HC Deb 24 May 1927 vol 206 cc1809-10

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the estate of Strontian was purchased by the Board of Agriculture; what was the price paid for it, including claims for compensation, if any, and for sheep; how many smallholders have been settled thereon, and how long have they been settled; what expenditure has been incurred in settling them; what expenses for travelling and hotel accommodation were incurred by the officials of the Board in connection with the settlements of such smallholders; and what is the annual return from the estate?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)

The estate of Sunart in which Strontian is situated was acquired at Whitsunday, 1920. The cost of acquisition, including payments to tenants for compensation and for sheep, was £45,530. The expenditure on works of adaptation and equipment required in connection with the settlements formed amounts to date to £2,421. Of these sums part is recoverable. Nine new holdings and 11 enlargements of existing holdings were formed at Martinmas, 1921, and six new holdings and 12 enlargements at Martinmas, 1923. The expenses incurred for travelling and hotel accommodation in connection with such schemes are not separately apportioned. The total rents due in respect of all the subjects comprised in the estate amount to £2,465 for the past financial year.


Then I take it that that comes to about £50,000 to settle the men? Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is no practical, reasonable means of communication with the main markets, that there is not even a shed to cover the goods that land from a steamer which calls once a fortnight and are landed by a small boat, and will he not take some steps to improve the means of communication?


I have already explained that the services for the sales of stock are fully supplied at the present time.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that these sales just take place by people coming to the place, and that there is no means of removing the stock unless it is sold at such low prices that it is hardly worth taking away?