25 OCTOBER 1963, Page 19


SIR,—Your reviewer, Ian MacLennan, put his finger on the problem when he ascribed the Highland Clearances as being ultimately linked with the Act

of Union.

Although Edinburgh is far enough from the Highlands the Highland area is too big within the context of the Scottish unit for such a crime to have been perpetrated under a Scottish government. The landlords naturally gravitated to London, the centre of power and influence, so that with the loss of personal contact their tenants changed from indi- viduals to names on a rent-roll.

Unfortunately the whole question is not merely one of academic interest. The same conditions of remote control apply and it is apparent that the process which began with the clearances will be finally completed by Dr. Beeching. Whereas an Edinburgh government would be concerned with opening up the already remote Highlands, our London masters see it as an expendable fringe area to be sacrificed on the altar of 'Progress.' Colonial- ism is not confined to Africa I 14 Shalcomb Street, SW10