ALEXANDER M'COLL, Farmer, Park (39)—examined.
36982. The Chairman.
—There is something in the statement of the crofters which you wish to remark upon?
—The former witness accuses me of being the means of putting the farm of Park up in rent, which I wish to say is a mistake.
36983. Did you ever bid for a farm?
—No, the farm was open in February and March last, and there were different offers besides mine, and I was told by the proprietor there were higher offers than mine. But this was four years ago. He accused me of being the means of raising the rent, I think, at the time of the expiry of a certain lease, which I hold is a mistake.
36984. You state you never were the cause of the rent being raised in any form ?
—I say I have not been the means of raising the rent in any form.
36985. Is there any other statement you wish to make?
—At the meeting here there were six or seven people appointed to communicate with the Commission to-day, and I don't desire to say anything; indeed, I have nothing to say any way.
36986. Professor Mackinnon.
—Was the farm in the market at the end of the first lease of the tenant Carmichael ?
—I think it was, if I remember; but I don't speak for it.
36987. You never offered for it until last November ?
—No, and I didn't offer until I was asked to give in the offer.
36988. Was the place publicly in the market?
—It was when I made the application for it. It was in the market any way, and there were different offers in besides mine; and I was told there were higher offers than mine, although they chose me as their tenant.
36989. The Chairman.
—Who got the farm?
—I got-it at Whitsunday last
36990. Professor Mackinnon.
—So that you neither offered for the farm on a former occasion, nor can you be said to be the cause of the widow being deprived of the place ?
36991. The previous tenant has a growing crop ?
36992. And will he have to remove the whole of that crop ; will you take any of it ?
—I think the arrangement is that I take over the corn crop at a valuation; the potatoes they can take with them.
36993. Do you pay for that fallow tract when it is not cropped with potatoes ?
—I happened to buy about an acre and a half at Whitsunday from the outgoing tenant. He had too much under green crop to work it, and I happened to buy it.
36994. You paid the rent?
—No, I bought it; he paid the rent. I bought it, so that I might get it put in turnips. I allowed him after
Whitsunday to put in his turnips, as they were not in. If I had liked I could have prevented him from turning any more of the ground after my entry ; but as we had been neighbours a long time, I allowed him to put them in after the Whitsunday term.
36995. And is he allowed to draw the turnips and take them away ?
—He is. That was my own goodwill
36996. But the turnip crop and the potato crop are his ?
—I have a portion—the portion I bought. I expect the incoming tenant is bound to take the corn crop at a valuation, but not the green crop.