Edinburgh, 24 October 1883 - Andrew Begg / Outer Hebrides

ALEXANDER BEGG, Agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (45)—examined.

45651. The Chairman.
—You have had the goodness to send us a pamphlet in the Gaelic language, having reference to settlements in the North-West, but we have not received a copy in the English language, and therefore several members of the Commission are debarred from the advantage of perusing it?
—I shall be very happy to furnish you with an English copy of the pamphlet.

45652. You have a written statement which you wish to read ?
—I have. ' It is not my intention to refer to the state of the people living in the congested districts of the islands on the west coast of Scotland, nor shall I speak of the causes that led to the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the subject. On these matters I am not sufficiently informed to offer any evidence, but taking it for granted that there is overcrowding in some parts of the islands, I may perhaps be allowed to suggest such a remedy for the evils attendant on this state of things as may be found applicable to the case of the crofters and cottars. There are, it seems, two favourite means put forward for the relief of the congested portions of Great Britain, namely, migration and emigration. Migration can, in my opinion, be only a temporary remedy in the case of the crofters, inasmuch as the population of the islands of Scotland, I am informed, is increasing so rapidly that were all the available land suitable to cultivation (some of which is at present set apart for purposes of sheep farming, hunting, &c.) divided amongst the people for farming operations, it would not be more than a few years before the same old evil of overcrowding would have to be met. It does not come within my province to discuss the relations existing between landlord and tenant, or to suggest any remedy for evils complained of in that respect. Whether lands now used for other purposes are devoted to the use of the crofters or not, the question still remains, Is there sufficient land to maintain the rapidly-increasing population of the islands? If my conclusions are correct, a system of migration can only be at best a temporary means of relief to the crofter population; and it is, therefore, to the alternative, emigration, that I look for a way out of the present difficulty. Emigration does not, I must say, evoke at first the most leasing sensation in the minds of the people. It is a serious matter, and I readily confess that it requires a good deal of courage to sever old associations, and break up long-established homes, to go to a strange land among strangers. I have myself known what this separation means, and speak therefore from experience. I am fully aware of the great attachment Scotchmen feel for their native land, and how loath they are to part from it, and more especially do I understand the ties that bind the crofter to his native soil. His love for the place where his forefathers lie buried, his allegiance to the religious principles in which he was trained from childhood to his minister or priest and to the old-established customs of his race,—these make it difficult for him to tear himself away. To the crofter there is no place like his native hills, and so long as he imagines he can procure sufficient land to sustain himself and family, even though it be in the poorest way, he is not apt to think of exchanging his old home for a new one abroad. Nor would it be right to endeavour to induce him to leave his native laud, if there were any certain prospects of a prosperous future among his own people. But if it can be shown that at the best he can only expect a slight improvement in his condition for the present, and that in the immediate future, even that improvement is likely to cease, owing to the fresh demands of a rapidly-increasing population, he may then be led to consider whether he cannot better his position by seeking a home in a new land, while at the same time aiding to improve the condition of those of his countrymen remaining in the islands. It then becomes a question whether the crofter prefers to toil on for a mere sustenance, making no provision for his family, but living as it were from hand to mouth, though always looking forward to the addition of a few acres to his croft, and the consequent small improvement in his position, —or whether he will branch out, and by his inborn hardihood, industry, and perseverance provide a comfortable and independent home for himself and his children. The first step then to be taken is, I should say, to educate the crofter concerning the advantages and disadvantages of other countries as compared to his own native land. To him in this case, as in all others, knowledge is power. He must know what is before him, and must weigh well the prospects in the new land, before he can even consider the advisability of breaking up his old home. Lady Cathcart has already made a generous move in this direction, by sending out a few of her tenants to North-Western Canada, and settling them there on farms. This experiment has been conducted throughout on a most liberal basis in every way worthy of its beloved and respected originator. It cannot be expected that all crofters will receive the same liberal treatment should they desire to emigrate. Lady Cathcart's experiment has, however, proved beyond a doubt that crofters can emigrate, and become prosperous and happy in a new land. The testimony of those already sent out to North-Western Canada by Lady Cathcart may be easily obtained from her Ladyship herself, and will show how comfortably they are settled in the country. A portion of this testimony appeared in the Scotsman of last Saturday, 20th instant. In order to educate the people of the mainland and islands of Scotland as to the adaptability of North-Western Canada to settlement, I am now circulating amongst the crofters a Gaelic pamphlet descriptive of the country. No attempt has, however, been made to induce them to emigrate, as I quite understood this to be a matter upon which they must decide entirely for themselves, but in order that they may do so intelligently I thought it proper to give them in pamphlet form the necessary information. I may say here, that I have just received two letters from the gentleman at present engaged in the work of distributing my Gaelic pamphlet, in which he says that he has been most cordially received by the people on the islands. The impoverished state of the people on the islands is the greatest difficulty to be overcome in their emigration, and some means will have to be found to assist them. The mere payment of the passage money to their destination in the new country is not, and cannot be sufficient assistance. They require to be aided in obtaining their land, in the erection of suitable buildings, in the purchase of stock, and other necessaries. I have known many settlers arrive in the north-west with only a few pounds in their pockets, and by dint of industry—working for wages with farmers, doing a little now and again on their homestead (the free grant of land made by the Canadian Government), hiring an ox and plough at times, and thus by the strictest economy and good management—acquiring in a year or two a comfortable home and a good farm. But, in a strange country, unaccustomed to the ways of the people, and many of them speaking only the Gaelic tongue, the crofter could not do this. In the first place, he would require to be settled with his own countrymen as neighbours, speaking his language, knowing his ways, and ready to assist him at any time. This colonising plan could be carried out without isolating the crofters altogether from the other classes of settlers in the country. To explain what I mean, the Canadian North-West is laid out in townships six miles square, containing thirty-six sections of 640 acres each, and these are subdivided into quarter sections of 160 acres. Following is a diagram [omitted] showing a township with the sections numbered. In the roadway belt of thirty-six sections, as shown above, the Dominion Government holds those numbered 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36,—all the even numbers in fact except 8 to 26, —for free grants and pre-emptions. The Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada North West Land, and Hudson Bay Companies hold the remaining sections, with the exception of numbers 11 and 29, which are reserved by the Government solely for school purposes. Now, we will suppose a township set apart for crofter settlement, and that the Government land is reserved for them. Every alternate section, except 8 and 26, would then be occupied by crofters, the intervening sections being settled upon by people of other classes. This system would enable the crofters to be near each other, and yet not isolated. Or if am arrangement could be effected between the Canadian Government, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, Canada North-West Land Company, and the Hudson's Bay Company, whole townships might be set apart for crofters, the adjoining townships being occupied by other people. Under the homestead law of Canada, the free grant of land is 160 acres to each settler, and it is a question with some whether this quantity of land is not too large in the case of the crofters, who have been accustomed to their small crofts. It seems to me, however, that as the islanders have given some attention to the raising of cattle, a portion of the land might be used for grazing, and I would suggest the following plan for placing crofters on a section of 640 acres of land : [diagram omitted]
