HC Deb 27 March 1928 vol 162 cc247-8
80. Mr. WEIR

asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health whether he is aware that a number of landless men living in or near the township of Torrin, in Skye, for cultivating without sanction patches of ground on the farm of Kilbride, are being threatened with imprisonment by John Anderson and his son, Roderick Anderson, the tenants of the farms of Kilbride and Kilchrist, in the island of Skye; what legal proceedings have so far been taken by these pursuers to obtain their purpose; will the Government consent to imprisonment in the same way as has been done in the Strathlaird case; whether he is aware that both these farms extend to several hundreds of acres, a considerable part of which is fit for cultivation and is now used for sheep and game-rearing purposes; whether the present tenants hold two considerable crofts in the said township of Torrin in addition to the said two farms; whether the Secretary for Scotland will take steps to make such lands available for small holdings, having regard to the fact that the Board of Agriculture has been often appealed to within the last ten years to provide for the landless people of the district, and to take the whole or part of the farms above-mentioned for small holdings?

Captain ELLIOT

My Noble Friend understands that Messrs. John and Roderick Anderson, tenants of the farms of Kilbride and Kilchrist, have applied for and obtained final interdict against three men who took possession of part of the farm of Kilbride. The question whether imprisonment will be ordered in the event of breach of the interdict is a matter for the court to decide. The farms comprise about 1,800 acres of which 30 acres are arable. They are stocked with cattle and sheep, and some game is obtained from the ground. The present tenants also occupy one and a half crofts at Torrin. Negotiations for the formation of small holdings on Kilbride were in progress when the illegal occupation took place, but my Noble Friend is not prepared to instruct the Board of Agriculture to proceed with the negotiations while the raiders remain in occupation. There has been no improper or avoidable delay in dealing with the question of land settlement.