Benbecula, 29 May 1883 - Donald Mckinnon

DONALD M'KINNON, Crofter, Balvannich (66)—examined.

11889. The Chairman.—Have you been freely elected a delegate?

11890. Will you explain what the people who have elected you complain of?
—We have been reduced to poverty by their taking from us land which we ought to have. When our crofts were originally marked out, grazing ground was also marked out for us, as well as stances for building houses upon ; but the rents were fixed at this time when kelp was selling at a high price. Part of our hill grazings and portions of macher pasture were taken from us, and we received no compensation therefor.

11891. How long is it since the grazing was taken from you?
—In the year 1847.

11892. And what was done with it?
—Our hill pasture for pasturing our cattle was added to a tack.

11893. What tack ?
—The tack of Nunton.

11894. When they took away the hill pasture, did they reduce the rent?
—No, our rent was not reduced.

11895. What is the size of your present croft? How many acres?
—About 22 acres, and sixteen souls feed upon this, composed of two families.

11896. Do you mean the whole croft is 22 acres, or the part you occupy ?
—The whole croft.

11897. How much do you occupy ?
—One half.

11898. Then you have 11 acres?

11899. Have you still some hill pasture left?
—No, nothing, but only the big commonty of the country, and our cattle will not go on it.

11900. What stock do you keep?
—I have two cows and a stirk, and a horse and five or six sheep.

11901. What is your rent?
—£3, 15s.

11902. What do you want now?
—More land, to make us up and help us to live.

11903. If you had a whole croft, would your family be comfortable?
—I would undoubtedly be better off. I have ten of a family. In proof of my statement, I am willing to produce a map showing the old march

11904. And your complaint is that your crofts are too small, and your wish is to get some hill pasture ?

11905. Would you be satisfied if you got some hill pasture?
—Sure enough, that is the one thing that would help us best.

11906. When the hill pasture was taken away and given to the tack, how many sheep would it carry?
—Over 200 sheep.

11907. Is what you have stated to-day the general wish and opinion of the crofters whom you represent?

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