§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether, having regard to the fact that the sum of £10,519 only was expended during the financial year 1891–2 on 1364 useful works out of the grant of£47,000 under "The Western Highlands and Islands (Scotland) Works Act, 1891," and that the cost of administration amounted to £1,560, arrangements will he considered to reduce the exorbitant administrative charges of the Department; and whether great efficiency and dispatch can be effected in carrying out works under the Act?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
Before any works whatever could be commenced in the Highlands it was necessary to examine into every project presented, and to report fully upon it. To carry out such an examination£1,560 was not an exorbitant charge. In the Estimates for next year there will be a large reduction in the salary of the chief appointment in this branch of administration. Owing to the formalities required by the Highland Works Act there are undoubtedly great delays in the beginning of every separate work. But that stage has now been passed in the case of a certain number of works, and before the end of next year material progress will have been made.