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Newsletter for 10th November 2023

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  • Newsletter for 10th November 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    I've booked my car in for a winter tune up and service. No snow yet in Chatham but I have seen snow further up in Northern Ontario so it's that time of year.

    -------

    Israel At War Day 34 | Talks of Hostage Deal in Gaza as Civilians Flee
    CBN Jerusalem's continuing coverage of Israel's war with Hamas.

    You can watch this at:
    https://youtu.be/iXLVepb0VKI?si=4StPbji2lYNCnPur


    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers

    I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time. Here is what caught my eye this week...

    Why grazing bison could be good for the planet
    American bison were hunted almost to extinction by European settlers. Now making a comeback, they could help reverse damage to prairies from decades of poor management.

    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...for-the-planet

    Scots are paying a high price for the SNP’s independence fixation
    From the mess they've made of schools to the great ferry catastrophe, the Scottish National Party has an unhealthy record of failed promises. While the reasons are myriad, a significant one is that the obsession with independence has seen other serious policy areas be utterly neglected.

    Read more at:
    https://archive.ph/11D2e#selection-1793.0-1793.94

    Council tax bombshell for Scots as leak shows planned payment hikes
    Town halls had been planning huge increases to plug council sending gaps which must now be met by the Scottish Government

    Read more at:
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/p...-leak-31346289

    Conrad Black: Dany Fortin persecution exposes DND's pattern of abuse and deception
    Like Mark Norman before him, Fortin was brought up on questionable charges and then paid to keep quiet.

    Read more at:
    https://archive.ph/ov8QY#selection-1641.0-1641.102

    Shetland duo hit sweet spot of old and new in BBC crime drama
    As a season opener, episode one of the new Shetland series has it all - its usual stunning landscapes, a gangland hit, and some mysterious sheep deaths.

    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland...tland-67309150

    Conrad Black: To question Israel's legitimacy is to question reality itself
    We must leave the Israelis in no doubt that they have the blessing of the entire civilized world in destroying those who would destroy them.

    Read more at:
    https://archive.ph/3gCUN#selection-1641.0-1641.139

    Farewell to the Scottish Review
    This is the final edition of the Scottish Review.

    Read more at:
    https://www.scottishreview.net/IslayMcLeod677a.html

    New Royal Navy frigate progresses in Rosyth frigate factory
    The first of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates, HMS Venturer, is swiftly taking shape in Rosyth. The warship’s progress has been remarkable, with significant development made in less than 18 months since its keel was laid.

    Read more at:
    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/new-...igate-factory/

    Stop underestimating our children
    There is clear evidence that a child's early years are the most critical period for brain development, yet discussions of education policy focus obsessively on secondary schools. A curriculum based on decades-old cognitive theories about what children are capable of understanding is doing them a serious disservice.

    Read more at:
    https://capx.co/primary-schools-are-...g-our-children

    Hamas' miscalculation
    When Hamas launched their attack, which killed over 1,400 Israelis, they knew that Israel would retaliate. However, they believed that the response would be limited by the intervention of other regional actors, notably Hezbollah. But they were wrong, and Israelis have formed a united front against their brutality.

    Read more at:
    https://conservativehome.com/2023/11...face-of-terror

    London off limits to veterans - total betrayal!
    By Jeff Taylor

    Watch this at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYwEJ0frJug

    Poppy day pariahs
    Violence and antisemitism stand in direct contrast to everything Armistice Day commemorates. Even if the organisers of this weekend's pro-Palestine demonstrations can maintain public order, the disrespect for British values their marches represent will only damage their cause.

    Read more at:
    https://capx.co/armistice-day-marche...estinian-cause

    Britain’s forgotten battle for the Baltic
    As the guns of the Western Front fell silent, Britain fought a quiet but decisive war alongside Estonia to check Soviet expansion.

    Read more at:
    https://thecritic.co.uk/britains-for...for-the-baltic

    Our politicians won't stop this!
    The country is riven - and our hopeless politicians can't see the answer, because they all caused it!

