Colonel D.W. Cameron of Lochiel, Scotland Talks of Visit
Edmonton, Alberta, September 10 - "Since coming to Canada I have seen why our efforts are futile in attempting to check emigration from rural Scotland to the agricultural districts of the dominion," said Colonel Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel, Scotland, Chief of the Cameron clan, who, accompanied by his wife, Lady Hermione, daughter of the Duke of Montrose, is making a tour of the coast and prairie provinces. Continuing, he said: "Really, we cannot blame our people for coming out here, where there are so many opportunities as compared with those afforded in Scotland. After what I have seen in various parts of the dominion, I have come to the conclusion that it will be utterly impossible to stop our men and women from coming to Canada.
"Naturally, our problem is to keep the people on the land. As to methods, there are different proposals. For example, the radicals, under the Small Holdings Act, which is already in force, have provided for the acquisition of large estates and renting them out in small holdings to the people. But I cannot see how this act has done any good. If a man can make from $25 to $65 in a year, why should he remain in Scotland when there are such opportunities in the dominion of Canada?
"Personally, I think it is an excellent idea to break up the large holdings, if it will have the effect of keeping people on the land; but I cannot see how it is feasible when the land available simply will not support the population. The standard of living has risen all over Scotland, and yet the land produces no more, if as much, as formerly. What the end of it will be is difficult for anyone to foresee.
"Improvement in the way of opportunities is being made in the old land, but the Lowlands of Scotland are already occupied; in fact, there are more applications than there is land. There have been fully 50,000 applications for land in the Highlands, but the board of agriculture will never be able to accommodate all."
Colonel Cameron said that many of the best young men and women of Scotland are migrating to Canada. More than 34,000 young men have already left the Clyde for Canada this year, he added, and many others are making preparations to settle in the dominion. In the Hebrides the population is now composed chiefly of old age pension list.
"I thought that possibly a trip through Canada would give us some plan as how to stop the wholesale emigration from Scotland," Colonel Cameron said; "but," he added with a sigh, "after seeing this wonderful country and the opportunities on every side, where one man has as good chances as his neighbor, I have come to the conclusion that nothing more can be done."
Editor's Notes: This visit to Canada is said to have been immediately followed by a visit to North Carolina. That trip, however, is stated as having taken place in 1925. It may be possible that this article should be dated 1925 (dates are in conflict.)