This would give each crofter a farm of eighty acres, with a fourth interest in a common pasture ground, which fourth interest adjoining his farm it would be in his power to dispose of whenever he desired to do so. There is, as far as I can see, nothing to prevent the formation of a Gaelic colony in the north-west of Canada, and if established on the foregoing plan (No. 1), it could be extended as far as people were found to occupy the sections. It is, I think, desirable that with the emigration of crofters some of their priests and ministers should go to the settlement to form churches in the familiar way practised at home. This would serve to make the people contented from the very outset, and this contentment, at a time when pioneers suffer most, would do much to secure the future success of the colonists. With regard to the suitability of the Canadian North-West to crofter settlement, the success of the tenants of Lady Cathcart, who are now settled in the country, is proof positive. These settlers went out this spring, and at the present time are comfortably housed, have reaped a crop from their land, and each one is in a fair way to make an independence for himself and family. The following is an extract, from a letter received by Lady Cathcart from one of the settlers :
—" Dear Lady Cathcart,
—Yours of the 10th July came to band in due time, which I am most happy to have received, and to have the honour of writing to tell you about our prospects in this good new country. We are all enjoying the best of health since we arrived here, both old and young, and we all feel sure that the country is very healthy. Our land is beautiful also, and surrounded favourably in every way, and the soil is rich. This we know by our crops —as potatoes, turnips, barley, oats, and beans are very good. I have some new potatoes which weigh half a pound already, and they have been only nine weeks in the ground, and other crops are as good as that, better than any we used to see at poor old Benbecula ; and in every respect we are glad of the change, and would strongly recommend our friends and neighbours to come here as soon as possible. All who are good, strong, able working men, who would be ready to turn their hands to everything that might come in their way, should come ; idlers are not wanted. I feel more than happy to see my party doing so well, and they will be a credit to the Highlands. We are glad to hear of Mr Macdonald being on his way to Manitoba, and that he is coming to see us. I am sure he will be greatly delighted with the country we have here, and also to see us doing so well in our new homes. I have my house nearly finished —made of logs 23 feet long, 16 feet broad, and 8 feet in walls —and my byre is ready ; also my hay for two cows and two oxen—my stock at present." It is needless for me to say anything further on behalf of the Canadian North-West except this, that the general testimony of settlers in the country is invariably in its favour. The land is easily tilled, and wonderfully fertile, crops being speedily acquired with a yield nearly double that of any other portion of the American continent. The wild grasses of the prairie are, moreover, specially adapted to stock raising. All these conditions are favourable to settlement, the only point on which there seems to be any doubt in the minds of the people here being as to the climate. I have myself had many years' experience as a resident in the north-west territories, and I can say confidently, that though sometimes the weather is cold, yet the winter months are remarkably healthy and enjoyable; the air being dry, the cold is not so much felt as one would imagine. I have indeed suffered more from the damp raw cold iu the city of London that I ever did in the north-west, and I have in my possession the testimony of a large number of farmers now settled in the country all confirming what I say in this respect. The farming seasons are there very much the same as in Scotland. Ploughing and seeding commence in April; hay time is June and July ; harvest in August and September; root crops are pulled in October and November; and winter sets in about the middle of November, and lasts until March. To return now to the main point in connection with emigration—the means by which the crofters can be comfortably settled in their new homes in the Canadian North-West should they decide to emigrate there. Lady Cathcart's liberality towards her colonists is exceptional, and can hardly be taken as a guide in dealing with a large number of people. I have no doubt that many of the landed proprietors would assist in settling their people comfortably in their new homes, and that some scheme based on a business principle, might be formed by which landed proprietors and the Government would join hands in the work. This is, I believe, only to be done successfully as an investment on the part of the landed proprietors, and not in the way of charity, the Government becoming in some way security for the repayment either of the principal and interest, or of the interest alone. While I have no doubt of the feasibility of the Bcheme to which I have referred, its successful carrying out would entail a great deal of work and much loss of time in organising it. It seems to me that the more practical and business-like scheme is that proposed last winter by Mr George Stephen, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, to the British Government for the transport and settlement of 10,000 families the Canadian North-West. The following is the definite proposal made to the Government: —"For the sum of £l,000,000 sterling, 10,000 small farmers with their families, averaging five persons to each family, say 50,000 people in all, can be comfortably brought from their homes to the new Canadian North-West, and each family provided with 160 acres of the finest wheat-growing land, a comfortable wooden house, a cow, and the implements necessary to enable them to begin the cultivation of their land, including the cost of ploughing and seeding a few acres for their first year's crop. The money required to be provided by the Government and advanced, by way of loan, to the North-West Land Company of Canada, and to such other corporations interested in the settlement of the Canadian North-West as might wish to join in the enterprise, and be able to furnish the Government with such security for the repayment of the loan as might be required. The loan to be for ten years without interest. In consideration of this loan the Land Company to undertake the work of transplanting and settling in the North-West, under the supervision of the Government, these 10,000 families, assuming-all the risks incident to the business, and the responsibility of the repayment of the money advanced by the Government. The Land Company would take a lien on the 160 acres of land given to each family to the amount of £100, on which the emigrant would be charged interest at the rate of 6 per cent, per annum after the first two years of his settlement; the emigrant to have the right to pay off the principal at any time. The chief inducement to the Land Company to undertake this work lies in the increased value that would be given to its own lands adjoining those upon which the emigrants settled. This scheme is based on the assumption that the emigrants sent out are fit for agricultural work, and have energy and ability to take care of themselves, after getting the fair start thus provided for them. It will thus be seen that the redundant population of the islands of Scotland may be materially reduced without any further cost to the Government than the interest of £400 for ten years for each family—say £2, 10s. per annum, or £25 for the whole ten years. The advantage of this scheme is its thoroughness. The settlers are transported to their destination, cared for, and comfortably settled in their new houses under the supervision of the Government, and no money is paid until the Government is satisfied that the settlers have been well and properly cared for. There is no chance of complication in the work, no chance of the Government being brought to task for sending out people to a life of misery, and the only cost to the British people is the loss of interest on the loan. The security for that loan could, I have no doubt, be satisfactorily arranged ; and it seems to me that the proposition put forward last winter by Mr Stephen could be well made applicable to the case of the crofters. One feature is certainly to be admired in the scheme, and that is that settlers would not go out as the recipients of charity, but would be expected to repay any advances made on their account, and the British Government would therefore, in point of fact, be - lending the settlers the money, the land companies which undertake the work of settlement being only the medium. In judicious emigration is, I feel confident, to be found a speedy, permanent, and effectual cure for the evils arising from over-population in the islands on the west coast of Scotland ; and it is because I believe that that part of the British empire, to which I have particularly referred, is exceptionally suited to crofter settlement, that I have drawn especial attention to the Canadian North-West. I may, in conclusion, say that Mr Stephen, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and originator of the scheme to which I have just referred, is expected in London about the middle of November, and I am quite sure he will be pleased to co-operate in elaborating a plan to meet the requirements of the crofters in the matter of emigration. The following is a statement, showing how a crofter settled in the Canadian North-West could repay the monies advanced to him, and his probable condition at the end of ten years. In the following calculations I have made use of the minimum acreage broken by a settler, and the minimum yield of wheat per acre. I have taken wheat as my basis, as other grains are about equally profitable:
—1st Year of Settlement—crofter would have his house and byres erected, and himself and family comfortably settled. In addition to this, if he went out in early spring, he would have 5 acres (say) broken, and a partial crop to pay a portion of his first expenses. This partial crop I count for nothing.
2nd year —15 acres, 20 bushels wheat to acre, at 3s. per bushel of 60 lbs.
$225 = £45
3rd year—25 acres, = £75
4th year—35 acres = £105
5th year—45 acres = £135
6 th year—55 acres = £165
7th year—65 acres = £195
8th year—75 acres = £225
9th year—80 acres = £240
TOTAL £1185
Less interest at 6 per cent, on £100, 9 years, . £54
Principal of loan, £100
Towards keep of family, at £40 per year for 9 years, £360
Balance to credit of crofter, £671

