HC Deb 10 March 1887 vol 311 cc1718-9

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether he is aware that, by the Act of Geo. IV., c. 31, the Dover Harbour Board is required to render Accounts annually to both Houses of Parliament; and, if so, whether this has been done; and, whether there is any objection to lay upon the Table of the House the Accounts since 1861, which by the Act 34 & 35 Vict. c. 166, the Board is required to furnish annually to the Board of Trade, each Account to show the date upon which it was received?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

I have made inquiry of the Dover Harbour Board, who inform me that the Act of Geo. IV., referred to by my hon. Friend, applies to passing tolls which were continued by that Act and have been, since abolished, and that the existing Board receive no moneys whatever in respect of any dues which the Warden and Assistants of Dover Harbour were authorized to levy under that Act. They have, therefore, rendered no Accounts to Parliament. The Returns of Receipts of Expenditure of the present Harbour Board, who were first constituted in 1861, have been regularly sent to the Local Government Board since 1871, as required by statute, and are annually published in the Local Taxation Returns. Between 1861 and 1871 they were sent to the Home Office. Under these circumstances, the Board of Trade have not deemed it necessary, in pursuance of the Act 34 & 35 Vict., c. 166, to direct any particular form in which the Accounts are to be furnished to them, as they have been hitherto content with the Accounts included in the Local Taxation Returns, which are laid before Parliament and printed every year. If my hon. Friend desires to move that the Returns shall be printed in a separate form the Board of Trade will offer no objection.