PETER M'NAB, Crofter, Gillen (45)—examined,
(See Appendix A, VII.)
3518. The Chairman.
—Are you a fisherman ?
—I was once a fisherman. The former witness was a neighbour of mine.
3519. Did you hear and understand what the former witness stated ?
3520. Do you agree with what the other witness said ?
3521. Have you anything to add to it?
—Only that we are much in need of enlargement, which we have not got in the place in which we are. We have poor land, and it does not yield crop, and we are spoiled with having to buy everything. I have had to buy nine and a half bolls of meal already, and one and a half bolls of seed already, since the new year.
3522. Sheriff Nicolson.
—What is the number of your family ?
—They are not all at home. I have ten of a family ; four are away.
3523. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—How many share in this meal ?
3524. The Chairman.
—Are your family an assistance to you ?
—Some of them. If their earnings would succeed they would help me.
3525. Have you anything further to say on the subject of the township grievances ?
—We are very poor in our township. We can do nothing unless we can get our condition improved, unless we can get our rent reduced, or help—more land in which we can keep sheep. We have neither sheep nor horses.
3526. When the sons and daughters of the people go out to work elsewhere, are they generally thoughtful of their parents, and do they help them in their poverty and distress ?
—Yes, if their earnings succeed. It is the children who are helping greatly the most part of the crofters. The
land is not yielding much to help them.
3527. And these wages are always earned in the south ?
3528. To what places do they generally go?
—Glasgow and Greenock, and the young men go to the east coast fishing and Ireland. I have a son in Ireland just now at the fishing.
3529. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Have you been twenty-one years at Gillen ?
3530. Where were you before you went there ?
3531. Are you personally poorer to-day than you were when you came to Gillen
3532. What is the cause of that ?
—Having to buy so largely. Purchasing has ruined me.
3533. Then when you were in Scor you hadn't to purchase so much meal ?
—No. It is very little I was buying in Scor, and the family was not so heavy either.
3534. How long is it since the family came to be of age to assist you ?
—The oldest four years ago, another three years ago, and another two years ago.