The usual number of acres which a settler can and does break each year in the Canadian North-West ranges from twenty to forty acres. I have only allowed ten acres per annum in the foregoing calculations. The usual yield of wheat per acre in the Canadian North-West is from twenty-five to thirty. I have only allowed twenty bushels in my calculations, and the price of wheat ranges from 80 cents, or 3s. 2½ d. upwards. I have only allowed 75 cents, or 3s. My calculations are based on the supposition that there will be no failure of crops. There has been no failure of crops in the Canadian North-West during the past ten years. Now, let us look at the condition of the crofter in the North-West at the end of ten years, supposing that he practises ordinary care, economy, prudence, and industry:—

Farm of 160 acres, including house, byres, and other improvements, at a low valuation of £2 per acre: £320

Stock, implements, &c, say low: £150
Balance on hand, from wheat or grain raising, after paying everything, £671
Total £1141

It will be observed in the foregoing I have not considered any proceeds arising from keeping of stock and other sources, as I calculate that they would be used in stocking the farm and other expenses. The
following is a statement showing nature and extent of the security for money advanced to settle crofters in the Canadian North-West. Under the homestead law of Canada, £100 is the largest amount allowed as a lien on a homestead for advances made to assist the settler. We will suppose then that £500,000 is advanced to settle 5000 families on 160 acres each in the Canadian North-West. What will the security consist of 800,000 acres of land, which, with the buildings and other improvements of the settler, would be a very low valuation at 16s. per acre, or £640,000. I have already shown how the settler can repay principal and pay interest. Then at the end of ten years, suppose none of the principal should be repaid (which however is out of the question), what would the security have risen to. At a low valuation, it would be 800,000 acres at £2, or £1,600,000 as security for £500,000. It must be remembered that the settler's work and improvements on his farm create an annual increase in its value. An acre of virgin prairie valued at say 16s. is, when broken and under cultivation, worth at least £2. The labour of breaking and cultivating the land is so much increased value placed upon it. The Government then need not doubt the security—the crofter will have no difficulty in repaying principal and interest, and I don't see a safer investment for private enterprise than the placing of good settlers on the lands in North-Western Canada, and taking security on their homestead—(not one settler, I believe, will be unable to repay the principal and interest long before the former is due). At the end of three years the security becomes better as a patent is then issued for the land and it becomes free from all Government restrictions. Valuators of land in the Canadian North-West seem to forget one point, namely, that the Government free grants are getting less and less each year, and accordingly as this goes on other lands are in demand, especially near the lines of communication, and the general value of all lands, especially those along the railways and rivers, must necessarily increase. I am basing my values on land from practical experience. Land which less than three years ago, I myself sold as far west as Brandon in North-Western Canada for 10s. per acre, I cannot to-day repurchase for £ 3 per acre. The reason is this—when I sold the land it was far beyond the line of settlement, to-day it is in the midst of it. If it were possible for a decision to be arrived at in the case of the crofters, and a commencement made in the way of emigration the coming spring—it would (if emigration is to be a means of relief for them) be greatly in their favour for some of them to be sent out during 1884. Land is being taken up so rapidly by settlers along the line of railway that choice locations will become more and more scarce. And I beg to say that I will be happy to afford the President and members of the Commission any further information or assistance within my power.

45653. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Did the settlers from Lady Gordon-Cathcart's property locate themselves on the lands of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company ?
—I believe they were located on lands belonging to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. I am not sure but they are in neighbourhood of the railway belt in the Qu'Appelle Valley.

45654. But they bought their lands from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company did they not ?
—I cannot give you the particulars of that transaction ; I believe they did.

45655. At all events, they were not emigrated under the auspices of the company ?
—We had nothing to do with it. It was entirely under Lady Gordon-Cathcart. All we did was to assist Lady Gordon-Cathcart in forming an allocation. We showed her colonists every attention we could when they arrived there. They arrived in the North-West by themselves in charge of a man sent out there, and our agent in Winnipeg did everything he could to show them the lands, and allow them to make their own selection.

