In times of distress or exceptional poverty the suffering classes of communities in the Highlands not infrequently united in appealing to the Government of the day for help in some constitutional form. Lewis has been conspicuous in this respect during the last twenty years; but the practice is not of recent date, nor is it confined to any particular locality.
An illustration is afforded by a letter (without date) written by Jane, the famous Duchess of Gordon, to the Honourable Henry Erskine when he was Lord Advocate. Erskine held that position on two occasions—first in the Coalition Ministry of 1783-84, and again in the second Grenville Administration, “the Ministry of all the talents” (January 1806—March 1807). The letter refers to the “immortal and ever to be regretted Pitt.” Pitt died on 23rd January 1806, before Lord Grenville formed his second Ministry, and accordingly Her Grace must have made her appeal some time between the beginning of 1806 and March 1807. Addressing Erskine, she says :—
“My dear Lord,—It has been often suggested by the benevolent and wise that some mark of His Majestie’s bounty should be given to that part of the Kingdom which gave birth to the brave 42nd and 92nd Regts. Kingussie, my favourite child, is in the most centrical part of the Highlands. The Duke of Gordon has laid out 000 [sic] to build a town; and for years I have given premiums for all kinds of domestic industry—spinning, dyeing, &c.—and last year had some hundred specimens of beautiful colours from the herbs of the fields, and different woolen productions. But there is an evil I cannot remedy without a sum of money. The children are totally neglected in body and mind : cold, hunger, and dirt carries off hundreds.” . . . “They say they may be better in a foreign land ; they cannot be more wretched. You once drew tears from brighter eyes than mine, in a poem you gave Lady Cornwallis? [The Emigrant]. These horrors still exist in the utmost extent,—lands raised, and no knowledge of agriculture; of course, worse than slaves ; no principle of action; no care of their morals or health.” . . . “I wish to add to the comforts of the aged, and take the children—teach them to think right, raise food for themselves, and prepare them to succeed to their fathers’ farms with knowledge of all the branches of farming. Why Lady Stafford, with 80,000 a year, should get money to build harbours where there is no ships, I cannot say. Much money has gone to Scotland for fishing towns, harbours, &c. All might as well been thrown into the sea. A healthy, well regulated people must be the proud riches of this country by them we can alone be defended. Forgive me. Do speak to Lord Grenville. I don’t like to trouble him, though I know he would like to oblige the favourite friend of Lord Temple, and a person who has shared many cheerful social hours with him, and the immortal and ever to be regretted Pitt.—Adieu. God bless you.
It may be stated that the full text of the letter and of Erskine’s poem “The Emigrant” are given in his Life by Lieutenant—Colonel Alexander Ferguson (pp. 409-10 and 230-4). Views such as those expressed by the Duchess have been made familiar to all in recent years.
The meeting in Stornoway on 13th December 1882, [...], may be recalled. At that meeting it was resolved that a Memorial be forwarded to Mr. Gladstone, who was then Prime Minister, craving aid from Government, or that some public works be commenced in the island and free emigration provided for all desirous of emigrating.
No immediate response was made to this appeal ; but the Royal Commission (Highlands and Islands) presided over by Lord Napier and Ettrick, and commonly known as “the Napier Commission,” was appointed, and inquired into questions affecting certain Highland Counties, and dealt with the matter of piers and harbours in Lewis. It is of importance to note that several of the works then called for have since been constructed (see page 57 of the Napier Report.)
Subsequently (in 1890) the Commission appointed to inquire into Certain Matters Affecting the Interests of the Population of the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland, presided over by Mr. Spencer Walpole, and commonly called “the Walpole Commission,” visited Lewis and made various recommendations as to piers, harbours, and boat-slips, and also as to lights and beacons.
Following on that inquiry, the “Western Highlands and Islands (Scotland) Works Act 1891 ” (54 & 55 Vict., cap. 58), passed into law. It authorised, inter alia, an expenditure of a sum not exceeding £15,000 to defray the cost of constructing and improving the road between Carloway and Stornoway, and certain other roads approved by the Secretary for Scotland. It also provided for the expenditure of money to be voted by Parliament in the seven counties mentioned in the Crofters Act for the purpose of aiding in the construction and improvement of small harbours, piers, and boat-slips, each undertaking not to exceed £2,000.
