ALEXANDER MATHESON, Crofter, Ullapool (66) —examined.
28705. The Chairman.
—What statement have you to make?
—'Our hill pasture was valued by Robertson, Keanchulish, and M'Martin, Leckmelm, at £50, or 5s. per cow. At that time feuars could keep any number of cows on the hill for 5s. each; now they pay 5s. for first and 10s. for every one above that number. Strangers evicted from other places keep cows and sheep on the hill, and consequently feuar's cattle are ill used. The hotel ground is walled in, and their cattle should graze in common with others, but the best part of the hill is kept for their use, and other cattle going there are worried by their dogs. Feuars are not allowed to keep sheep, all sheep on hill being those of strangers.
28706. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh,
—What other complaint have you got besides what is in the paper ?
—The people coming in from other properties are troubling us by taking our hill pasture from us. There never was any right to the Ullapool tenants to have sheep.
28707. Have you applied to Mr Mackay, or the local factor about that right ?
—Mr Mackay and the factor and the chamberlain and Mr Munro, the local factor, put up a paper ordering the sheep to be removed, but that has not been done.
28708. Have you anything else to say ?
—We think we are charged too much for the grazing of our cows. Formerly we paid five shillings and
now we have to pay ten shillings. We have only a little hill and there are too many cattle on it. There are ten horses on it. It is as much as there is of it, if there is a square mile and a half.
28709. The Chairman.
—Do the strangers who put their sheep on the hill pay any rent ?
—Not for the sheep.
28710. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—If you found any of these strange sheep why did not you poind them ?
—That was never done; it is the people in the town that these sheep belong to. There are no fences.
28711. Why is Ullapool such a deserted, poor-looking place?
—Because there is no land round about it for the people, and the fishing has not succeeded as it used to do.