    Watch this at:
    https://youtu.be/9nW1ZySQYYo?si=IuM894sDIPTQrqY1

    Rent controls have failed everywhere – and Edinburgh is no different
    The negative effects of the SNP's introduction of rent controls were wearily predictable. Just as it has everywhere it's been tried, the policy has constrained already limited supply and pushed rents up overall [see Stat of the Day - 13.7% Rental inflation in Edinburgh following the SNP’s introduction of rent controls] - . When will politicians realise that regulating demand won't solve supply shortages?

    Read more at:
    https://capx.co/rent-controls-have-f...-no-different/


    Electric Canadian

    The Canadian North-West
    A speech delivered by his Excellency, The Marquis of Lorne, Governor General of Canada, at Winnipeg (1881) (pdf)

    You can read this speech at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/hist...hwes00argy.pdf

    History of the Early Settlement of Bowmanville and Vicinity
    By J. T. Coleman (1875) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/hist...owmanville.pdf

    Canadian Pacific Railway Manitoba
    Canadian North-West, Testimony of actual settlers (1886) (pdf)

    You can read these at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/pion...cihm_30538.pdf

    The Memorial of Settlers in the Tract granted to the Saskatchewan Homestead Company
    In the Canadian North-West (1883) (pdf)

    You can read this memorial at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/pion...cihm_30532.pdf

    Canadian Life and Scenery
    With hints to intending emigrants and settlers by The Marquis of Lorne, K.T. (1886) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/life...scen00argy.pdf

    British Settlers in Western Canada (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/pion...cihm_30359.pdf

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 5th day of November 2023
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:
    http://www.electricscotland.org/foru...-november-2023

    Letters and Extract of Letters
    From Settlers in Upper Canada (1894) (pdf)

    You can read these at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/pion...cihm_21467.pdf



    Electric Scotland

    The Industries of the Clyde Valley during the War
    By W. R. Scott, M.A., D.Phil., Litt.D., LL.D., Adam Smith Professor of Political Economy in the University of Glasgow and Fellow of the British Academy and J. Gunnison, M.A. (1924) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/agricul...yd0000scot.pdf

    Rural Scotland during the War
    By David T. Jones, C.B.E., Joseph F. Duncan, H. M. Conacher, W. R. Scott, with an appendix by J. P. Day and an Introduction by W. R. Scott (1926) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/agricul...ur0000unse.pdf

    The Scottish Journal of Agriculture
    Volume XXIII (1942) with information on Scottish agriculture in war time

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/agricul...ttish_text.pdf

    Australian Federation
    By Sir John A. Cockburn, K.C.M.G., M.D., with a Preface by The Right Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Bart., M.P. (1901) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/history...federation.htm

    Hutchison, Francis
    Philosopher

    You can read about him at:
    https://electricscotland.com/history...ison_james.htm

    Meal and Flour from Potatoes
    From the Farmers Magazine (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/agricul...otatoflour.pdf

    The Circle of Christian Doctrine
    A Handbook of Faith framed out of a Layman's experience by Lord Kinloch, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Scotland (second edition) (1861) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/bible/T...ne_A_handb.pdf

    Scottish Society of Louisville
    Got in a copy of their Fall / November Newsletter which you can read at:
    https://electricscotland.com/familyt...ille/index.htm

    Clan MacDuffee Newsletter
    Got in a copy of their Fall 2023 newsletter which you can read at:
    https://electricscotland.com/familyt...ffee/index.htm

    The Royal House of Stuart
    From its Origin to the Accession of the House of Hanover by Samuel Cowan, J.P. (in two volumes (1908)

    You can read these volumes at:
    https://electricscotland.com/history...seofstuart.htm



    Story
    Rural Scotland during the War

    This volume is intended to be complementary to that already issued on The Industries of the Clyde Valley during the War. Both have a unity in so far as they aim at recording aspects of Scottish life and industry since 1914. The book on the Clyde Valley shows a thickly populated industrial district during that time of strain, and details how its special productive facilities were affected, both at the time and afterwards. But the countryside also was influenced by the general upheaval, and this book touches on a number of activities outside the towns, such as fishing and several aspects of agriculture.

