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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S5M-23310

Plantation Slavery and Landownership in the West Highlands and Islands: Legacies and Lessons

Submitted by: Alasdair Allan, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Supported by: Tom Arthur, James Dornan, John Finnie, Kenneth Gibson, Rhoda Grant, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Rona Mackay, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Joan McAlpine, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Colin Smyth, David Torrance, Andy Wightman
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, February 4, 2021

That the Parliament welcomes the publication by Community Land Scotland of an independent research report, Plantation slavery and landownership in the west Highlands and Islands: Legacies and Lessons, by Dr Iain Mackinnon of the University of Coventry and Dr Andrew Mackillop of the University of Glasgow as part of Community Land Scotland’s discussion paper series, Land and the Common Good; notes the conclusion that the proceeds of slave ownership, slavery-derived wealth and slave compensation payments coincided with the purchase of Highlands and Islands estates or otherwise helped maintain existing estate holdings among many established landed families; welcomes the greater understanding that it believes the report brings of the impact of slavery on patterns of Scottish land ownership history; notes the evidence that specific estate purchases have direct links to slave-related income; regrets that land purchased from the proceeds of slavery rests on the misery of breaches to the human rights of dispossessed peoples; notes that slavery-derived wealth has contributed to historic patterns of land markets that have left legacies of monopoly land ownership, depopulation and an emphasis on extractive estate management that continue to operate today, and notes the calls for a discussion of an appropriate permanent memorial for these historic connections and their impact on peoples in Africa, the Caribbean and the Highlands and Islands.