Baltasound, Unst, 16 July 1883 - James William Bruce (2)

JAMES WILLIAM BRUCE, Mason, Ballista—re-examined.

20521. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Who has the meadow land referred to in the paper as having been taken from your father?
—It is taken into a sheep pasture.

20522. How many acres were in it?
—I could not say. I have over six acres of it.

20523. Mr Cameron.
—You say in your statement you have no doubt a great many tenants would have a similar tale to tell—who are these tenants—are they in your neighbourhood?
—There are some of them here to-day.

20524. Some who have been witnesses?
—Some whom you have not spoken to.

20525. But you mean tenants not in your immediate neighbourhood?
—Tenants in the neighbourhood of where I am I refer to.

20526. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Do you do much in the way of building houses?

20527. What is the cost of a tenant's house such as your father has?
—It might be somewhere about £20, but now it would be more; wages are higher now.

20528. Do you ever take a contract to build a house of that sort?
—I have never taken any contract to build a house of that sort, but I believe a house of that kind would cost between £20 and £30.

20529. For the mason work?
—I believe it would.

20530. And the wood has to be put on besides that?
—Yes, of course; formerly it could have been done cheaper.

20531. What wages are masons getting here now?
—From £1 to 22s. or 24s. a week.

20532. The Chairman.
—When you began work as a mason, what were your daily wages?
—Twenty years ago, 2s. to 2s. 6d. a day.

20533. And what are the wages now received by a good mason working by the day?
—20s. to 27s. a week.

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