HC Deb 25 October 1909 vol 12 cc721-2

asked the Lord Advocate, having regard to the fact that the cottars of Valtos and Kneep some time since petitioned the proprietor of the island of Lewis to break up the farm of Reef, in the parish of Uig, would he state what decision had been arrived at; and whether the Congested Districts Board would be prepared to co-operate with the proprietor in the creation of new holdings?


also asked the Lord Advocate whether, in view of the small number of new holdings created in the island of Lewis out of the funds of the Congested Districts Board, arrangements would now be made for a portion of the Board's funds to be utilised for that purpose, especially bearing in mind that the Secretary for Scotland intimated in March last that he then had the matter under consideration?


In reply to these two questions I can only inform him that the Congested Districts Board are in communication with those concerned, but no decision has yet been arrived at.


asked the Lord Advocate, having regard to the fact that the recommendations of Dr. Dittmar, the Local Government Board inspector, for improving the sanitary condition of the townships in the island of Lewis, supported by suggestions of the medical officer of health for Ross and Cromarty, had been under the consideration of the Secretary for Scotland since 1906, would he state what sum had been expended in the island by the Government and local authority, respectively, with a view to remedy these conditions, since the Government came into office?


I am informed that £175 has been expended by the local authority in protecting wells, and that in some districts dwellings are being considerably improved by the inhabitants themselves. The Government has no powers to enable it to spend money on sanitary purposes.


asked the Lord Advocate, in view of the fact that the Small Landholders (Scotland) Bill made no provision for crofters, cottars, fishermen, and others who were without means with which to equip and stock a holding, would he state how the Government proposed to deal with the numerous persons of this class, mainly cottars, in the island of Lewis and else-where who were without means with which to equip a new holding; and, if legislation was necessary, would he state when he proposed to introduce it?


The Government are not able now to anticipate the legislation of future Sessions; and I cannot encourage my hon. Friend to think that any such proposals as he appears to suggest are likely to be laid before Parliament.


In view of the difficulty of raising sufficient money to equip these new holdings, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of recommending His Majesty's Government to extend the Unearned Increment Tax to personal property, such as the Clydesdale Bank shares?