STATEMENT by the Rev. ARCHIBALD MACDONALD, A, & S. Minister of Barra.
MANSE OF BARRA, 13th August 1883.
WERE the population, especially the crofters, cottars, and labouring class, more economical and industrious, no improvident marriages, no subdivision of crofts, the community would be more prosperous and comfortable. Large farms, combined with the potato failure, have contributed to a congestion of the population. Crofters require more land for produce, stock, and employment than they have, and should have 'bent' with which the estate abounds, for thatching their houses at a moderate charge—provender being insufficient for stock—although notwithstanding they use it for thatch. The educational means and opportunities are sufEcient for obtaining a liberal education.
The proprietrix, Lady Gordon Cathcart, shows a conspicuous and thorough interest in the population, in giving the poor necessary comforts—in apportioning large tracts of arable and pasture land to the crofters and cottars—in assisting people to emigrate, and in helping fishermen pecuniarily to prosecute their avocation, and has also enhanced the value of the estate by building a hotel and cottages, erecting a pier, and laying down plantations. Were the fishermen located around the bays on the mainland of the parish near to churches and schools, &c, provided with suitable boats, and each equipped with fishing materials, there would be more individual wealth and prosperity on the estate; however, much depends on the intelligence and industry of the people themselves for future prosperity.