In 1897 the Congested Districts (Scotland) Act (60 & 61 Vict., cap. 53), was passed. It authorised the Board appointed to carryout its provisions to expend money, inter alia, in providing land for subdivision among or for enlargement of the holdings of crofters and cottars in congested districts for the purposes of cultivation or grazing; also in aiding migration of crofters and cottars from congested districts to other districts in Scotland, and settling any migrants under favourable circumstances in the places to which they first migrate; as likewise in aiding agriculture, fishing, the construction of roads and bridges and boat-slips, home industries, &c.
On the passing of the last—mentioned Act fully adequate means were adopted to carry its provisions into effect, and works of some magnitude have been undertaken in Lewis. At the same time operations under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act cease but works undertaken in terms of that Act were carried on and, if necessary, extend by the new Board.
Public works in Lewis may be classified thus :—
(a) Piers, Harbours, Boat—slips, &c..
(b) Roads and Footpaths;
(c) Telegraph and Postal Extension ; and
(d) Miscellaneous, including the advancement of agriculture, improvement of stock, promotion of home industries, &c. Taking these classes in their order, the following observations are
A. PIERS, HARBOURS, BOAT—SLIPS, &c.
1. Port of Ness Harbour.—
The fishermen of Ness, in the Parish of Barvas, have the reputation of being the best in Lewis. The port of Ness was, however, only a small creek on an exposed coast, and drowning accidents in that quarter were of frequent occurrence. There had long been a demand for improved harbour accommodation, and soon after the time the Stornoway meeting appealed for aid in alleviating the prevailing distress by promoting public works, the Fishery Board began its scheme for improving Ness harbour. Towards this undertaking Lady Matheson contributed £1,500 ; and between 1883 and 1886 the Fishery Board expended £4,363 3s. 8d. Between 1891 and 1894 that Board expended a further sum of £3,709 2s. 11d., or £8,072 6s. 7d. in all. The work being still in an unsatisfactory condition, a further sum of £1,399 19s was laid out upon it in 1895 under the Western Highlands-and Islands Works Act. Finally, in 1899 the Congested Districts Board expended an additional sum of £1,050 on the same undertaking. All these sums were over and above Lady Matheson’s contribution of £1,500.
2. Port of Ness Breakwater.
—In order to complete the undertaking at Ness a breakwater was considered necessary, and in carrying out this project an outlay of £10,532 11s. 11d. was incurred under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act, prior to 31st March 1898. More was required, however, and the Congested Districts Board contributed a further sum of £4,481 16s., making a total of £15,014 7s. 11d. It is to be regretted that, notwithstanding the large sums of public money spent, the undertaking has not fulfilled the expectations of the promoters; for after every successive gale the harbour gets more and more silted up with sand, and therefore unsuitable for large boats.
The total cost to the public on the Port of Ness works may be summarised thus :—
(1) Fishery Board (1883-84) £8,072 6 7
(2) Western Highlands Works Act (1895) £ 1,399 19 0
(3) Congested Districts Board (1899) £1,050 0 0
——————————— £10,522 5 7
(1) Western Highlands Works Act (1895-98) £10,532 11 11
(2) Congested Districts Board (1898) £4,481 16 0
-———————— 15,014 7 11
£25,536 13 6
The Napier Commission reported that an additional place of shelter was greatly needed on the east side of Lewis between the Port of Ness and Stornoway. The Walpole Commission dealing with harbour accommodation discussed Gress Bay and estimated that a harbour of refuge there would cost from £80,000 to £100,000. They did not think that the expenditure of so large a sum would be justified (page 15). No harbour has been formed along this coast, but two piers have been constructed, one at Skiggersta, about two miles south of Port of Ness, in the Parish of Barvas, and the other at Portnambothag, south of Tolsta Head, in the Parish of Stornoway.
3. Skiggersta Pier.—This undertaking was begun under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act, and a sum of £593 10s. expended on it by 31st March 1898. It was completed by the Congested Districts Board in 1901 at a further cost of £397 8s. 8d., making £990 18s. 8d. from public funds in all. The local contribution was £140.
4. Portnambothag Pier.—On this pier a sum of £1,625 was expended prior to 31st March 1898, out of the Western Highlands and Islands Works vote. The local contributions amounted to £138 19s. 7d.
