HC Deb 02 September 1887 vol 320 cc898-9
DR. CLARK (Caithness) (for Dr. R. MACDONALD) (ROSS and Cromarty)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been called to the eviction of Mr. T. M. Russell, a leading farmer of East Lothian, who was made a bankrupt by his landlord, although his estate left a surplus of £500, after paying his creditors in full; and, if the Government are prepared to appoint a Commission to inquire into the position of Scotch leasehold farmers with the intention of giving thorn such redress as has been granted to the leaseholders of Ireland?

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

Mr. Russell was tenant of Greendykes Farm, on the St. Germain estate, and of Dolphingston, on the Preston Grange estate. In 1885 Mr. Russell, being £1,506 in arrears— he had £902 to his credit in the Lank and £767 in a promissory note for a loan to a friend—as he declined to apply these assets in liquidating his arrears of rent, the proprietors were compelled to take out sequestration, which he could have had recalled at once had he chosen to pay his rent. The Trustee, who was a personal friend of Mr. Russell's, renounced both leases with, it is believed, Mr. Russell's consent. At the close of the realization of his assets there was a balance of £500 returned to him. Since Mr. Russell was discharged, the proprietor of Dolphingston returned to him a sum of £250; and the proprietor of Greendykes expended £500 in purchasing him an annuity. The history of this case does not tend to induce Her Majesty's Government to appoint a Commission such as is suggested by my hon. Friend.


Is the Lord Advocate aware that the land had been valued by the proprietors, and found to be worth about 30 per cent less than the lease determined?


I am not aware what was the valuation of the land.