45656. You remark on the liberal character of Lady Gordon-Cathcart's arrangements with these settlers ; do you know what sum she advanced ?
—I understood she advanced £100 to each family on their arrival in the country. This is a very different thing from £100 to go out and settle there.

45657. £100 besides their passage out?
—That is what I understand.

45658. Now, in Mr George Stephen's scheme, he proposes to do the whole thing for £100 a family?
—Yes. The settler would have an advantage in that respect, because in sending out a large number of people the supplies, houses, and other things could be purchased at very much lower figures than in purchasing for a small number. The settlers would get the advantage of that

45659. At what do you count the passage money from here to the lands in question ?
—You can get an assisted passage for between £6 and £7 or £7, 10s.

45660. Out to the North-West ?

45661. For each member of a family?

45662. And do you count an average of five members to a family ?

45663. That is £35 or £40 ?
—Yes. I consider Lady Gordon-Cathcart's assistance to her settlers should amount to £150.

45664. I am referring now to Mr Stephen's scheme. It would take £35 or £40 out of £100 to convey the settlers to the North-West, and then there would remain £60 or £65 to settle them there ; how would
that £60 or £65 be invested ?
—It would be invested in the way mentioned—in building a house, obtaining a cow and implements, and starting them; but remember we can do that under this scheme at a very much less figure than an individual can do it.

45665. Has it ever been done at so low a figure as that in any case?
—I don't know that such a scheme has ever been entered into. The land companies certainly, though they undertook it, would not make any money out of it.

45666. The Mennonites are, I think, an instance of persons who started with a remarkably small capital. Their original capital was I have been told £80 on arrival there ?
—I happened to be there when they arrived, and I don't think any one could tell what they started with. I saw some of the Mennonites with bags of gold in their hands. They are very secretive people, and no one could tell what they had. They are also very saving people, and put by everything they make. There can be no calculation as to what they had when they arrived in that country.

45667. And do you think £60 or £65 would be sufficient to erect a house, to turn up a little bit of land, and provide them with the necessary implements and stock to enable them to start fairly in the North-West ?
—I can only say this, that if such a scheme were entered into the companies interested would be bound to do that, and to the satisfaction of the Government, and whether they lost or not in the matter it would be done. I don't believe they would make any money out of it.

45668. You think the companies would be bound to start the settlers satisfactorily?
—To the satisfaction of the British Government. The British Government would require to be satisfied.

45669. When do you propose that this advance of £100 should be repaid; is it at the conclusion of ten years?
—Yes, I understand so.

45670. Then they would sit rent free for ten years ?
—A settler could pay off the amount whenever he liked according to that arrangement.

45671. But at the end of ten years would he be obliged to pay it up ?
—Certainly. A lien is taken over his land. The companies must have some security.

45672. Would the company take any profit from him beyond the £100?

45673. They would ask for no interest ?
—Yes; 6 per cent.

45674. But supposing a settler fails to pay the 6 per cent, interest, what would happen ?
—If a settler through any misfortune was not able to pay, I can positively say that nothing would be done to him to turn him out of his land, or force him to pay it. He would get time, and would be expected to pay the interest in the long run.

45675. He would not be turned out ?
—I am quite positive of that.

45676. It was mentioned to us the other day in evidence in , by a witness who had been in America, that be had seen in Ontario a fabulous number of places for sale, the settlers being entirely overburdened with debt—that they had had to borrow money to start with, and had never been able to free themselves ; has that been your experience with settlers ?
—I think I can give you some information on that point. Settlers and farmers are human beings, and sometimes they will borrow money for other purposes than improvements, and I believe that some farmers in Ontario at one time went beyond their means and borrowed money, but I don't know that it was to the extent that this gentleman said. However, I am not sufficiently well acquainted in Ontario.

45677. But in the North-West you have not found that to be the case ?
—No, I have not. Besides, at this point the only sum that a settler borrows is £100.

45678. But if they found it insufficient might they not go to a private lender for more ?
—They cannot do it until the end of three years. Of course, you cannot control an individual after he is a free agent.

45679. The question is whether it will be an absolute necessity for him to borrow money ?
—No, I don't think so.

45680. Is there sufficient timber for house building in these settlements by the side of the railway ?
—The Canadian North-West is, I think, very well placed in that respect. In some parts, of course, there are no trees ; there is a level prairie. In others there are clumps of trees. The rivers are always lined with forests, and there are numerous lakes which have forests around them, and the prairie wood is quite sufficient for building houses. I think Lady Gordon-Cathcart's people built their houses of blocks got in that form .

45681. Is that wood sufficient for fuel too?

45682. There is no difficulty about fuel ?
—I do not consider so. I think that problem is solved; and besides that, I may say the coal mines recently discovered have been found to produce the very best coal, and in very large quantities. In fact, our railway now is burning the coal taken from the mines along the line on the western division.

45683. You mentioned, towards the close of your paper, that to advance money to emigrants was a good investment for private enterprise ?
—That is my personal opinion.

45684. Is it your opinion that a settler should at once begin to pay interest ? Mr Stephen's proposal is that the interest should be deferred for two years. Do you think a settler can at once begin to pay interest t
—No, I think it would be better not to charge them interest for the first year; and in Mr Stephen's scheme they are not expected to pay interest for two years.

45685. Then how would you say it was a good investmest for private enterprise, if they cannot pay interest for two years ?
—I think in this way, that if they could not pay interest the first or second year, they could probably pay a sufficient rate afterwards to make the investment good. I mean by that that the security to the investor is, I consider, first rate. He puts a man on the land, and that man's improvements are continually increasing the value of his security. That is where I consider such an investment would be good.

45686. If a private investor in this country was to advance money iu this y, what means would he have of realising his investment if that were necessary to secure payment of the interest ? Is there any agency out
there through which he could work ?
—I would not recommend any investment of that kind, unless you were prepared to give the settler ten years to repay principal and interest. I would not be in favour of any scheme that would not give ten years.

45687. But allowing that, is there any agency out there through which an investor could recover his principal and interest in ten years' time ?

45688. Would the company act as agent ?
—The company would not.

45689. He would have to appeal to private agency ?
—The laws of the country are sufficient for that. There is a Registry Act, and the laws are perfectly good for such a case as that.