5. Shadder.—For a landing place at Shadder, on the Eye Peninsula and Parish of Stornoway, the Congested Districts Board expended £270 in 1901.
6. Bayble Pier.—Bayble is an important fishing centre in the Eye Peninsula, and in 1898 the Congested Districts Board made a grant of £1,640 for a pier there.
The above are all on the east coast of Lewis. On the west coast the following places for notice-—
7. Breasclete Pier.—This township is on Loch Roag, in the Parish of Uig. A pier has been constructed there under the Western Highlands Works Act, and a sum of £1895 4s. 9d. expended thereon prior to 31st March 1896.
8. Carloway Harbour.—The Walpole Commission recommended the construction of a pier at Carloway, and estimated the cost of the same at £2,000. They also recommended the building of a breakwater at a cost of £10,000. The large undertakings here proposed have not been carried out; but under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act a sum of £1,937 19s. 10d. was expended prior to 31st March 1896 in harbour improvements .
9. Valtos Pier.—This township is to the west of Loch Roag, in the Parish of Uig. A pier was constructed here in 1900 at a cost of £1,800 to the Congested Districts Board.
In connection with piers and harbours, etc., lights and beacons may be taken. The Walpole Commission recommended a light at Carloway, and a beacon on the Hen and Chickens Rock, off the Eye district. These have been constructed, the former at a cost of £451 and the latter of £355, both being carried out under sub—head B. (3) of the Western Highlands and Islands Works vote.
The amount of public monies spent on these works in Lewis may be tabulated thus:—
1. Port of Ness—Harbour: £10,522 5 7
Do. —Breakwater, - - £15,014 7 11
————— £25,536 13 6
Skiggersta Pier, - - - - - — - - 990 18 8
3. Portnambothag Pier, - - — — - - - 1,625 0 0
4. Shadder Landing Place, - - - - — - 270 0 0
5. Bayble Pier, - - — - — — — - 1,640 0 O
6. Breasclete Pier, - — - - — - - - 1,895 4 9
7. Carloway Harbour, — - - - - — — 1,937 19 10
8. Valtos Pier, - - - — - — - - 1,800 0 0
9. Carloway Light, — - — — - - — 451 0 0
10. Hen and Chickens Beacon, - - - - - — 355 0 0
Total, - £36,501 16 9
B.—ROADS AND FOOTPATHS.
1. Carloway Road.—Carloway is probably the best fishing centre on the west coast of Lewis. Loch Carloway, which branches eastward from the mouth of Loch Roag, is a safe harbour and easy of access. Accordingly, any effort to develop the fishing industry in that quarter deserved favourable consideration. There was, however, no convenient means for the transit of fresh fish to market, and easier access to Stornoway was greatly needed. The existing road from Carloway to Stornoway runs along the southeast bank of Loch Roag to Callernish, at the head of the loch; thereafter it proceeds to Garynahine, some distance inland; and thence in an easterly direction to Stornoway, the whole length being about 23 miles. The part between Callernish and Carloway is badly formed, and ill-suited for heavy traffic. To avoid the long and tedious journey round by Grarynahine a scheme for a direct road from Carloway to Stornoway promoted. This scheme was adopted by the Government, and, as previously stated, a sum not exceeding £15,000 was voted by Parliament, under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act, to carry it into effect. The length of the proposed road was 16 miles, or 7 miles less than the old road to Stornoway. It was anticipated by many that this shorter route would afford easy means of sending ﬁsh in a fresh condition to Stornoway, and from there to the southern markets.
Operations were begun as soon as the necessary plans had been prepared and a contract entered into. The work proceeded rapidly for a time, but financial difficulties having arisen, the contract was terminated, and the undertaking came to a standstill. Of the 16 miles of road planned, only 8 have been completed. About 4¾ miles are, however, partially made, but 3½ miles remain entirely unmade.