    While these two volumes are distinctively Scottish, it is not to be concluded that they are intended in any way to exhaust Scotland’s part in the economic side of the war. In this respect the relation of the country to England is worthy of consideration. With a united Parliament the administration of Great Britain is partly centralized, partly decentralized as regards Scotland. In many services there is one Government department for the two countries, while in some there is a separate Board for Scotland. During the war the tendency was to create special unified departments for both countries, though, where there was an administrative body in existence in Scotland, the latter was generally employed to carry out the general plan within its own area. Not only so, but in the life and industry of the people there are important differences as between England and Scotland. Historical causes continue to exert their influences, and Scotland had a long and distinguished history before it was united with England. It still maintains its own legal system and a separate judiciary. In many respects its customs and its institutions differ from those of England. Geographically, too, it has distinct characteristics, particularly in its numerous islands, which number about 700.


    Sea transport is thus an important feature in the life of many of the people. During the war Scotland was the centre of gravity of naval operations, being the main base of the Grand Fleet and later of the American Navy, with naval harbours at Scapa, Cromarty, and the Firth of Forth. Thus it seems worth collecting some characteristics of Scottish industry, mainly outside the towns, rather emphasizing what is distinctively Scottish, both to provide a record which would otherwise be lost and to complete similar accounts relating to certain selected districts in other parts of Great Britain as well as those of the more centralized activities in England.

    The following studies find their main point of departure in the question of food production, partly through the fishing industry, partly in the varied forms of Scottish agricultural operations. Each of these opens up various subsidiary inquiries (and especially the latter) which lead on to the discussion of the position of the agricultural labourer during the war and (partly as supplementing that discussion) the movement towards the arrest of rural depopulation with special reference to the settlement of ex-service men on the land. Lastly, by way of addendum, a study of the jute industry of Dundee is included, on the ground that though this is a trade carried on in factories, it has a peculiarly close relation to agricultural conditions, being intimately related with these in the supply of its raw material and also in the demand for the larger part of its finished product. The main exception to the latter rule is that a war operates somewhat paradoxically, like a good world harvest, in increasing the demand for manufactured jute.

    The monograph on Scottish fisheries is by Mr. David T. Jones, G.B.E., who can speak with special knowledge of the administrative side (he is chairman of the Fishery Board for Scotland), and also of the relations between the Navy and the fishing industry, having held a commission as staff paymaster during the war.

    The Scottish fishing industry was more in the thick of the war than perhaps any other. We think of the war effort of Great Britain perhaps most in terms of the army, as typified by that endless procession across the English Channel of men, munitions, and supplies. But there was the other focal point in the silent operations of the Fleet, and in this the fishing population was desperately involved. Unlike men of most other trades, when they joined the forces, they continued to follow a similar occupation, for as a rule they were taken over with their steam trawlers complete, but were employed on naval service, instead of their normal peaceful pursuits. Nor, if others continued to fish, could they escape direct contact with the war in perhaps its most intense form. A glance at the very interesting map at p. 86, will show the extent of the mine-field in the waters round the north of Scotland, and there was the additional risk of German mines, and attacks by German submarines. Thus in 1915, fifteen drifters were sunk off Shetland in a single night. Mr. Jones speaks from full knowledge, with deep appreciation of the Scottish fisherman, as a fine type, independent, hardy, intelligent and thrifty. He is somewhat conservative in outlook, but moves quickly in adopting new methods when their value has been demonstrated. . . . The Scottish fishing communities are a model of what such communities should be—with excellent and well-furnished houses owned by their occupiers, modern drainage arrangements, splendid schools, and substantial churches and other public buildings. Many of their sons have become eminent in the professions and have occupied high positions in the Church.

