§ Mr. MACLEAN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the Scottish Land Court has stated that the management of certain estates in Skye belonging to the Scottish Board of Agriculture is deficient; that parts of the estate of Bracadale, Skye, are suffering deterioration through lack of drainage and that the sheep stock taken over at high prices by the smallholders may become a burden to them; and whether he proposes to have the lands belonging to the State properly maintained for letting purposes?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
In reply to the first part of the question, it is assumed that the hon. Member is referring to comments made by the Land Court in Notes appended to Orders fixing the fair rent of certain holdings on one of the Board's estates in Skye. These comments appear to reflect on the holders' management of the sheep stock which were transferred to them, and suggest that the Board might help the holders by making expert advice available, and in other ways assisting the holders to improve their stock-management operations. The Board are giving careful consideration to the suggestions made by the Court. With regard to the remaining parts of the question, responsibility for maintaining the drainage of the hill pastures rests with the holders, and with proper management on their part the lands ought not to suffer deterioration.