HC Deb 10 December 1900 vol 88 cc350-1

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the Secretary for Scotland is aware that Lord Macdonald's estate factor, when recently urging the crofters of Sconser, Isle of Skye, to remove from their present holdings to the depopulated lands of Boreraig and Suisinish, stated that the Congested Districts Board were prepared to erect houses and fences on the new holdings, and bear the expense of the removal; is he aware that this proposed removal of crofters has for its object the absorption of the crofter township of Sconser in the adjoining deer forest; and will he state whether the Board has authorised any such statement; if so, will he explain why the Board offered to undertake this expenditure in order to secure the extension of a deer forest.


The crofters of Sconser have disobeyed the finding of the Crofters Commission by keeping stock beyond that allowed by the Commission, which stock can only be fed by permitting it to trespass. As the crofters have represented that without this extra stock they cannot comfortably live, and as their houses are in an insanitary condition, the estate management, which is subject to the Order of the Court of Session, approached the Congested Districts Board with a view to seeing whether a scheme of migration could be carried out. Negotiations are still pending. The scheme as proposed is conceived in the interests of the crofters alone and with no reference to the deer forest, and, if carried out, the estate would be rather a loser than a gainer in pecuniary advantage.