Letterfearn, 3 August 1883 - Alexander Macrae (Letterfearn)

ALEXANDER MACRAE, Cottar and Fisherman, Letterfearn—examined.

31533. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Are you a crofter?
—I have an acre of land.

31534. Are you a delegate ?

31535. Who are those who sent you here?
—All the township.

31536. The same as sent William Grant and Alexander Maclennan?

31537. Have you anything more to say than they had?
—Not very much.

31538. Do you concur with all they said ?

31539. What is it they complain mostly about?
—Poverty and want of land.

31540. What you ask for is more land ?
—Land ! land !

31541. How much land ?
—Eight acres; and we want four cows and a horse and from forty to fifty sheep.

31542. Would you be able to stock a piece of ground of that size ?
—I would try it.

31543. Is the fishing good here ?
—One year it is and another it is not.

31544. Taking one farm with another, would they all be able to do as you would do ?
—I think the greater part of them would.

31545. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Where would you all get the land?
—The glens on each side of us.

31546. Professor Mackinnon.
—This loch was famous for fishing in the old times, was it not ?
—Yes, but it is falling off now.

31547. Is that because the silver-herring has been lost?
—I don't know.

31548. Which would the people prefer to get back, the land or the silver-herring ?
—They would prefer the land.

31549. They have more faith in the land than in the herring ?
—Herring are uncertain, but the land is sure if we had it.

31550. Sheriff Nicolson:
—Have you been fishing yourself this season?

31551. Where?
—In Loch Duich.

31552. Has the fishing been good?
—There has not been anything yet.

31553. What is the greatest number of crans you have got?
—Four barrels that other two and I have got this season yet.

31554. Among three of you ?

31555. What did you get for that?
—We sent them by steamer to Glasgow, and we don't know yet what price they will be.

31556. The best fishing here begins later, does it not?
—One season it will be and another not.

31557. Have any of the other boats here done any better than you this season ?
—Yes, some of them have got their ten and twelve barrels —those who have fished best.

31558. If you had bigger boats would you go and try the fishing at Barra and Stornoway ?
—Yes, if we had them we would try it, of course.

31559. But there is no boat here big enough to do that?
—There is one boat ; the people brought her from the south two years ago.

31560. Has it been at Stornoway or the east coast this season?
—Not this summer.

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