    The total number of persons estimated as being employed in the Scottish fishing industry before the war was about 33,000. More than half were occupied on shore chiefly in the fish-curing industry. According to the census of 1911 there were 14,428 fishermen. The demand for auxiliary naval services met with a prompt response from these men. The best type of steam trawler was excellently fitted for many different kinds of service in the North Sea and round the coasts. About 8,500 fishermen served in this way, or in the Navy, including 2,000 members of the Royal Naval Reserve from Lewis. Their knowledge of local conditions round the coast was valuable.

    Trawlers were utilized as patrol boats, and they were largely employed as mine sweepers, often many miles from land and without any kind of protection. Later some were used as decoy ships, and a number of units served at the Dardanelles and in the Straits of Otranto.

    The withdrawal of boats and men for naval service caused a great reduction in the fleet available for fishing. Indeed this industry passed from one crisis to another during the war, and its troubles were far from ended with the coming of peace. In 1913 the fish landed in Scotland amounted to nearly 8 million cwt., in addition to which Scottish fishermen captured a further 2 million cwt. off the English coast, both of which were valued at 5,000,000. By far the larger part of the catch consisted of herring, and a great part of these were cured and exported. It so happened that almost the whole of this export trade was with Germany and Russia. In 1913 the cured herrings exported came to a total of 1,385,323 barrels, and of this no less than 1,292,381 barrels went to these two countries. In the summer of 1914 the fishing was at its height; and, when war broke out, it suffered very great disorganization. The steps by which the transition was made to the basis on which the industry was carried on during the earlier part of the war are somewhat involved, and are described in detail.

    Gradually, as shipping became scarcer, the importance of fish as a part of the reduced food supply was more marked, while the strain of the war involved numerous difficulties. The fishing fleet was greatly depleted through the assistance it was rendering to the Navy. In Scottish waters fishing was necessarily subordinated to the exigencies of naval strategy. There were 200 orders and no less than 18,000 permits issued for this industry during the war. Besides the usual perils of the sea, there were exceptional war risks, and during the war 89 boats, engaged in fishing, were sunk by the enemy, and the crews were left to do the best they could for themselves in small boats many miles from land. Sometimes they were taken prisoner by submarines and detained in Germany. On one occasion a submarine challenged a Peterhead motor-boat; and, when the crew informed the commander that they had no small boat, he released their craft, warning them not to put to sea again without one. There was, also, the ever present danger of drifting mines; and it is remarkable that the trawlers and drifters kept the sea, in some cases having the gaps in the crews made good by men of eighty and even by women.

    The Scottish fishing industry under war conditions suffered not only by scarcity of boats and men, but also through the difficulties of distribution. In the course of years this industry had come to be based on the east coast, where it had excellent railway communications, indeed it is said that the Aberdeen fish express to London was the fastest train run from Scotland to the south. War conditions changed all this. The railways were congested with traffic, much of that sent by rail, as well as the large passenger traffic to and from the Grand Fleet, had to pass over the same railway system. Thus the Highland Railway was the only line communicating with Wick (an important fishing port) and with Scrabster, near Thurso, which was the point of departure for the passage over the Pentland Firth to Scapa. Then, owing to the general war situation, much more fishing was done in western waters, and communications were exceedingly difficult, since the western side of Scotland was ill-supplied with railways; and, in the later stages of the war it was difficult to find shipping to send the fish by sea. There was the further problem of endeavouring to arrange for an equitable division of the available supply over the whole country. The methods by which an attempt was made to solve this problem and the information collected concerning the consumption of fish in various districts and the workings of the retail trade, as well as the policy of fixing prices, are worthy of note as examples of emergency action in war time. Regarding the last—as in similar cases—the people who did the price-fixing were (one gathers) pleased with the result, and hardly any one else.

