HC Deb 03 August 1888 vol 329 cc1401-2
MR. A. SUTHERLAND (Sutherland)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether he is aware that Mr. James Blake, who is employed by the Crofters' Commission to value the holdings of crofter on the Sutherland Estate in Assynt, in the County of Sutherland, is tenant of a large farm on the estate of a near relative of the proprietor of the Sutherland Estate, and that Mr. Blake has several relatives holding farms on the Sutherland Estate; whether one of the applications which fall to be considered by the Commission, and the subject of which Mr. Blake will he called upon to value, is a portion of grazing land which the local factor promised to the crofters of Elphin, in the said parish of Assynt, but which was afterwards added to the adjoining sheep-run, of which Mr. Blake's nephew is the tenant; whether he is aware that some of Mr. Blake's relatives have for many years been in the direct pay and employment of the Sutherland Estate, and that Mr. Blake himself has been frequently employed on the Sutherland Estate as private valuer; and, whether, in these circumstances, the Secretary for Scotland will use his authority to secure the appointment of a valuer whose antecedents are free from any pecuniary relations with the parties interested in fixing a fair rent in this case?

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

I have no knowledge of the facts stated in the Question; but it is for the Commissioners to decide whether there is ground for not employing any particular valuator in any particular district. The Secretary for Scotland has directed a communication to be made to the Commissioners, informing them of the purport of the hon. Member's Question, and no doubt they will inquire into the matter.