§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the Secretary for Scotland is aware that the Crofters Commission in their Report on the social condition of the people of Lewis, state that, in order to provide land for the landless cottars and squatters, the proposal to break down the remaining farms in Lewis, and take certain of the lower lying parts of the deer forests for division into individual holdings, with an assigned area of common pasture for each new township, might with advantage be adopted; and will he consider the expediency of communicating with the proprietor of the island on the 922 subject, with a view to ascertain whether he is prepared to give effect to the recommendations of the Commission.
*THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR SCOTLAND (Mr. SCOTT DICKSON,, Bridgton) Glasgow
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer in the absence of my right hon. friend. The Report of the Crofters Commission to which the hon. Member refers was prepared on the special request of the Secretary for Scotland. That request was made because the Secretary for Scotland felt that, without a careful review of all the circumstances of the Lewis as they now exits, taken along with accurate knowledge of the history of the island, and how the present circumstances have been brought about, it would not be possible to settle upon a definite policy. While some action in the direction suggested by the hon. Member may not improbably be resorted to, it would not of itself be adequate to provide a remedy for the existing state of matters. It is not, therefore, possible at present to come under any other obligation in regard to this or any other suggestion or proposal contained in the Report than to state that the Secretary for Scotland is considering the whole circumstances as disclosed, and the suggestions offered in the Report, and will announce in due course the conclusions arrived at.