    Closely connected with the supply of fish is that of other kinds of food in Scotland, which is described from the agricultural point of view by Mr. H. M. Conacher, Deputy-Commissioner of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland. Naturally it is not possible to isolate the Scottish food position from that of England, since in many respects the two countries, together with Ireland, formed one unit. At the same time it is interesting to observe the extent to which the demand was met during the war from abroad and from home production, respectively. The main ports for imports of food supplies are Leith on the east and Glasgow on the west. War conditions resulted in a contraction of the trade of the former. The chief exporting countries were cut off by the war; while, in any case, access to the eastern ports would have been difficult. On the other hand, the Clyde remained open and was less subject to the interference of submarines than the western seaports of England. Imports of wheat to Scotland declined slightly in 1915 and 1916, but in 1917 the quantity was larger than it had been in 1913. In 1918 there was a serious fall, the imports in that year having been 4-7 million cwt. as compared with 7-4 million cwt. in 1913. Imports of oats were greatly contracted. The quantity imported in 1913 was 1-4 million cwt., and by 1915 it was only one-seventh of that amount, and only one-eighth in 1916. While wheat declined in 1918, imports of oats increased, being more than double the figure of 1916, though still little more than one-third of the pre-war total.1 These statistics are to be interpreted in relation to the effort to increase the home production of cereal crops. Scotland is not a wheat-growing country, indeed the arable land of all kinds is small in comparison with its total area. To say that the land under wheat was increased in 1918 and 1919 by nearly 50 per cent, is liable to convey a wrong impression, unless at the same time it is remembered that in 1913 the acreage under this crop was no more than 54,784 acres. The increased cultivation was secured at only a small decline in the yield per acre, the average of 1918 and 1919 being 39-6 quarters as against 42-31 quarters in 1913. In oats, on the other hand, there was a great increase in cultivation. In 1913 there had been 937,916 acres under this crop, which had grown to 1,243,823 acres in 1918, and the figure for 1919 was 1,109,696. The average for the two later years was 39-5 quarters per acre (the same as for wheat) as compared with 4018 quarters in 1913.

    The Scottish oat crop, again, is intimately related to the feeding of stock. While a part is consumed in the Scottish national food of porridge (in which there has been a revival since the war), much goes in the feeding of cattle. Indeed a material portion of Scotland’s war effort in the increase of the national food supply took the form of producing meat and dairy produce. This was the natural outlet under the circumstances. Out of a total area of 19 million acres only 5 millions are under crops and grass, as much as 9 million acres consisting of mountain suitable only for rough grazing. Moreover, the conditions from the agricultural point of view are very diverse, and, as Mr. Conacher shows, there are no less than six distinct regions each with its diverse circumstances and its own problems.

    The stock of cattle fell during 1914, but it actually increased in 1915 and 1916. There was a drop in the next year, and in 1918 there was no perceptible change. In 1919 the loss of 1916 was more than recovered, and the total was markedly in advance of that of 1914. The increase in cropping had a double effect. The normal course of the cattle industry is for young beasts to be bought in Ireland or the north of England for fattening. Scarcity of shipping caused a reduction in the quantity of imported feeding-stuffs. On the other hand, as regards Irish store cattle, the increased cropping there resulted in a larger quantity of these being fattened at home. The Scottish pastoral farmers seemed to have reared more of their own calves which they were able to feed by the increased area under crops.

    The figures relating to sheep stocks are of special interest. Before the war the number of sheep in Great Britain (as indeed in most countries in Western Europe) had been declining. In Scotland the decrease during the five years before the war was 4.1 per cent. During the three years 1914, 1915, 1916, there was a very marked increase in the number of sheep. In 1917 there was a most inclement season in the high country, which was particularly bad for the lambs, and in that year and the next the stock contracted as compared with 1915. Still Scotland came out of the war with more sheep than there had been in 1913.

