HC Deb 22 March 1927 vol 204 cc181-2
18. Colonel DAY (for Mr. N. MACLEAN)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the proprietor of Scarristavey, in South Harris, was prepared to negotiate with the Board of Agriculture for the sale of that farm; whether he can state if any negotiations took place; and whether the correspondence between the Board and the proprietor will be submitted to the House?


The basis which the Board considered appropriate in the case of this farm was not purchase but a scheme under Part II of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act, 1919, and the Board are not aware what were the proprietor's intentions with respect to the question of sale. Proposals for a scheme of settlement under Part II were made to the proprietor in May last and are still open for his acceptance. I do not propose to lay the correspondence before the House.

20. Colonel DAY (for Mr. N. MACLEAN)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he is aware that a number of men have taken possession of the farm of Scarristavey, Harris; that they are now being threatened with interdict; that some of these men are living under deplorable conditions through lack of employment and adequate housing; and that some of them have 25 years' service in His Majesty's forces and hold decorations for long service and good conduct; and, seeing that the Government during and since the War promised them that their claim for holdings would be met, will he state what steps will now be taken to implement these promises?


I understand that interdict was obtained against certain men who have been in illegal occupation of parts of Scaristaveg Farm. I would remind the hon. Member that in introducing the Vote for the Board of Agriculture for Scotland last June I referred to this particular case and stated that I would not entertain the claims of any men who raid, and that I would not give way to unfair or unreasonable action on the part of a small section to the detriment of others who are in equally difficult circumstances. I regret that any ex-service or other men should have prejudiced their case by illegal action but I must adhere to the statement to which I have referred.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the War ended in 1918, and that these ex-service men are still waiting?


Yes, Sir, I am aware of that, and I am also aware of the fact that the Government have done a very great deal for ex-service men.