§ 5 and 6. Mr. RAMSAY
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he has received a petition from the inhabitants of St. Kilda, praying to be removed from the island; and, if so, will he state when, how, and by whom the said petition was drafted and conveyed to the Scottish Office;
(2) if he intends to remove the present inhabitants of St. Kilda to some other part of Scotland; if so, where, how, and when does he intend to settle them; 5 and, should any such evacuation be determined, has he any intention of settling St. Kilda with inhabitants from other parts of Scotland?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Johnston)
My right hon. Friend received a petition dated 10th May last from the inhabitants of St. Kilda praying that they might be removed from the island before winter. The petition which is signed by all householders now on the island, is attested by the missionary and the nurse, and reached him in ordinary course of post. I recently visted St. Kilda in order to make full inquiries on the spot, and on my report my right hon. Friend has decided to accede to the prayer of the petition. The arrangements for carrying out the evacuation and for placing the inhabitants are now receiving attention. There is not in view any scheme for the re-settlement of the island by my right hon. Friend.
§ Sir BERTRAM FALLE
Where will the money come from for this purpose; and will the sheep be removed from the island?
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
I would be greatly obliged if hon. Members would not press me for details at the moment. It is obvious that every endeavour will be made to sell the sheep and apply the proceeds to the cost of the evacuation, and any balance to the future subsistence of the islanders.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Is it proposed to take these people away en masse or in families; and will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the fact that these people have been accustomed to reside near the sea, and see to it that they are settled as near as possible to the sea?
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Every care will be taken to meet the needs of the individual families, but it is obviously impossible to make a settlement en masse.
§ Mr. RAMSAY
Does the hon. Gentleman say that there are 65 inhabitants? Then, in reference to the point which has been made by an hon. Member with regard to the sheep——