DUNCAN CAMPBELL, Labourer, Oban (69)—examined
35259. The Chairman.
—Have you been chosen a delegate by anybody to come here to-day ?
35260. Have you a personal grievance which you wish to state ?
—Yes. In Martinmas 1846 my father and my grandfather and I were in Knocknafeannaig. I made, improvements in that place by the directions of his Grace of Argyll in 1843. I went on with the improvements until 1846, and in that year Mr Campbell, the factor, came. I built the house at my own expense. In 1854 a tenant came in, and six of the crofters were dispossessed of their holdings, and their places given to the one man. The six were dispossessed of their crofts for the sake of this one man who took their place. One of them is here, Donald Macdonald.
35261. Has this got anything to do with your own case?
—I was left without a place, and my father got a house from Mr M'Intyre. I then went to Colonsay to look after some employment. I got six years' employment from Lord Colonsay, and Professor Mackinnon knows that.
35262. Professor Mackinnon.
—Since you left here you were back again upon this estate, but without any land ?
—Yes, for four years.
35263. And you are now living in Oban ?
35264. And I suppose you and your people before you were in the place you speak about for a long time ?
—Yes, my forefathers were there, and my father was put out for the sake of this man, and also the rest of the five tenants.
35265. And some of your relatives are on the estate still?
35266. I think you stated you were on the land eight years after Mr Campbell came to manage the estate ?
35267. And yourself and five others were removed to make room for this man ?
35268. Who was he ?
35269. Had he anything to do with the management of the estate?
—No; he came from Islay. He was draining the estate; he has made his fortune. The Duke did not know anything of this. The late factor, I think, reported to the Duke that the people were in arrears. It is not the Duke's fault.
35270. But there was no such thing as arrears in your case ?
—No, not a shilling.
35271. And after you were removed you had no home except for the kindness of a neighbouring farmer ?
—That is so.
35272. What is it that you wish?
—I would desire to get the land my ancestors had, if that were possible; if not, if I could get a portion in any other part of the estate.
35273. And you would be quite willing to take it and able to take it?
35274. Even supposing it is as highly rented as some of those crofters say it is ?
—At the same rent that M'Niven is paying.
35275. How did it come about when you were not in arrears, and you a Campbell, and the factor was a Campbell, and the proprietor is the head of the Campbells ?
35276. How did it happen that you were dispossessed in favour of a M'Niven ?
—I don't know.