HC Deb 23 April 1874 vol 218 cc983-5

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it be true that the Royal Artillery stationed at Ipswich are unable to carry on artillery practice, as heretofore, at Landguard, owing to the objection of the Lord of the Manor of the district; and, in consequence, have to march to Lowestoft to carry on the said practice, at a considerable increase of expense to the public; whether it is true that a toll is levied by the said Lord of the Manor upon all material landed for the works which are now being carried on at Landguard Port; whether such toll is arbitrary at the option of the said Lord of the Manor, no such toll ever having been claimed until lately, when it was fixed at 6d. per ton, since raised to 18. per ton, often amounting in the aggregate to £40 a month: whether such toll is not equally applicable to the landing of guns, shot, shell, gunpowder, and other materials of war for the defence of the said fort; whether it be true that a pier erected at the cost of some £800. for the purpose of landing certain iron shields for the fort, has to be pulled down as soon as that work is completed, in consequence of objections of the said Lord of the Manor, thus leaving no facilities for landing war material for the future for the fort, excepting over an ever-shifting shingle; whether it be true that the War Office has been prohibited by the said Lord of the Manor from erecting orrepairing certain groynes, by means of which alone the outworks of the said fort have for years been saved from being undermined and washed into the sea; and, whether, if these be facts, and assuming that the said Lord of the Manor has been simply exercising his legal rights, the War Office will at once come to some arrangement by which a stop may be put to a state of things so injurious to the public interest?


The prohibition by the Lord of the Manor of practice at Landguard makes arrangements for carrying out artillery practice in future at Lowestoft necessary. A jetty was erected at a cost of £909 by the War Department in 1871–2 for landing iron shields and other materials. Colonel Tomline, the Lord of the Manor, claimed the foreshore on which it stands, and was successful in the Court of Chancery in maintaining his claim. He then charged a royalty of 6d. per ton, with a threat of cutting down the pier if it were not paid. On November 19. 1873, his agent gave notice that from January 1, 1874, 1s. per ton would be charged. There was no alternative but to pay these demands. The tolls average £32 per month. These tolls would be applicable to guns and other materials of war. No steps will be taken to remove the pier, as negotiations have been and are in progress with a view to a settlement of disputed points between the War Department and Colonel Tomline. Groynes have been maintained by the War Department since at least 1732; but since the decision of the Court of Chancery that the Bent Hills, in the rear of the groynes, and in another case the foreshore on which they stand, are the property of Colonel Tomline, it is not proposed to construct more until some definite understanding has been arrived at. The War Department are in communication with Colonel Tomline, and are most desirous to come to a settlement with him on the points in dispute.