45690. Would it not be to the advantage of the company to assist private enterprise on a smaller scale than say 10,000 families? Suppose 100 families were sent out, would it not be to the advantage of the company to see them settled, and assist the private investor to recover his money ?
—Perhaps I have led you into a wrong impression. The Canadian Pacific Company have not made that proposal. It emanated from Mr Stephen. I don't think the Railway Company could go into any such transaction.

45691. Mr Stephen then did not speak as president of the company ?
—No, he spoke as a private individual. That is as I understand it.

45692. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Are you a Scotsman?
—I am descended from a Scotch father and a Scotch mother.

45693. And you represent here a private company called the Canadian Pacific Company ?

45694. What are the principal objects of that company ?
—-To build a railway from the Atlantic across the continent to the Pacific Ocean, and to run it, and, in addition to that, we have a grant of land from the Dominion Government.

45695. This is really a mercantile company established for the purpose of making a profit ?

45696. It is very important, is it not, to the financial success of your company, hat the lands you have got in connection with the railway should be occupied and settled?
—I don't know that it has anything to do with the financial success of the company, except that the railway requires settlers along its line of railway to produce business for it.

45697. Are they not bound to settle within a certain number of years ?
—Not that I am aware of.

45698. Have you been in the Highlands yourself?
—I have not been in the islands. I have been in the Highlands as far north as Inverness.

45699. And I think you stated that your pamphlet has been received by your agents with favour ?
—I received a letter yesterday to that effect.

45700. Was the pamphlet a gift ?
—A gift.

45701. And the simple people accepted the gift with pleasure, did they ?
—With pleasure.

45702. They did not know the old story about the danger of accepting gifts sometimes ?
—I don't think you will find there is any danger in accepting that gift.

45703. You mentioned, with regard to setting the crofters upon a lot of 640 acres, that the outside might be occupied and the inside used for grazing purposes ?

45704. And is your company able to give lots of 640 aces ?

45705. Is there not a provision whereby you only get alternate sections ?
—Alternate sections within the railway belt except those reserved for school purposes.

45706. But what I mean is this, can you at this moment give within the railway belt lots of 640 acres?
—Yes, we can.

45707. With regard to the statement you made, that if a settler who went out was not able to pay his interest, he would be dealt with leniently, and would be left alone for some little time ; is there any obligation to that effect in the document or mortgage which the company takes over his land ?
—That would be a matter of arrangement entirely. This is only at the present time a proposition, and all the conditions would have to be made perfectly satisfactory to the Government.

45708. Are there any such documents in existence at this moment with such a clause as you have referred to, that if a person who borrows the money is not able to pay up he will not be disturbed for a year or two?
—I think there are no such conditions in a document of that kind, but it could be made so. I may tell you this, that I have been connected with the railway company in the land department in the North-West from the commencement of that department until now, and I have never known a single instance where a settler has been disturbed or put to any hardship from not being able to make his payments regularly. He has invariably had time, and been assisted in that respect. That I can state most positively.

45709. I am afraid there has been hardly time to put that in operation, because the Canadian Pacific Company has only been in operation two or three years ?
—We have 2000 miles in running operation.

45710. When was the company formed?
—In 1881.

45711. Then there cannot have been much time to eject people yet ?
—Well, their payments came due every half-year, and the first year we sold a very large quantity of land.

45712. You state that your company are willing to lend the necessary amount at 6 per cent. ?
—No, I did not state that. The proposition is made on behalf of the land companies interested in the settlement.

45713. Will you tell me there is any land company in Canada lending money at 6 per cent, at this moment?
—I cannot positively say.

45714. Is it not far more likely that the rate at this moment is at least 8 per cent. ?
—Very likely it is.

45715. Then why did you use the expression 6 per cent.—that the settlers might be able to make terms at 6 per cent?
—Because that was the proposal made by Mr Stephen to the Government.

45716. But that is not in operation?
—It is merely a proposal laid before the British Government. I don't know whether they will accept it or not. I merely state that proposal as a basis.

45717. It is a very important one, and I want to know a little more about it. Who was to be at the back of Mr Stephen to guarantee they could raise sufficient money themselves to enable them to lend at 6 per cent, to these parties; where was the money to come from to lend at 6 per cent. ?
—Well, I think the companies who would be interested in the matter would be perfectly able to do that.

45718. Have they done so in time past?
—I don't think such a scheme has ever been entered into.

45719. May I put this general question to you, Is it not the fact that almost in the whole of Canada, from one end to the other —the North- West has not had time to be developed —in all the older portions, almost all the settler's lands are deeply mortgaged, and though they pay no rent, they are paying in reality a high rent in the form of interest ?
—I don't think so. I think I have explained cases where parties have overburdened themselves, but speaking generally, I don't think so.

45720. Can you give me any idea in millions of the amount of money invested by public loan companies in loans to people resident in Canada ?
—No, I cannot give you any figures, but they can easily be obtained.

45721. Can you give us any idea how many companies there are in Canada, and London and Edinburgh, carrying on that system ?
—I don't think there are very many.

45722. Are there one hundred?
—I don't think so, but I cannot give you positive information in that respect. I think there are very few.

45723. Then of course the amounts they have got invested must be trifling ?
—There is a difference between land companies and investment companies.

45724. I mean money borrowed ?
—You mean investment on a mortgage.

45725. Yes ?
—Well, I don't think there is a great deal.

45726. I am reading just now a paper published in Toronto, called A New Chapter added to Political Economy, printed in 1882, and on page 10 I observe:
—There are now nearly 100 loan societies, and new charters are applied for every month of the year. They mostly borrow at 4 to 5½ per cent., and lend at an average of 8 to 10 per cent, on the very best security. Is that a true representation of the state of matters in Canada ?
—I would like to say, that I do not speak with regard to Ontario and other portions of Canada, because I am not sufficiently acquainted with their situation, but I can say positively that that state of things does not prevail in the North-West

45727. Is the reason it does not prevail in the North-West that the North-West has only been open within the last two or three years, and there has not been time yet for these operations to come on ?
—I think that as a rule the farmers in the North-West have only borrowed such money as they might require to improve their farms, and I do not think you will find that the payment of any such money borrowed has not been met promptly, or has given any trouble.

45728. Well, I shall confine myself to the North-West. Is it not the case that within the last four or five years many companies have been started for the very purpose of lending money in the North-West, that
are doing very well ?
—There have been some.

