HC Deb 10 August 1888 vol 330 c310
DR. R. M'DONALD (Ross and Cromarty)

asked the Lord Advocate, If it is a fact that in the Island of Lewis the schoolhouse of Cromore is eight miles from a public road, that of Planasker or Macraig nine miles, those of Keosharder, Graver, and Lenmera respectively four miles; whether the average attendance at those schools ranges from 45 to 55 children, and whether each family in the district are bound to pay 10s. per annum for road money; and, whether, considering the poverty of the people and the facility with which cheap labour can be got in this district, the Government will act on the recommendations in Mr. Machoil's Report, and bring pressure to bear on the Road Trustees to have roads made in this district, or give a grant-in-aid to carry out this necessary improvement, and at the same time prevent a number of families from dying of slow starvation for want of adequate food?

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

The facts in the first two paragraphs are not quite correct—Cromore schoolhouse being distant seven and not eight miles, and that of Planaskar or Macraig being eight and not nine miles distant from a public road. The average attendance ranges from 36 to 57, and not 45 to 55 as stated. The Government have no power to bring pressure upon the Road Trustees in order to compel or induce them to make roads in any district. The question of a grant-in-aid for local public purposes is a very large one, and is one of general public policy. I would point out to the hon. Member that even were such grant given the relief would only be of a temporary nature, as has already been proved by the former employment of the inhabitants for the formation of roads by the proprietor of the Island.