§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland 24 whether he is aware that a Sheriff's officer is actively engaged in and around Ullapool poinding the effects of the crofters and fishermen for the county rate; if so, will he state why these persons have not been summoned in the ordinary course?
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Sir G. TREVELYAN,) Glasgow, Bridgeton
The proceedings for the recovery of the consolidated rates due by certain ratepayers in the parish of Loch-broom, in which Ullapool is situated, were, as in the ordinary course, by way of summary warrant under Section 62 (5) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889. These rates are those imposed in October last for the year from the 15th of May, 1893, to the 15th of May, 1894, and arrears for previous years. The rates for the year 1893–94 became payable on the 24th of November last, and notices requiring payment were in the hands of the defaulting ratepayers before that day. Further, before the summary warrants were put in force, the county collector issued a printed notice to defaulters warning them that if the rates were not paid a Sheriff officer would be instructed to take steps to enforce payment; and it was only on failure to comply with this warning that their effects were distrained under the warrants. I am informed by the county clerk that the rates should have been paid at the end of last harvest, and that, in these circumstances, it is not proposed to allow any further delay unless in very exceptional cases where the county collector considers it advisable to do so.