HC Deb 21 June 1901 vol 95 c1057
MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that when the Lewis section of the Seaforth Militia, numbering about 600 men, reached Kyle of Lochalsh last Tuesday night from Egypt, it was found that the steamer "Lovedale," which had been appointed to convey them to Stornoway, could carry only 370 of the men, in consequence of which the remaining 230 were left at Kyle, where there are but few houses and only limited accommodation, at the station to await the sailing of the "Clydesdale" on the following afternoon; and, seeing that the "Lovedale" affords little protection from the weather for so large a number of men, and was unsuited for the conveyance of troops just returning from a hot climate on such a night as the 11th June, which was cold, wet, and stormy, will he state who is responsible for having neglected to provide sufficient steamer accommodation to admit of the whole of these men proceeding to Stornoway on the night of their arrival at Kyle.


Under ordinary circumstances the men would have found their own way home after disembodiment at Dingwall, but in deference to the desire of the local authorities for a public reception at Stornoway, arrangements were made with the agent of the Highland Railway Company to secure their transit by the "Clansman," a vessel capable of conveying the whole 600 men. At the last moment, however, this vessel proved not available, and the "Lovedale" was substituted by the owner of the steamboats. Every effort was made by the local military authorities to secure further accommodation at once, but without success. No blame can be attached to the military authorities.