The cost of the undertaking so far has been £15,500, of which £13,515 has been expended under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act, and £1,985 by the Congested Districts Board. A part of the eight miles completed is at the eastern terminus, and has for some years been used‘ by pedestrians and vehicles going to the Parish of Uig in preference to the old road to Garynahine. Another portion of the 8 miles is at the western terminus. There is thus a piece of good road at each end, with a long stretch of trackless moor- land between them. The moorland consists in a large measure of peat moss, and the formation of a road in keeping with the portions already constructed will be attended with considerable difficulty and expense. It is estimated that in order to complete the scheme an expenditure of not less than £10,000 more will be required. It will be observed that outlays in excess of the original estimate have already been incurred, and before the scheme is completed a total expenditure of upwards of £25,000 is considered necessary.
2. Township Roads and Footpaths.—The Western Highlands and Islands Works Act has been of incalculable beneﬁt to outlying districts in respect of roads and footpaths formed under its provisions. Numerous minor roads have been constructed throughout the Island of Lewis, but no part has beneﬁted so much as the district of Park——that terra incognita to all but Lewismen, which lies between Loch Erisort and Loch Seaforth in the Parish of Lochs.* The area of Park extends to between 60,000 and 65,000 acres, two-thirds of which forms the Park Deer Forest, While the remaining one-third is mainly occupied by crofters. No roads had been constructed in this extensive district, but only a rough track (frith—rathad) here and there, formed by continuous walking along the same course. Since the passing of the said Act numerous footpaths have been constructed with the most beneﬁcial results. Not only have they added to the general comfort of the inhabitants, but a marked improvement has taken place in school attendance since their formation.
* This district appears to have been the home of deer for centuries. In course of the 18th century one of the Mackenzie possessors of Lewis erected a dyke across the isthmus between the west end of Loch Erisort and the head of Loch Seaforth, the remains of which may still be traced in some places. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey Maps as Garadh an tighearna (the lord’s or chief’s dyke). The peninsula to the east of this dyke was made a preserve for deer, was referred to as “ A’ Phairc ”—the Park—and hence the modern name. The old name was Oservaul.
John Morrison, who is described as an “ Indweller ” in Lewis, writing of the island about two centuries ago, says it is “served with a most plentiful forrest of deir naturallie invironed with the sea, and as it were enclosed betuixt Loch Seafort and Kerish, having tuo myles of ground onlie betuixt both the Loch ends ; full of goodlie hills; and wast bounds, so that there little differ betuixt it and a pane insula. ” (Macfarlane’s Topographical Collection in the “Spottiswoode Miscellany,” vol. ii., p. 340).
Prior to the building of the dyke, and probably for a length of time thereafter, the grazing of the valleys was used in summer as shielings. One of these shielings—Airidh Dhomhnuill Chaim—is still pointed out. Domhnull Cam, who, as the epithet cam indicates, was blind of an eye, was a Macaulay, and lived at Kneep, in Uig. He was a noted man in his day, and ﬁgured largely in most of the island turmoils of the period. His son Angus Macaulay (killed at the battle of Auldearn in 1645) lived at Breinish, on the west of Uig. A grandson of Angus, the Rev. Aulay Macaulay, who was minister of Harris, was the great -great-grandfather of Lord Macaulay. The historian was thus the sixth in direct descent from Domhull
The roads and footpaths made under the Act in Lewis are too numerous to be detailed here, but a list of these with their cost will be found in Appendix H. (pages 25-30). In their construction a sum of £2,133 18s. was expended in 1893-94, and a further sum of £2,362 17s. 6d. in 1896-97, making a total of £4,496 15s. 6d.
3. Vallasay Bridge—A bridge at Vallasay in the Island of Bernera and Parish of Uig had been undertaken in terms of the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act. It has been completed under the direction of the Congested Districts Board at a cost of £111.
4. Gravir-Cromore Road..———A road connecting Gravir and Cromore has long been required. Local differences of opinion as to the line it should follow—whether along the coast by Maravaig, &c., or direct through the interior—and other circumstances, have delayed its construction. An inquiry at the instance of the Congested Districts Board by Sheriff Brand, as Chairman of the Crofters Commission, and Colonel Gore-Booth, R.E., Consulting Engineer to the Scottish Office, was held at Stornoway in May 1901. Numerous witnesses were examined from the Park district, when it was found that there was practical unanimity in favour of the direct route. It has accordingly been adopted, and the Congested Districts Board have voted a sum of £2,700 for the construction of the road.
It may be added that the Lewis District Committee have prepared a somewhat elaborate scheme of roads for the district of Park, and submitted the same to the Congested Districts Board for their consideration.
