HC Deb 15 July 1887 vol 317 cc940-1
DR. R. MACDONALD (ROSS and Cromarty)

asked the Lord Advocate, If his attention has been directed to the following Circulars issued to all the tenants on the Barcaldine Estate, near Oban, by the proprietrix, Mrs. Ogilvie:— I (Archibald MacArthur, senior), now residing in cottage, and having crofts on Barcaldine Estate, do hereby agree to proceed no further with the application which I have made to the Crofters Commission for fixity of tenure, &c. And I further hind myself to make no further application or claim under the Act upon condition that I be allowed to hold and occupy the said cottage and croft and land on the same conditions as heretofore during the remainder of my life, but without power to transmit the same to anyone. Dated and signed this day of "May, 1887; whether, on the refusal of the said Archibald MacArthur and others to sign this document, the following notice was sent to them by Mrs. Ogilvie:— Barcaldine, 25th May, 1887. Sir,—I beg to intimate to you that, in accordance with the printed regulations of this estate of Barcaldine, I will, upon Martinmas next ensuing, resume possession of all that land in your occupation and rented by you, for the purpose of planting the same. I beg to add that this notice stands without prejudice to the 'notice to quit' received by you in November last; and, whether, if Mrs. Ogilvie and other Highland proprietors attempt to defeat the Crofters Act by reserving part or all of their estates for planting purposes, he will bring in a short amending Act to prevent such evasure of the Act of 1886?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

Mrs. Ogilvie bought the estates of Barcaldine and Ballachulish, with entry at Martinmas last year, with the intention of farming them herself. Before she got possession, notice to quit was, at her request, given to certain tenants. Five or six of these served notices on her under the Crofters Act; and with all of these, except one, she arranged amicably, giving them money and other compensation, and in some cases employment on the estate, upon which she is executing extensive improvements. In respect of the arrangements made, the tenants signed agreements similar to those described as circulars in the hon. Member's Question. I understand that only one notice to resume land for planting was given by Mrs. Ogilvie. The circumstances do not appear to call for any Act amending the Crofters Act of last year.