§ MR. DODD
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the soil of the public fishing ground in Essex, where the recent collision took place between fishermen of Tollesbury and fishermen from Burnham, is vested in the Crown or in whom it is vested; and, if it is vested in the Crown, whether he will advise the putting in force of the Crown rights in order to preserve the soil of the public fishing ground from being removed by the Burnham men to their private oyster grounds to the destruction of the oyster culture on such public fishing grounds, or what steps he will take to prevent the public fishing ground being destroyed?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. MUNDELLA,) Sheffield, Brightside
The soil of the fishing ground where the recent collision took place between fishermen of Tollesbury and fishermen of Burnham is primâ facie vested in the Crown, and cannot, therefore, be claimed by one set of fishermen 1004 more than another; but I am advised that it is a question of great legal nicety whether the cultch which lies on that soil is the property of the Crown or not. The best way of protecting these fisheries would appear to be to enlarge the powers of the Sea Fisheries Committees to make bye-laws, and this will require legislation. I will consider how far this is practicable.