5. In addition to the roads above mentioned the Congested Districts Board have made a general grant of £362 6s. 8d. towards highways in Lewis. The total amount of public monies for the construction of roads in the island from 1891 to 1901 has been as follows :—
1. Carloway Road, - - — — - — - £15,500 0 0
2. Roads and Footpaths under the Western Highlands Works Act, 1893-94, - £2,133 18 0
: 1896-97, - 2,362 17 6
—————-—— 4,496 15 6
3. Vallasay Bridge, Bernera, — — - - — — 111 0 0
4. Gravir—Cromore Road, — — - — — — 2,700 0 0
5. General Road Grant by Congested Districts Board, — 362 6 8
£23,170 2 2
C.—TELEGRAPH AND POSTAL EXTENSIONS.
During the twenty years under review great improvements have been effected in the matter of extending postal and telegraph communications. In a district where the art of writing has been so little practised as it has been in Lewis till comparatively recent times, postal facilities were not considered of great importance, but with the advance of education correspondence increased, and improved postal facilities have been increased proportionately. In 1833 there was only one mail packet in the week to Lewis. It sailed from Poolewe to Stornoway, and in severe weather was occasionally unable to perform its weekly trip. At that time there was no Post-office in the island outside of Stornoway.
As yet the number of deliveries in the rural parts of the island is somewhat meagre. They may, however, be sufficient for the present necessities of the various localities, and are probably as numerous as the business transacted would justify.
In 1880 there were eleven Post-ofﬁces in Lewis in addition to the head-office at Stornoway. The latter had for some time previously been fully equipped with a Money Order and Savings Bank department. The telegraph had also been introduced, but there was no telegraphic communication with any of the country offices, and telegrams for all parts of the island other than Stornoway were as a rule forwarded by the first mail despatched after the receipt of such a message.
Of these eleven Post-offices one was at Garrabost in the district of Eye ; two were in district of Back (Gress and North Tolsta) ; two in Lochs (one at Crossbost and one at Balallan); two on the north side of Loch Roag (one at Callernish and one at Carloway) ; one on the west side of Loch Roag at Miavaig; and one on the Island of Bernera. There was also one at Barvas, and another at Cross in the district of Ness. Since 1880, Post—offices have been opened at Portnaguran in Eye ; Laxdale, in the neighbourhood of Stornoway ; Laxay, Keose, and Gravir, in Lochs ; Islivig on the Atlantic seaboard in the Parish of Uig ; at Shawbost (between Carloway and Barvas); and at Port of Ness in the Parish of Barvas.
It may be of interest to state here that Islivig, which has now got its Post—office, adjoins Brenish, where Donald Cam’s son Angus (referred to on the preceding page) resided. It appears to have been the home of the Macaulays of Uig—the sept from which Lord Macaulay was descended—from time immemorial. In 1891, ten crofters of Islivig applied for fair rents—nine of whom bore the surname Macaulay.
Similar progress has been made in the matter of Money Orders and Savings Banks. in 1880 Miavaig was the only rural office where Savings Bank business was transacted. In 1900 there were Savings Banks at Back, North Tolsta, to the north of Broad Bay ; at Garrabost and Portnaguran in the Peninsula of Eye; at Crossbost and Balallan in Lochs ; at Bernera, Callernish, and Oarloway in the Parish of Uig; at Shawbost, Ness, and Port of Ness in the Parish of Barvas, in addition to Stornoway and Miavaig previously mentioned.
The business done at these country offices is small in amount, but it is noteworthy that while there were only two accounts on 31st March 1880 out of Stornoway, there were on the corresponding date of 1900 sixty-one such accounts, with a gross sum of £922 8s. 5d. to their credit. The growth of Savings Bank business at the head-office at Stornoway is highly signiﬁcant. In 1880 the number of depositors was 82, with a sum of £651 8s. 7d. at their credit. By 31st December 1889 the depositors had increased to 220, and the deposits to £2,430 2s. 8d., while on 31st December 1900 the depositors numbered 505, and the deposits amounted to £11,179 11s. 7d. The total number of depositors in the island at the date stated was thus 566, and the total amount of deposits £12,102.
