§ MR. NOBLE (Hastings)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether the Charter granted to the Corporation of Hastings (31 Eliz.) is still in force, wherebyall that our parcel of land and our hereditaments called the Stone Beach at Hastings,was grantedto the mayor, jurats, and commonalty of the town and port of Hastings, in the County of Sussex, and their successors, for ever;and, if so, on what grounds the Board of Trade claims, on behalf of the Crown, possession of the Stone Beach of Hastings, thus causing the Local Government Board to refuse its consent to the raising of a loan by the Corporation for drainage purposes; and, whether he is aware that the Corporation of Hastings has been in undisturbed possession of the foreshore for 300 years?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
The question whether the claim of the Corporation against the Crown in the matter of the foreshore below high water mark at Hastings is a valid one or not is now before the Law Officers with a view to legal proceedings; and it would, therefore, be improper for me to anticipate the result of any proceedings that may be advised. With respect to the loan for drainage purposes, the Board of Trade have, in order to facilitate the granting of the loan, and in accordance with their usual practice, asked for a nominal acknowledgment of 2s. 6d. for the site of the outfall, so far as it lies below high water mark, and have offered to return it to the Corporation upon their substantiating their claim to the shore in question. By a simple acceptance of that offer the Corporation would be in a position, so far as the Board of Trade are concerned, to proceed with their 304 drainage scheme, without the slightest prejudice to the claim the Corporation have made.