§ MR. YOUNGER (Ayr Burghs)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the rise in the poor rates levied in the parishes of Barvas, Uig, and Lochs, in the Lewis, from 2s. 11d., 2s. 3d., and 4s. 2d., respectively, per £ of rental in 1885 (inclusive of the public health rate) to 13s. 8d., 7s., and 12s. 3d., in 1907 (exclusive of the public health rate); whether he is aware that these rates compare with an average for Scotland of 11½d. per £ in the latter year, that the total local rates in these parishes amount to 17s. 9d.,16s. 3d., and 15s. 11d. per £ and that 80 per cent. of these rates is chargeable to one individual; and, seeing that, owing to £19,000 of arrears of his judicial rent and the payment thereon of the full local rates, he finds himself unable to pay the present year's demand note, with the result that a complete breakdown in local government there has occurred, will he state what steps he is taking in these circumstances to provide for its maintenance.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
So far as I am informed the hon. Member's figures as to the amounts of the rates in the parishes named are correct, and I accept his statement as to arrears of rent. In order to meet the immediate necessities of poor relief I have authorised certain payments in advance of grants-in-aid, not under ordinary circumstances payable till later in the year. Further action is under consideration.