HC Deb 25 March 1895 vol 32 cc25-6
SIR G. BADEN-POWELL (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is no constituted harbour authority having and exercising adequate legal rights and duties over the important Harbour of Cowes, Isle of Wight, and that the Corporation of Newport legally exercise control over the Medina River as far seawards as "The Folly" public-house, but have no powers over, and have done nothing towards the preservation or improvement of, Cowes Harbour; whether the said Corporation levies tolls in Cowes Harbour; and, if so, under what authority is tins done; whether application has been made to the Board of Trade to constitute a local Harbour Authority representative of the places and interests involved; and what steps it is proposed to take with regard to such application?


The Corporation of Newport claim that they have, since the Twelfth Century, under various charters confirmed by successive kings of England, exercised jurisdiction over the Harbour of Cowes, and they state that they have under these charters continuously collected tolls and regulated the anchorage in the harbour, and that for many years past they have appointed the harbour-master there. Application has been made to the Board of Trade by the West Cowes Urban District Council for a Provisional Order under the General Pier and Harbour Acts for the improvement, maintenance, and regulation of Cowes Harbour; but the difficulty is that as under Section 14 of the Piers and Harbours Act of 1861 there is no power to affect any right given or reserved to any persons, by Royal Charter or by prescription, procedure by Provisional Order is not possible. If compulsory powers for the creation of a Harbour Authority are desired, the promoters must proceed by Private Bill and not by Provisional Order.