ALEXANDER MACDONALD, Esq. of Treaslane, and Factor, Portree— re-examined.
6491. The Chairman.
—You desire to make an explanation ?
—Yes, in reference to the letter which has been given in by Cameron. It states —' I got a letter from the factor to come to an arrangement, and he told me to be humble under the hand of oppression, as the laird did not care a straw should Scott put every living soul of us out into the sea.
6492. He does not state who was factor ?
—Either I or my father was the factor at that time,—I do not know which.
6493. Do you know anything about this matter ?
—I beg most distinctly to repudiate the whole thing as a gross calumny upon M'Leod of M'Leod and upon myself also. I know M'Leod takes the greatest interest in his tenantry, and would like to act well to them. I have now been connected with the land for about twenty years, and I think I have only seen two evictions during that time, both for misbehaviour or alleged misbehaviour—one being the man Donald Nicolson, whom I have seen in the papers called a ' brave old crofter,' and another an old woman who was also petitioned against by her neighbours from the Skeabost estate. As to this man Cameron, I believe Mr Scott never intended actually to evict him, but simply to teach him to fulfil his obligation j and I know I used my influence, if it was necessary, to make things smooth between Cameron and Mr Scott; but even that, I think, was scarcely necessary, for I know Mr Scott to be a most kind, considerate, and just man, and well known to be so through the whole of Skye.
6494. The letter states that Cameron received a letter from the factor. Did you ever write a letter ?
—I may have written him—I don't remember; but I know I did not write to the effect that has been alleged.
6495. Then he goes on to say—' he told me.' Had you ever any conversation with him personally ?
—Yes, I had; and I know my influence was used to try and get him to agree with Mr Scott. Personally, I am
very much against evicting tenants forcibly. I have rather committed an error in allowing too many people to settle on the land, rather than evict them. That is the chief error I have committed.
6496. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Did you act as law agent for Mr Scott in that case between him and the man ?
6497. There were proceedings taken ?
—There was an ordinary summons of removal, because this man would not fulfil his obligations to Mr Scott, and he came to me, and I tried over and over again to smooth matters, and I could produce a long correspondence to show that my mind was entirely against evicting him.
6498. Professor Mackinnon.
—As man or as factor, because it is as factor that your name is brought in ?
—As a man, and a law agent, and factor—in every way.
6499. The Chairman.
—In fact, you repudiate ever having used any expression resembling the expression there mentioned?
—Yes, or ever entertaining any such sentiment, or M'Leod either.