§ Sir R. COOPER
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that the crofters in the island of Harris are compelled by Government to send all their wool, except 50 lbs., to Oban and sell it to the Government at 24s. a stone, and that the consequence is that they have to buy back their own wool from the merchants and pay about 44s. a stone for it; whether he is aware that some of the women in Harris are to a great extent dependent on spinning wool for their living; 1138W and whether, in view of these facts, he will take steps to put an end to this treatment of the people of the island?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The limitation of the amount of wool which any crofter can keep for manufacture to 50 lbs. applies only to cases where the crofter makes up the wool for domestic use. Where crofters are engaged in the manufacture of cloth for sale no limit is placed on the amount of wool to be retained. Crofters desiring further supplies of wool are able to purchase them at the Government issue rate of from 36s. to 37s. per stone of 24 lbs. The price of 44s. per stone quoted by the hon. Member, it is concluded, must refer to eases of illegal sale, and if he will give me particulars of any such cases I will cause full inquiries to be made into them.