The great bulk of the deposits, it will be seen, was at the head—office in Stornoway, but it would be a mistake to suppose that the depositors were confined to that district. The country postmaster is, as a rule, a man of the crofter or fisherman class. He is fully trusted, but his neighbours regard the amount of their means and substance (when they have any) as a profound secret and therefore do not wish the local post- master to have any knowledge of it. When the proverbial old stocking is discarded, recourse is had to the head office in Stornoway. But notwithstanding feelings of the kind indicated, the country offices have made a promising beginning, and it is to be hoped that they will gradually foster a spirit of thrift among the people. The various ofﬁces above enumerated have been opened at the instance of the Postal Authorities in the ordinary development of postal business.
The case is different, however, with regard to the extension of the telegraph service; and where a loss was apprehended guarantees were demanded. On the requisite guarantee being found the telegraph service was extended, and there are now 12 telegraph offices in the country districts of Lewis. In the case of four of these (Callernish, Carloway, Miavaig, and Crossbost) the extension was carried out by an expenditure under sub-head B. (4) of the Highlands and Islands Works vote; and the service has been carried on by the Post Office without a guarantee. In each of the other cases the service was extended by the Post Office after getting a guarantee against loss. The progress of telegraphic extension and development in the island may be seen from the following statement showing the date of opening of each new office in chronological order :—
1886—Balallan, in Lochs.
1888—Portnaguran, in the district of Eye; Back, to the north of Broad Bay; Port of Ness, in Barvas.
1889—Garrabost, in the district of Eye; Barvas, in the Parish of that name.
1896—Crossbost, in the Parish of Lochs.
1901—Gravir, in the Park district of Lochs ; Keose, north of Loch Erisort, also in Lochs.
With the exception of Balallan, all the offices have been guaranteed against loss by Public Departments. The guarantor in the case of Balallan was Mr. J. A. Platt, shooting tenant of Park Deer Forest. He paid a sum of £10 3s. 6d. under that guarantee, but since 1893 the office has been carried on by the Postal Authorities without a guarantee.
The office at Port of Ness, opened in 1888, has entailed considerable expenditure in its upkeep. It is of great service to the locality, but it is also of the utmost importance to Lloyd’s in connection with their signalling station at the Butt of Lewis. Further, there is a lighthouse at the Butt to which also it is of importance. In 1889 the Fishery Board paid the Post Office £217 5s". 9d. to make up the deﬁciency for that year.‘ That sum included £20 from Lloyd’s. (A like amount was received from Lloyd’s during the succeeding six years.) In 1894 the deﬁciency was £55 6s. 10d., but in every other year the amount exceeded £100. The total amount paid to the Post Office during the period from the opening of the Port of Ness telegraph office in 1888 to 2nd October 1895 has been £992 17s. 3d., of which £852 17 s. 3d. has been contributed by the Fishery Board and the balance of £140 by Lloyd’s.
Telegraph offices were also opened at Portnaguran in the district of Eye and at Back in 1888. In respect of these the Fishery Board paid a sum of £647 15s. 7d. down to 1895. It is, however, satisfactory to observe that the yearly deﬁciency has fallen steadily from £135 15s. 10d. in the ﬁrst year to £60 12s. 10d. in 1895.
Barvas, opened in 1889, has the unique record of showing a surplus in one year. That was in 1892, when it was £5 5s. 9d. to the good. It has, however, cost the Fishery Board £81 14s. 8d. between 1889 and 1895.
Garrabost, opened as a telegraph office in 1889, has only cost the Fishery Board the sum of £27 18s. 10d., the highest amount in any one year being £7 14s. 8d. in 1890, and the lowest £1 19s. 5d. in 1895.
The business at all these offices is steadily increasing. In proportion as it does the annual deﬁciency diminishes ; and it is satisfactory to note that the telegraph business at Port of Ness, Back, Portnaguran, and Barvas has been carried on by the Post Ofﬁce since 1895, and at Garrabost since 1896, without any guarantee.
The only other offices calling for remark here are those opened at Gravir and Keose in 1901. Here the guarantors are the Lochs Parish Council, but the Congested Districts Board have guaranteed the Council against loss to the extent of £60 10s. per annum. The offices have not yet been opened a year, and accordingly no money has been paid up to the present time; but the Congested Districts Board have become liable for the amount stated.