45729. I said many ?
—I don't know of many.

45730. Could you give a list of those that there are?
—I could obtain it for the Commission.

45731. Don't you think it very likely that that kind of business will very rapidly increase ?
—That I cannot tell, but I don't think these questions are applicable to the case of a crofter under the scheme that I proposed, because the amount is limited to £100. I cannot speak as to what a crofter will do after he has been settled there two or three years, nor do I think it would be fair to expect me to give any opinion. A crofter becomes an independent agent at the end of a few years' residence there, and he can do as he likes.

45732. You speak of £100 out there; are you prepared to say that to give a crofter £100 in his own country will not make him pretty independent?
—No, I don't so. I don't think he would have the land to cultivate, or use the £100 to advantage.

45733. How can you say that when you have not been through the Highlands to make inquiries on the spot ?
—I can only imagine from what I have heard. I happened to be in the court here on Monday, and I heard
the examination of Sir John Orde, in which he mentioned that some three or four families resided in one house, and each family had a number of members, and they were living on a small croft. If that is the general case, I do not see how they can employ money to advantage, as they have not the land to cultivate. I may be mistaken; I only speak from what I have heard.

45734. I put it this way. Supposing there was land in this country, in the Highlands, and in the introduction of your paper you give all due credit to the attachment a Highlander has to the place where his forefathers' bones remain, and all that—supposing there was land capable of sustaining him, and that he got £100 to start with, would it not be better to leave him at home to work on that £100, than send him out to the North-West ?
—I don't think he can derive the same benefit cultivating the land in the Highlands, from the description I have received of it, as he could by employing the money in cultivating the lands in the North-West.

45735. Professor Mackinnon.
—You stated right through your paper that migration, as it is called in this country, was only a temporary expedient at the best, and therefore it would be better not to discuss it ?
—I merely gave that as an opinion.

45736. But you don't know the circumstances of the country yourself sufficiently well to be able to give an opinion for our guidance upon that matter ?
—Only from what I have from hearsay. From personal observation I cannot give any evidence.

45737. On the particular estate you mentioned just now, are you aware that there is a very large amount of excellent arable land ?
—Well, there would require to be to place the four families who are living in one house comfortably upon a good-sized croft.

45738. And a very large amount of arable land upon which there is no family or croft at all ?
—I am aware that there are districts used for other purposes that have no settlers on them, but I have understood that the extent of that land would not be sufficient to give good farms to the whole of the population.

45739. You don't know North Uist sufficiently well to be able to say, that if the proprietor were willing at the present moment, there would not be room for a considerable number of crofters to settle down there
comfortably if they got £100 apiece ?
—That is a matter on which I could not give any evidence, but I conclude the Commission will be able to decide that matter.

45740. It is upon that ground I wish to ask you what would be your opinion upon the question of migration ?
—Well, I can only state the opinion, from what I have heard, that I do not consider that if all the
land was divided amongst the crofters at the present time, each one would be able to get a sufficiently large farm to sustain himself and family comfortably.

45741. You do not then condemn a scheme of migration ; you only say that it would be only partial at the best ?
—Yes, that is all I say.

45742. So, even supposing migration was carried on as far as reasonable, there would still be room for emigration?
—I think so; and besides that, I think if migration was simply adopted the question would come up again at some future date, very soon.

45743. To what extent would you yourself propose, supposing this scheme was carried through in its entirety, that emigration should go out from these parts ?
—Only to the extent of relieving the congested districts.

45744. Don't you think that that question of emigration would also turn up in the next generation quite as well as the question of migration, unless you emigrate the people altogether?
—Well, I think emigration, as far as Great Britain is concerned, must always be a safety valve.

45745. So your present scheme of emigration is only temporary, as well as the migration scheme. Both would require to be operative in the future ?
—The scheme I mentioned would be an immediate one, but emigration as a whole, I consider, would probably go on to a certain extent as the population increased. I do not disconnect the islands from any other part of Great Birtain.

45746. So that really emigration would be only a temporary remedy too. It would always have to go on, because if you left the people in the country at all they would be increasing, and there would be always an
overflow ?
—Well, I think emigration is an additional remedy.

45747. But migration might be a very great part of the present remedy if only it was carried out ?
—I cannot offer any evidence upon that, but at the same time I do not see any reason for objecting to a certain degree of migration.

45748. You think, so far as you know, both might be carried through with advantage, only you know the emigration scheme, and you have studied the emigration scheme best ?
—Yes, I think both might be found applicable.

45749. Do you think that the statement made to us in , about the liabilities of the old settlers in Canada, was very much exaggerated ?
—I did not read that.

45750. There was a statement made to us, that not only was there a very large number of the old settlers being sold out, because of the amount of money they had borrowed upon their small places, but that there was a very large number still there, who, though not sold out, were very heavily burdened, and that really the interest of these mortgages was a perpetual heavy rent upon them, and kept them down very much?
—I fancy that must be exaggerated when it is made so general, but I may say in that connection, that the migration from Ontario to the North-West has been very great. The Ontario farmers have gone west, and that seems to be a natural inclination with a pioneer. In fact, I have seen it in the North-West. I have seen a man take a homestead, which he got from the Government, live on it two or three years, improve it, and then sell it for five or six dollars an acre, and move himself and his family further west, and commence life over again.

45751. Can you tell me the ordinary rate of interest charged in Upper Canada upon a first security ?
—I fancy it will be from 6 to 8 per cent. I am not quite positive.

45752. And you would say the mortgage must be very heavy indeed if it is as high as 10 per cent. ?
—I think so. Companies have been known there, as in all other countries, to charge exorbitant rates sometimes.

45753. But when the rate is so very exorbitant with landed security there, as compared with this country, is that not proof that the amount of money lent upon land must be very great ?
—Well, I cannot give you any information on that point, so far as Ontario is concerned. I think the rate of interest will amount sometimes to as high as 8 per cent, in the North-West.

45754. The statement made to us the other day was no doubt made with the intention of discouraging the idea of bright prospects for emigrants. Now, I should like very much if your information as to matters
abroad would enable that idea more or less to be dispelled?

—Well, I consider a settler borrowing money for improvements for his farm can afford to pay 8 per cent., and if he borrows moderately and borrows simply to go on improving, I do not see any hardship, but I do not think the rule is to borrow in the North-West. The settlers who have gone to the North-West are generally provided with means so far.

