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Crofters (Instruction)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the desirability that crofters in the West Highlands and Islands should be enabled to make the most effective use of their crofts, he proposes to take any steps to instruct the crofters in up-to-date agricultural methods?

For many years the North and West of Scotland Colleges of Agriculture have had instructors and instructresses stationed in these districts for the purpose stated in the Question. I am glad, however, to say that the North of Scotland College has now secured, in addition, the services of Dr. Fraser Darling. Dr. Darling is the well-known scientist and naturalist, who has successfully cultivated a croft on the Island of Tanera off the Ross-shire coast and is thus able to speak from practical experience of crofting problems. Dr. Darling's services which will be on a part-time basis, will consist of giving practical instruction, advice and demonstrations to the crofters.

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his encouraging statement, will he see that when the demonstrations take place, good notice is given, as most of the crofters are in remote areas, where they are very widely scattered and where there are great difficulties of transport, as it would be to the advantage of every single crofter to attend the demonstrations?