MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the electric tramway from, the Aquarium to Preston Place Groyne, Brighton, was constructed, without an Act of Parliament or sanction of the Board of Trade along the frontage to the seashore; by whose authority the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Company have, in contravention of their Act of Parliament (56 and 57 Vic, cap. 158, called the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Tramroad Act, 1893), erected works more than four inches above the surface, prohibited by section 32, sub-section (6), of that Act, and have constructed overhead wires prohibited by the same section 32, sub-section (6); and whether the Board of Trade will take steps to protect the public and boatmen of Brighton from accidents in the enjoyment of their right to the use of the seashore?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
The electric railway from the Aquarium to Preston Place Groyne at Brighton was, I understand, constructed on land belonging to the Corporation of Brighton without any Act of Parliament. As the railway was above high water mark, the sanction of the Board of Trade was not necessary, and the Board have no jurisdiction over the railway. As regards the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Elec- 717 tric Tramrond, the provisions of the Act referred to by the honourable Member are made binding on the tramroad company, unless otherwise agreed between the company and the corporation of Brighton, who are the owners of the foreshore on which the tramroad is constructed; the consent of the Board of Trade was given to the construction of the works below high water mark, including the poles for the overhead wires, plans of which had been agreed upon between the company and the corporation. I am not aware that the public and boatmen are exposed to any danger. If my honourable Friend will specify more particularly to what he alludes, I will inquire into the matter, but I do not think the Board of Trade have any power in connection with it.