§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that an Export Duty of 6d. per cwt. has been for some time charged by Mr. Smith, the proprietor of the Scilly Islands, on all flowers exported from the islands; with what object has this Export Duty been imposed, and is such duty legal; whether he is aware that Mr. Smith imposes a duty of 5s. a year on every boat-owner, and in addition 1s. extra duty for every boat actually employed, and a duty of 1d. each for all shell fish exported from the islands, including lobsters, crayfish, and crabs; and whether Mr. Smith has carried out any works for the improvement of landing-places in the off islands out of the proceeds of those duties; whether he has been informed that in the past the captains of vessels anchored in the roads have in some instances refused to pay the charge levied upon such vessels, on the ground that no legal right existed to impose such charges; whether, in the Provisional Order constituting a Local Council for the islands, it is proposed to confirm the rights, if any, of Mr. Smith to levy these several duties; and whether he will take into consideration the advisability of withdrawing from the proprietor the right to impose some or all of these duties, especially those levied on the export of flowers and shell fish?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE,) Tower Hamlets, St. George's
The Provisional Order which the Local Government Board propose to issue for the constitution of a Local Council for the Seilly Islands will not touch the question of any rights of Mr. Dorrien Smith to levy the duties or charges which are mentioned in the question. The Board are not empowered by the Act under which the Order is issued either to con- 270 firm any rights of Mr. Dorrien Smith to levy these charges or to withdraw from him any such rights. As regards these duties or charges they are matters with regard to which the Board have no jurisdiction whatever.