HC Deb 07 June 1901 vol 94 cc1327-8
MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate if he will state whether any action has been taken either by the Secretary for Scotland or the Congested Districts Board during the recess with a view to provide the landless cottars and fishermen of Bernera Island, of Lewis, and various districts in North Uist, with land at fair rentals, and, if not, will steps be taken at an early date to ascertain what land is available in the districts for the settlement of the people; and is he aware that the people of Bernera have been applying to the Congested Districts Board for land for several years.


The answer to the first portion of the hon. Member's † See preceding volume, page 1314. question is in the negative. The Secretary for Scotland and the Congested Districts Board are anxious to give every consideration to any applications made by cottars which are put forward in a legitimate manner. They are aware that the Bernera cottars have wanted land for some time past, and they are in consultation in regard both to their case and to that of the North Uist cottars. The latest report from Bernera, however, is to the effect that the cottars have been illegally cutting peat on a farm which they threaten to occupy by force, in anticipation of such occupation. The North Uist cottars have also passed resolutions proposing action in defiance of the law. If they wish to prevent their case from receiving favourable consideration, they cannot more effectively secure that end than by such misguided action.