The guarantees paid from public sources and the amounts received out of the Western Highlands and Islands Works vote for the extension of the telegraph service in Lewis may be tabulated thus:—
Port of Ness—Fishery Board 1888-95, — — £852 17 3
Port of Ness—Lloyd’s Do., — - 140 0 0
—-———-———— £992 17 3
Portnaguran and Back Fishery Board 1888-95, — — — - 647 15 7
Barvas—Fishery Board 1889-96, - - — — — 81 14 8
Garrabost— Do. do., - — — — - 27 18 10
Keose and Gravir Congested Districts Board (liable for) - - 60 10 0
Callernish, Carloway, and Miavaig—Western Highlands Works Vote, Sub-section B. (4),1,094 0 0
Crossbost—Western Highlands Works Vote, Sub-section B.(4), £145 0 0
Total, £3,049 16 4
The Congested Districts Board have incurred considerable outlays under this head, expenditure having been directed towards the advancement of agriculture, the improvement of stock, and the promotion of Home Industries.
First, as regards Agriculture,—
The Lewis crofter in the past rarely changed the seed sown, with the result that he frequently had a poor and sickly return. The Board, having considered that a change of seed oats and seed potatoes would be beneﬁcial, purchased large quantities and distributed the same to the value of £777 in the island. They have also expended a sum of £86 on experiments in vegetable and turnip cultivation, including the cost of hurdles and fencing. Potato spraying in Lewis and Harris cost £397. The exact amount spent in each place cannot be deﬁnitely ascertained, but much the larger part is applicable to Lewis.
As to the improvement of stock, the Board have paid a sum of £170 in aid of premiums for stallions in Lewis. They have also sent 16 bulls and 3 rains for the service of crofters’ stock in the island, the cost of the 19 animals being about £350. The Board have caused inspections to be made with regard to cattle diseases in Lewis, the cost of which has amounted to £55.
Home Industries in Lewis, fostered by Lady Seaforth upwards of a century ago, and encouraged and stimulated by the late Lady Matheson, still require attention. The local Committee, presided over by Mr. G. J . Campbell, Sheriff-Substitute of Lewis, has been active in this good work in support of its objects the Board have expended a sum of £305.
The sums above stated as disbursed by the Board do not include the cost of visits of supervision and inspection. These it is impossible to state separately from the general cost of such visits throughout the congested areas.
The outlays by the Board under the head of Miscellaneous are here summarised:—
Advancing Agriculture :—-
(1) Oat and Potato seeds, — - - — £777 0 0
(2 Experiments in Vegetable cultivation, — 86 0 O
(3 Potato spraying, — - - — - 397 0 0 *1
——————— £1,260 0 0
Improvement of Stock.-—
(1) Premiums for Stallions, - - - - £170 0 0
(2) Bulls and Rams, — — — — — 350 0 0
(3) Cattle Diseases, - - - — - 55 0 0
——————— 575 0 0
Home Industries, - - - — — — - — — 305 0 0
Total, £2,140 0 0
Finally, the total expenditure under the head of grants for public works and other miscellaneous improvements in the Island of Lewis mainly since 1891 may be tabulated thus :—
A.—Piers, Harbours, Boat-slips, &c., — - — — £36,501 16 9
B.—Roads and Footpaths, - — - - - — 23,170 2 2
C.—Telegraph and Postal Extensions, — — - — 3,049 16 4
D.—Miscellaneous, — — — — — — — 2,140 0 0
£64,861 15 3
It only remains to add that the ﬁgures setting forth the amount of grants for the construction of public works in Lewis, or in aid of such works, are taken from Parliamentary publications, and from statements furnished to the Commission for the purposes of this inquiry by the Departments concerned. The Parliamentary papers from which information has been derived are
(1) A Return of Expenditure under the Western Highlands and Islands Works Act, printed by Order of the House of Commons on 16th July 1898,No. 302 of the publications for that year; and
(2) The First Report of the Congested Districts Board, published in 1898 (C. 9135).
The statements to the Commission are from
(1) The Congested Districts Board ;
(2) The Department of the Consulting Engineer to the Scottish Ofﬁce ;
(3) the General Post Ofﬁce ; and
(4) The Fishery Board for Scotland.
These will be found in Appendices G., H., 1., and K. respectively at DD. 24-35.