31 MAY 1930, Page 17


It is, I think, worth notice, though by no means surprising,

that the chief lamentation ' for the break-up of this great historic estate (which we may soon see repeated in the very

Dukeries of England) comes from the farmers and rural workers. It was a common saying long ago in the English midlands : " better a bad landlord than no landlord" ; but such fidelity

to tradition would be expressed,is being expressed, Very much less negatively in Scotland. For example, when the announce- ment of the sale was first made the Scottish Farmer—

perhaps the best agricultural paper in these islands—said :

• " The severance of a family inheriting such high traditions from the lands- with which their name has been so long associated- is a public disaster. We have never been able to discover who is benefited by the breaking up of these territorial estates . . . agricul- tural tenants almost invariably suffer. . . . To think of the region of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond being broken up into patches almost paralyses thought." .

Such a break-up has usually an effect quite contrary to popular

belief. The fear in West .Scotland is that there will be less not more farming : fewer-Black-faces, fewer prize cattle and horses, and, in the sequel, speaking, of a wider realm of the.

Graham and the Douglas, fewer exports of such Clydesdales and Ayrshires as have been bought lately for Australia and Canada. Scotland is becoming embarrassingly popular with American sportsmen, who pay very generous prices for their sport. But this form of popularity means very much what the syndicate shoot means in England : a total absence of any territorial interest outside the comparatively brief time when the sport is in season. The most probable result on West Scotland of the splitting up of the Buchanan estates will be less farming and perhaps a rash of unlovely buildings in the loveliest stretch of scenery. The Lady of the Lake becomes a hussy. * * * *