45755. I was coming to that, because the question remains, may not the North-West become in course of time what Upper Canada is just now ? If it is the case that in Upper Canada money advanced upon landed security gives 8 or 10 per cent, of interest, does not that clearly show that the amount of money so advanced must be very great in proportion to the value of the property ?
—I think there is a very great difference between the two parts of Canada.

45756. And you would like to restrict yourself to the North-West?
—Well, I can say that the clearing of a farm and the working of a farm in Ontario is much more expensive, and I do not think so profitable as in the North-West, where they cultivate the prairie, and there is no clearance of timber or anything of that kind.

45757. But you are not able to say that the statement made with respect to the old settlers in Canada is very much exaggerated ?
—I can only give an opinion. My opinion is that it was very much exaggerated.

45758. The word "mortgage" certainly is quite freely used among them \
—Oh, yes; that is a word used in every case where money is lent upon land.

45759. Well, the ground of your belief that emigration to the North-West would turn out satisfactory is partly because of the admirable soil; I suppose that is undoubted ?
—In my experience it is so.

45760. That we have no soil in this country, even in the very best patches, to compete with it at all ?
—I can speak positively as to their having taken wheat off a field in the settlement of Kildonan which had been cultivated for fifty years—I had the authority of an old man —without a bit of manure having been used on the land. Then there is further security in this, that the settler can only borrow £100 upon a 160 acre lot, by the law of Homestead.

45761. That is, of course, with the land as security?
—The lien is on the land.

45762. He can only borrow £100 upon 160 acres?
—The law prevents taking any greater lien on the land.

45763. And I suppose under no conceivable circumstances can the land become so reduced in value as that it would not sell for that amount and much more?
—The lowest valuation of land now is 16s.

45764. To come to Mr Stephen's scheme. It practically comes to this, that this country is to lend one million of money ; that is the proposal ?

45765. Well, that means the tax-payers. So really in that case you must ask the whole community to agree that that is a wise scheme ?
—As I understand it, the community have to pay a very large sum for the sustenance of poor people, and if you get a less dense population I think the general public will be benefited.

45766. You think the sooner they agree that it is a wise scheme the better?
—I think so.

45767. Well, you say the company becomes security to the British Government that the settler will be settled down upon conditions favourable to him and satisfactory to the Government that advanced the money ?

45768. And I think you also stated, that even supposing a settler could not pay the interest on his money, the company would not deal very hard with him ?
—I stated that as an opinion, and I feel very strongly on it

45769. That would be a matter no doubt to arrange ?

45770. But as to the company itself, what is its source of income and profit?
—Well, the Canadian North-West Company possess 5,000,000 acres of land within the railway belt, and every acre of that land is good agricultural land.

45771. Of course, the company is very wealthy and powerful, but at the same time it is a commercial company, and liable to commercial risks and disasters ?
—Yes, but their assets are not liable.

45772. Supposing the company itself came to be wound up and liquidated, what would be the value of its security to the British Government that a settler would be leniently dealt with'.
—I stated that it would be worth over a million and a half.

45773. But their security to the British Government for the settler—the man who has gone away, and gone away at the charge of British funds—is it not just commercial security, and nothing else ?
—Well, you can only give a commercial security, and, as I understand, this is the very best class of commercial security.

45774. Security is given to the Government, but no security to the settler ?
—In what way ?

45775. In the way that he may not be handed over to another company, who may deal with him differently ?
—I think there would be perfect security as to that. In the first place, the settler is placed on the land, under the supervision of the Government; he is settled on that land comfortably under the supervision of the Government. Well, then he is supposed to be able to take care of himself.

45776. I am referring to a case where he is not able to take care of himself; who is going to take care of him ?
—Well, I cannot go into the future in that respect, except this, that I can say Mr Stephen has never been known to do or countenance a dishonourable action, and so long as the Canadian Pacific Railway is in existence, and this scheme brought out under the auspices of its president, I do not think there would be any danger of emigrants being hardly dealt with.

45777. I am contemplating the time when the Canadian Pacific may not be in existence—that is within ten years ?
—The thing is impossible, unless the world comes to an end.

45778. And after ten years ?
—I think the settler can pay up in ten years without any hardship.

45779. But supposing he does not?
—I can only say I don't think any hardship would be imposed upon him.

45780. If it was a company that was lending money in this country, and if the settler would choose to risk his interests along with the company, it would be a different matter; but when the Government of the country advances public money, don't you think a better security than that of a private company would be required for the comfort and welfare of the persons sent away with public money ?
—Taking everything into consideration, I don't think better security could be offered for the next ten years.

45781. You think it would be quite sufficient?
—I do.

45782. The report of Lady Gordon-Cathcart's emigrants is very encouraging; do you think they were sent abroad upon conditions more favourable than can be expected from private persons abroad, or from this
Government scheme ?
—1 think she was most liberal in her provision for her people.

45783. And considering they have been only four or five months away, don't you think it is rather a short period, and that their circumstances are too exceptional, to base any experience upon for the future as to their comfort and prosperity?
—I don't think so.

45784. In the first place, they were sent away under circumstances more favourable than you can expect anybody else to be ; and, in the second place, they are only five or six months away. Don't you think that
it is rather short and exceptional experience to quote as to what may be fairly expected under the large scheme you propose ?
—Well, from my experience of settlers for the last ten years, I do not think so. The general rule with settlers there is that their condition improves.

45785. But from your knowledge of the resources of that country, its climate, and everything else, you think it would be very much to the advantage of a large number of the people in the Western Isles to go there?
—I do.

45786. Even on any reasonable terms ?
—I do think so.

45787. The Chairman.
—With regard to the indebtedness of the older class of settlers in the settled parts of Canada, and the mortgages upon their lands, may not these mortgages really be incidental to the longer period during which the country has been settled ? May they not be the result of family arrangements—that when the first settler dies, and leaves perhaps several children behind him, money is obliged to be borrowed by the eldest son, or some member of the family, to pay off the others ? I mean, these mortgages may not have been incurred in connection with any difficulty of cultivation, but in connection with the multiplication of the family ?
—I feel quite confident, from a short residence in Ontario, and from seeing very largely into that sort of thing, that the borrowing has not arisen from any necessities of cultivation, except to a certain extent. I think that the excess of borrowing is in a great measure the result of parties going ahead of their position, and perhaps being extravagant.

45788. But when the head of a family dies, in the case of those small properties, is the land actually divided among his sons, or does one member of a family take it over and pay off the other brothers who go away ?
—I think it generally happens that the brothers go to other parts. Now they go west.