    The Scottish dairying industry is largely concerned with the supply of milk to the towns. Cheese also is made. Scotland is not a butter-producing country to any considerable extent. Dairying is carried on in Ayrshire in a highly intensive manner. The rich grass of the district supplies good summer feeding, but the cows are fed during the winter. During the war the dairy farmer was to a large extent ‘between the devil and the deep sea’. He could not break up his grass for cropping, else what he gained in the winter he lost in the summer. The supply of many kinds of feeding stuffs (such as mill offals and maize) was contracting as the war went on. Almost his only resource was to eke out the reduced supplies from such part of the increased home supply of oats as he could secure. All these difficulties had their reactions on the tangle of fixing milk prices. In another direction it is interesting to note that the scarcity of labour gave a decided impetus to co-operative effort in the collection of milk and the conveying of it from the farms to the railway stations.

    A consideration of these facts opens up one of the great mysteries of the war. Rural Scotland contributed its men very largely to the army. Yet with a diminished supply of labour there was an increased production of food, and that, too, in a country where the adoption of mechanical devices (as for instance tractor ploughs) was of very limited application. Scottish agricultural labour had been declining before the war, and the difficulty in the new situation was that much of it was highly skilled labour. The Scottish ploughman is a master of his craft, and the Scottish hill shepherd requires skill of various kinds. When the sheep stock is at its maximum, 9,000 shepherds are in charge of 7 million sheep and lambs, that is on an average each man has the care of nearly 800. How the farmers and their men managed to carry on and to accomplish what they did is immensely to their credit.

    One side of this aspect of the national effort is the history of the Scottish agricultural labourer during the war, which is described by Mr. Joseph F. Duncan, the secretary of the Scottish Farm Servants’ Union. It is characteristic of these workers that they take a pride in their craft—‘ a ploughman will not remain in a place where he has not a pair of horses in which he can take a reasonable pride. His drills must stand the criticism of his fellows; his stacks must stand wind and weather without undue props; he must be able to handle his horses yoked to any implement used in farm work.

    The Scottish agricultural labourer had his own problems. Before the war there was the housing question as it affected him. The married man is usually provided by the farmer who employs him with a cottage of the ‘but and ben’ type consisting of two rooms with a pantry. In other cases, where a family hires together, the cottages supplied are necessarily larger. The arrangements for unmarried men in the east of Scotland between the Forth and the Dee involve what is known as the ‘bothy-system’. The older bothies consist of a single large, whitewashed room with a stone, or cemented floor. The farmer provides simple furniture such as beds and a few cooking appliances. Married men usually engage for a year, and unmarried men for six months. The ‘Hiring Fair’ is an important landmark in the life of the agricultural districts. The long period of engagement was important in estimating the effect of the change in the level of prices upon wages. Naturally readjustments were necessary: but, though the agricultural labourer was to some extent in the position of a monopolist, Dr. Charles Douglas, president of the Highland and Agricultural Society, bore testimony that taken as a whole, he did not make unfair demands or seek to derive undue advantage from a situation which offered him great opportunities The method adopted for the reducing of friction in the settling of wages began, rather tentatively, as a result of the report of the second Departmental Committee on Food Production in Scotland which suggested joint committees of farmers and farm servants, and several of these were established before the Spring Hiring Fair of 1917. This procedure was extended and elaborated by the Corn Production Act of the same year, and District Wages Committees were formally established in Scotland with a Central Committee. One of the most striking developments was the introduction of an agreed sliding scale regulating wages in Lothians, which dates from 1920. This was designed to give effect to the larger changes in prices during the period of the yearly or half yearly agreements. When changes were so violent, this was a distinct improvement, and removed a difficulty which would otherwise have caused friction under even the shorter term of six months.1 The general trend of the period since 1914 has been towards a reduction in working hours and for the amelioration of rural isolation. The improvement in rural housing, which is overdue in many districts, is postponed owing to the position of the building trade. Further, it may be said that the war has left a deep impress on the Scottish farm worker. He was made conscious of his place in the social organism. He felt, more deeply than some other classes of workers, the patriotic appeals made to him. This awakened his sense of citizenship. His social importance was increased, and he ceased to be wholly inarticulate. The formation of the Scottish Farm Servants’ Union is the external sign of this awakening, which, however, is a much bigger thing than a class-consciousness in the narrow sense.

