DUNCAN MACKENZIE, Crofter, Melbost (69)—examined.
17231. The Chairman.
—You expressed a wish to make a statement here to day ; will you do so ?
—I have to say that there have been rights taken away from the township to which I belong which they possessed before. Thirty-four years ago our land was so much abridged that we have nothing outside the heads of our rigs, between us and the sea on the other side. We have no pasture ground at all. The little we had between us and the sea was taken away from us, and a wire fence was put up between us. I believe all through the bounds of this estate you would not see a boundary so disagreeable to look at as ours, and we are now every year obliged to keep up and pay for the cost of that wire fence.
17232. In whose time did you lose this land; was it in Sir James Matheson's time ?
17233. Was it the year he came to the place?
—No; some years afterwards.
17234. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Who got the place?
—It was given to the person who has it to-day, Mr Houston, Goramclete.
17235. Were you in arrears of rent at the time ?
17236. Who was factor at the time ?
—Mr John Mackenzie.
17237. Did you get a deduction of rent?
—Not a penny; it has been raised upon us since that time.
17238. Six shillings each ?
—More than £ 1 .
17239. Was any land reclaimed after that?
—Yes; there was a bit of land given to us for which we have £ 13 , 10s. to pay; but it is now a thoroughfare for the cattle of the place, and all the sand that is used in and about the place is taken out of it, so that carts are constantly going up and down there.
17240. Did you complain at the time?
—We did, but what was the good of that ? If a complaint was made to the chamberlain, the chamberlain just raised his stick to the man who made it.