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ciples justify, and would not equity dictate, a corresponding restriction on the proprietors in the disposal of their lands ?

If the gentlemen of the Highlands are determined at all events to preserve the population of their estates, it is unquestionably in their power; by replacing their farms on the old footing, and relinquishing their advance of rent. If they do not choose to make this pecuniary sacrifice, they must abide by the consequences; and it is with a bad grace they come to the Legislature for the means of obviating them.

If any one of these proprietors, while he lets his farms for the most advantageous rent he can procure, could also concentrate upon his estate a numerous population, enriched by productive industry, it would, no doubt, be much for his advantage. If he has a view to such improvements, it is incumbent on him to find the means of carrying them into effect, as it is to his advantage they will ultimately redound. It is his own business to provide the means of subsistence and

employment for those he wishes to retain on his estate; to render the situation advantageous and acceptable to them. If he cannot succeed in this, he has no more title to expect public assistance for keeping his dependants on his his estate, than any other proprietar would have, for establishing a village, and compelling people to inhabit it, on the summit of the Cheviot mountains or of the Peak of Derby.

VII. Means that have been proposed for preserving the population of the Highlands: improvement of waste lands; fisheries; manufactures: cannot obviate the necessity of emigration,

THOUGH the partial interests of the Highland proprietors do not seem entitled to all the regard that has been claimed for them from the Legislature; though it is contrary to every principle of justice, that unusual and unnecessary restraints should, for their benefit, be imposed on the personal liberty of their dependants; yet every friend to his country would rejoice, if they could find means of obviating the local depopulation of their district, by the introduction of suitable branches of productive industry.

Among these, the most promising is the cultivation of waste land. Some attempts have been made in the Highlands to turn the superfluous population to this branch of industry. The success with which they have been attended is sufficient to encourage

further experiments; and to leave no doubt that, by this means, a number of people may every where be retained, fully adequate to any supply of labourers that can be required for the accommodation of the country. The maintenance to be derived from this resource is indeed a very wretched one: poor as it is, however, there are few of the class of cotters who would not readily accept any situation where they could by this employment find a support for their families.

The plan upon which the gentry of the Highlands have proceeded in encouraging this branch of industry, does not seem calculated to draw from it all the advantage which circumstances might admit. They have in general laid out patches of a few acres of waste land, which they have granted on very short leases, seldom exceeding seven years; leaving the occupiers to their own management, without further guidance, and with little or no pecuniary aid*. It is surprising, that under such leases, any improvements at all should be made; and it is only, * See Appendix [N.]

perhaps, from the low value of labour, that the poor in the Highlands are disposed to consider a bare subsistence in the mean time, as a sufficient indemnification for work of which the benefit is in so short a period to revert to the landlord. Such, however, are the circumstances of the country, that these tenures are sufficient to prompt the occupiers to considerable exertions of their own personal labour; but there are few instances where that alone is sufficient for improving waste lands. Calcareous manure is a requisite almost indispensable; and where it must be purchased from a distance, the poor occupier cannot be expected, on such a tenure, to undertake any share of the expense. If, therefore, the proprietor does not find it convenient to incur the expense himself, it is absolutely necessary that the terms of the lease should be much more encouraging.

It is not easy to judge whether these poor people could by any means be induced to sink in such improvements the little capital they may possess: but there is no probability

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