§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the Secretary for Scotland has received from the Landward Committee of the Stornoway Parish Council a petition stating that the crofters, cottars, and squatters, with their families and dependents, are suffering throughout the Island of Lewis hardships which they allege to be traceable to the congestion now rapidly becoming more acute, and that this state of things is due to the apparently determined opposition of the proprietor to grant land and house sites on favourable terms; is he aware that although the Congested Districts Board have applied to the proprietor of the island for the farms of Aiguish, Gress, and Croir for the purpose of settling the people on the land, the Board have not succeeded in securing a single acre; and, in view of the rapidly increasing population of the island, and the misery resulting from the want of land whereon to house the people, will the Secretary for Scotland consider the expediency of introducing legislation which in cases such as this will enable him to acquire the land compulsorily.
*MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
The possibility of acquiring land in the Lewis is still under the consideration of the Congested Districts Board. The Secretary for Scotland cannot undertake to 764 introduce legislation on the lines indicated by the hon. Member.