ANGUS M’INNES, Mason, Tobermory (66)—examined.
35743. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Do you appear here as a delegate for any people in or about Tobermory ?
—I was elected at a meeting which was held here the other night.
35744. Who were the people who held the meeting?
—The town's people.
35745. What did they ask you to represent to us here to-day?
—How their crofts were with the loss of the hill.
35746. What have you to say about them?
—The croft that my father held, 32s. was the rent paid for it, and latterly it rose up to £5.
35747. How long ago was 32s. the rent?
—Sixty or sixty-one years ago.
35748. How often was the rent raised until it came to £5 ?
—Never till then.
35749. When was that?
—Thirty-six years ago.
35750. Who was the laird then?
35751. Has the land become more valuable since 1821 ?
—I don't think it has.
35752. Are not the cattle that can feed upon it more valuable?
—Yes, for those years, but not formerly.
35753. Has the size of your father's croft been diminished?
—My father was deprived of his holding along with other eighteen people, and one lot made of the whole.
35754. What was done with the people from whom the lots were taken ?
—They spread away to all parts.
35755. Did your father remain ?
35756. Was no land left to him ?
35757. How did he live after that?
—On his wages.
35758. Do the people here who have no land get constant occupation ?
—No, there is no work.
35759. Is there any work at all about Tobermory ?
35760. Is there no work on Mr Allan's property ?
—There are four or five employed from one end of the year to the other.
35761. Is there no occupation for men about the town in connection with the steamboats and other shipping ?
—Little will that make to them for all that is in the town.
35762. How do they live who have no trade as you have?
—Some of them are very poor.
35763. But how do they live?
—I cannot make out what living they have got. I know how I live myself.
35764. Are there any regular fishermen here ?
—There are some here who make a little by fishing.
35765. What kind of fishing?
—Some fish lobsters and others fish herring.
35766. What kind of boats have they ?
— Large and small.
35767. Have any of them big boats with which to go to Barra and Stornoway to fish ?
—There is one.
35768. Is there only one in the whole town?
—I don't think there is any other that does go but the one.
35769. Does the owner belong to the place ?
—He was not born here, but he is living here.
35770. How did he make money to buy his boat ?
—I think he made it at the fishing.
35771. Is he a man of extraordinary talent?
—I don't think he is any thing above others, but he is a good fisherman.
35772. Are there any other men in Tobermory who could do the same?
—I am sure there are.
35773. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Did your family after your father was dispossessed of the croft, never get the croft again ?
—The family did not get a croft, but five years ago I got one.
35774. Are you complaining now that the rent of it is too dear?
—It is dear, besides the rent we had before.
35775. What is the size of the croft?
—I am sure there are two acres.
35776. And you have a right to graze any stock on the hill?
35777. What do you keep?
35778. Anything else ?
35779. Do you complain of anything but the amount of rent; do you complain that your croft is too small ?
—There is no doubt but what the croft is too small and that it is dear; but what can a person do ?
35780. You come to us to make a complaint; what would you like done ?
—To reduce the rent.