STATEMENT by Mr JAMES BROWN, Delegate, Torse, Caithness.
I, James Brown, have been appointed delegate by the crofters in the Torse district. I am a farmer; my age is thirty-six.
One thing we have to complain of is, that so much of the land in this parish is laid idle from economic use in the shape of a deer forest at Langwell and Braemore.
If the half, the third, or the tenth of the parish is laid waste, how can it be expected that the remainder will support the people and pay the local taxes ? Another thing is, that all grouse moors held by landlords in their own hands, such as Latheromwheel in this parish, should be free from local taxes. Surely it is a crying injustice that the poor man should be taxed on the sweat of his brow and the bread that he eats, and that the rich man should have his sport scot-free. I would suggest as a remedy that the agricultural value of all lands used wholly for pleasure should be ascertained, the rent confiscated and applied to the relief of local burdens, and that all grouse moors should be assessed at their letting value as other subjects are for the same purpose. This would in some measure check the evil, but it would still leave a national loss of all that these idle lands might produce, for which you in your wisdom may be able to recommend a remedy.