    In addition to the farmer and the agricultural labourer there was another form of industry on the land in Scotland. This is the crofting system which gives a name to a special type of land-tenure. Crofts and crofters are confined to the Highland district. The ancestors of the crofters had occupied the ground in its original unimproved condition, and had provided, at least to a very large extent, their houses and such reclamation as had been done. In the Highlands a typical croft consists of a small portion of arable land in a valley or on the seashore with a right of grazing a certain amount of stock on the neighbouring hills. In the Islands the system is similar, except that the common grazing is not necessarily hill country. Under recent legislation a public authority fixes the crofter’s rent. He has reasonable fixity of tenure, and is prevented from subdividing the land he holds. The latter, prior to legislative interference, was a great evil in the Highlands, and associated with it was the Highland cottar, who seems to have come into existence through a crofter permitting a relative or friend to build a house on the land he occupied. The family, which thus became settled, had only a small patch of land, and it had to look to some other means of support in districts where there were scarcely any industries, except fishing. Yet another variant of the system was the ‘crofter-fisherman’, who, as the name implies, maintained his family partly by his croft and partly by the fishing industry.

    This population constituted a serious social problem long before the war. In very many districts there was an urgent demand for an increase in the area of existing crofts which were often too small to maintain a family, and also from the sons of crofters and from cottars for new holdings. From 1897 there had been a movement towards meeting these needs which was under the care of a public authority, first of the Scottish Congested Districts Board and later of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland. The progress of land settlement under these bodies is described in the next study. The position was transformed, when at the end of the war the question of the settlement of ex-service men on small holdings arose. It will be seen that, in Scotland, there was a fully equipped department with experience in this work. From 1897 till the end of 1918 there had been constituted upwards of 1,200 new holdings and over 1,400 existing holdings had been enlarged. The settlement of ex-service men presented a whole series of problems. Though public opinion was in favour of the scheme, there were numerous difficulties. Many of the men had made application before the war. After their service they were impatient to get possession, but the labour was not available to supply sufficiently quickly the buildings upon land which had been acquired for the purpose. Also from the point of view of the men themselves, small farms which were provided with buildings in 1919-20 would be burdened with high overhead charges, and the implements and stock purchased then would be liable to serious depreciation wh,en the period of monetary and credit deflation had been established. Then, further, there was the case of the man demobilized or on the eve of demobilization who had little capital or perhaps had none. The steps taken, with more or less success, to grapple with these difficulties are described.1 At the end of December 1922, 1,202 ex-service men had been settled on new holdings and 155 had obtained enlargements of holdings they already occupied; out of the number of applications which had been received at the proper time, this disposed of 1,357. It was expected that in 1923 a further 1,000 men would have been placed in occupation of new holdings or of enlargements, but the number, actually settled, amounted to less than one-third of that anticipated.

    The short study by Professor J. P. Day, which is appended, describes an industry which is very closely related to agricultural conditions, but which involves a vastly wider sweep. These conditions are, as regards the raw material, those in Bengal, and as regards the finished product, the harvests of the world. This industry, as far as it exists in Great Britain, is purely Scottish, being localized at Dundee. Further, it is one which is peculiarly susceptible to war conditions, since jute sacks are in great demand as sand-bags. This had the effect of nearly doubling the price of Hessians in the year 1914-15.3 By 1917 prices had reached a remarkable height, and in that year and in 1918 the Government controlled the trade more and more. After the abolition of control during the period of speculation in 1920 prices went still higher, and they fell in an almost catastrophic manner during the great slump.


    You can read the whole book at:
    https://electricscotland.com/agricul...ur0000unse.pdf


    END.

    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.

    Alastair

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