§ MR. WHITEHEAD (Essex, S.E.)
To ask the Secretary of State for War whether the War Office is in negotiation for the purchase of alleged manorial and freehold rights over part of the foreshore at Shoebury, in Essex; whether he is aware that the fishermen of Leigh-on-Sea, and other places in the district, claim and have long exercised a right of fishing over such foreshore; whether, in the event of the War Office purchasing any such manorial rights and the freehold interest in the foreshore, he will take care that the fishermen in the district are permitted to fish over such foreshore, subject to reasonable regulations in regard to military shooting; and whether he will secure that there is no alienation or exclusive appropriation to any individual or company, by lease or otherwise, of the right of fishing over the foreshore and sands in that district under the control of the War Office.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) The War Department is in negotiation for the purchase in question. The fishing rights which are claimed have been contested in an action at law by the vendors. The litigation is not yet at an end. It is not, therefore, possible at the present time to give any Reply to the latter part of the Question.