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Highlands And Islands Commission

Volume 32: debated on Tuesday 9 April 1895

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I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland if he is aware that the Highlands and Islands Commission, in their Report, state that in dealing with grazing farms, where only part of a farm has been scheduled, care has been taken as far as possible to leave what, in the event of the scheduled lands being appropriated, would constitute a workable and profitable farm; will he state whether the Commission, according to the terms of reference to it, had power to exclude any lands suitable for the purposes specified in the Royal Warrant; and what course does he propose to adopt in the circumstances.

It is the fact that the Commissioners, in their Report, state, that they dealt with grazing farms in the manner mentioned in the questions. The terms of reference invest them with powers and duties, which were combined with the right of using a discriminate judgment, and in the exercise of these powers in scheduling land, the Commissioners were, and are, of opinion that they acted within the limits assigned to them.

asked if the right hon. Gentleman approved of the plan of scheduling only the worst part of a grazing farm for occupation by the crofters and leaving the best parts for other uses?

said, it seemed to him very reasonable that, in deciding whether land was suitable, some regard should be paid to the uses to which it was at present being put; but it was a matter which, in his opinion, was for the judgment and discretion of the Board of Commissioners.