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The Claim of Scotland
|Unknown Binding 279 pages Humanities Press
"It is true that the Highlands
in many places are not well adapted to the growing of grain,
and land which has long been neglected is bound to
deteriorate. Yet the glens used to support a much larger
population when methods of agriculture were more primitive
than they are today. They also used to rear many cattle, and
recent experiments show that they could do so again, to the great advantage of Scotland and of Britain as a whole. Modern science is developing methods for making peat-land into pastures, and the modest application of these methods in the Highlands has already met with some success. The area as a whole is said to be the best in Europe for the growing of conifers, and with the necessary pulp-mills it could save the heavy cost of British imports from Scandinavia. Here in the modern jargon we have a region of " unrealised potential." The situation might be transformed with more research and with an adequate system of transport; but the Highlands are at present too poor to provide all this for themselves."
And at Page 272:
Perhaps I may be allowed to end by adopting as my own the words of a private letter sent to me by one of the wisest men in Scotland - Sir Thomas Taylor, Principal of Aberdeen University - shortly before his untimely death:
"Personally I am so sick of the mess that is being made of my native country that I should be glad of anything that would arouse contention and even passion, rather than that things be allowed to slide."
Professor Paton's book is a MUST for every thinking Scot, but you must also see that your English friends read it, too. - R.M.G.