankruptcy of the benefits of the Crofters' Act before a decision could be pronounced on his case by the Crofters' Commission. I have no ground for thinking that this has been done. I can assure the hon. Member that I am as anxious as he is to facilitate the fixing of a fair rent by the Commission; but that I am not, as at present advised, prepared to re-open the question by fresh legislation.