45789. You think the original holding remains in the possession of one, and that the rest go off ?
—I think that is generally the arrangement. I don't think they cut up their farms.

45790. Well, when a certain number of them go west, is it not probable that their portion is paid to them in money ?
—It is very often the case, especially lately, that the father purchases lands for the son in the west.

45791. Then he may have to borrow money in order to do that?
—I daresay there are cases where that occurs.

45792. But if that is the case, the same motives to borrow would in course of time grow up in the new part of the country ?
—Not so much there, because I think for some years there will be land to be obtained.

45793. I do not speak of years, I speak of generations. In the course of two or three generations, the land in'the North-West will fall under the same condition that it has fallen under in the older parts of Canada?
—It may be, but it is very difficult for me to foresee that.

45794. You stated that this company was a private company, but I understand it is a company which has been favoured and established under the auspices of Government ?

45795. And the Government has given it very extensive and valuable privileges ?
—They have given it a subsidy for the building of the road of $25,000,000, and 25,000,000 acres of land.

45796. They have, as it were, given it a subsidy in money, and an endowment in land ?
— Yes.

45797. And I presume Government had a political object as well as an economical one—to unite the whole territories of the Dominion by a bond of railway ?
—That was the first intention when British Columbia entered into the confederation—that it should be connected with the eastern provinces.

45798. So the railway may be regarded in some measure, not only as a private institution, but as a public institution, with great duties ?
—It is so regarded. It is regarded as the national highway of Canada.

45799. Then its endowment is in the form of alternate square mile blocks the whole way across to the Pacific?
—To the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains.

45800. What arrangement takes place on the other side of the Rocky Mountains ?
—The 25,000,000 acres of land are to be all taken from what we call the fertile belt—-the prairie section
—that is between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains.

45801. No provision is made on the other side ?
—Not for giving land, except that they have the right of way.

45802. Now, as to the railway belt, as you term it, within which the alternate blocks have been granted to the company, how deep is that railway belt ?
—Twenty-four miles on each side of the line —that is, four townships. Each township is six miles square.

45803. How many blocks deep is it of 640 acres each ?
—Twenty-four on each side.

45804. It is then a broad belt, 24 miles wide on each side of the railway, as far as the base of the Rocky Mountains ?

45805. To what extent have the nearest blocks been as yet taken up to the railway; has the railway disposed of those almost the whole way along ?
—I have brought four sectional maps, from the Red River to the Rocky Mountains, which show the land taken.

45806. But can you give me a practical idea; how far has the nearest block to the railway been disposed of
—the block abutting upon the railway ?
—Well, they are taken here and there, and not continuously.

45807. Here and there they have been taken up quite on to the base of the Rocky Mountains ?
—No, about half-way.

45808. But they have not been regularly taken ; they have been taken here and there ?
—The sections were reserved for a time. I may explain that they were reserved for a time by the railway company, in case they might require them for sidings or stations, but recently they have been placed in the market.

45809. Then does the railway reserve blocks here and there, not only for railway and public purposes, but for the benefit appertaining to the increment in the value of the land?
—No, that is not the policy of the railway company.

45810. Are they restricted from doing so in any degree ?
—No, they can do as they like with their land.

45811. But they find it their best policy to dispose of the best blocks nearest to the railway as fast as possible?
—They reserve no land. They reserved some merely while the road was constructing, to make sure of sidings, and so on.

45812. They do not act as land speculators?
—No, that is entirely against their policy ; and besides that, their policy is to give the actual settler land at a less price than the mere investor.

45813. For the sake of creating traffic?
—And encouraging the cultivation of the soil.

45814. Do you in many cases dispose of a 640 acre block to one person or is it generally disposed of in smaller sections of 320 or 160 acres ?
—It depends on the purchaser's means. If a man has means to go on with farming extensively, he will purchase a section of 640 acres; if his means are limited, he will purchase 160, and so on. That has generally been the rule.

45815. Are the second row of lots back from the railway quite as advantageous as those immediately abutting upon the line ?
—I think so. Along each section there is a provision by the Government for roads, so that they are quite sure of a road.

45816. Well, speaking of this project for the settlement of crofters, we have the alternative of either settling the crofters upon the railway lands, or of settling them upon the Government homestead lands, the Government homestead lands being available; can you state any reason why we should prefer the railway lands to the Government lands, or do you offer any advantages to this class of settlers that the Government of the Dominion does not offer ?
—I think you will deal probably better with the Government lands. We are not so anxious for the sale of our lands as we are to see successful settlement. We like to sell our lands, but we are more desirous to see the country successfully settled.

45817. In fact, you think, on the whole, although you personally are connected with the railway, that we, as the friends of the crofter, would do better to deal with the Government sections ?
—I may say that we will derive benefit by your doing so.

45818. You mentioned it might be the interest of the Government, and the public in England, to make some small temporary pecuniary sacrifice in assisting emigrants to go away, because the operation might be followed by a reduction of the poor rate, or at least the increase of the poor rate might be prevented ?
—That, I think, would be a natural result.

45819. Well, but still we are told at the same time that emigration to the North-West implies rather a selection of emigrants—emigrants possessing some means, whether for their passage or for their settlement on arriving there. Supposing that even the passage of a family cost £40 or £50, the Government would hardly be expected to advance money for that; how would the emigration of families possessing some means, even to the amount of from £40 to £100, tend to relieve the poor rates?
—You mean if you took a certain number of persons who possessed some means.

45820. Yes?
—The only way in that case would be that it would give room for those who had no means to expand at home, and so relieve the congestion.

45821. Might it not also tend to leave, in the first instance, some persons behind without assistance, and without the support or countenance their friends might lend them ?
—In my opinion, the taking away of a certain number of people would give a better opportunity for those
left behind to make a livelihood for themselves. They would have more room and more opportunity.

45822. Eventually I quite admit it, but still I remain under the impression that at first perhaps, if you take away the best of the small people, you might leave the rest in a worse condition behind ?
—We do not propose to take the best of the people in that respect. The only condition in that proposal of Mr Stephen is that the people should be able to do agricultural work—that they should have some slight knowledge of agricultural work—which I believe the crofters all have. We propose to deal rather withjthose people who have no means, so long as they are healthy.

45823. But still people who hold land in this country?
—Not necessarily so, as long as they have some slight knowledge of agricultural work.

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