HC Deb 15 June 1894 vol 25 cc1217-8
SIR L. LYELL (Orkney and Shetland)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate if his attention has been drawn to the cases "Burroughs v. Work, Lovat v. Fraser, and Bruce v. Smith," in which three Sheriffs have given three divergent decisions on the question whether it is the fixed rent or the old rent which is payable by a crofter at the first term of Martinmas, or Whit Sunday, after the date of the decision of the Crofters' Commissioners; and whether, in the event of the fixed rents being less in amount than the old rent, the crofter is entitled to be repaid what he has already paid in excess for the period between the date of the notice of his application to his landlord and the date of the decision of the Commissioners, and that whether he be in arrears or no; and whether, in view of the fact that the sums in dispute are too small to allow of an appeal being made to the Court of Session, and of the importance of having the matter authoritatively settled and much litigation avoided, he will take steps to have the meaning of Section 6, Sub-sections (2) and (3) of "The Crofters' Act, 1886," on this question made perfectly clear?

*THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR,&c.) Clackmannan,

If there be a divergence of opinion among the Sheriffs upon the points stated in the question, I can only suggest, with a view to an authoritative decision, that the opinion of the Court of Session should be obtained, cither in the form of a Special Case, or of an action of Declarator. The matter is one in which I have no power to interfere.