MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E.R., Holderness)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the destruction caused to the coast and the townships of the East Riding of Yorkshire by the recent high tides and gales, and to the fact that the village of Kilnsea has been practically devastated by the sea; and whether His Majesty's Government can see their way to give some assistance towards repairing the damage done.
§ * THE SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. KEARLEY,) Devonport
The Board of Trade have received information of the flooding of the lowlands at Kilnsea and Easington during the recent gales and exceptionally high tides—the highest for very many years. From this it appears that the sea washed over the tops of the embankments on both the seaward and riverward sides. From the reports made to the Board by the local inspector in charge of the groynes and other sea defences of Spurn Point, no fresh breach has been made in the embankments. A breach in the banks to the south of Kilnsea Beacon was made on September 30th last. The landowners concerned and the Commissioners of Sewers then intimated to the Board of Trade that the lands, which would be consequently flooded at Spring and high tides, were not worth the cost of protection. In 1903 the Government offered to contribute £400 towards the construction of a bank which the Commissioners 83 of Sewers proposed at that time to make, as it was considered that this proposed bank would assist in protecting the road to the Spurn Point works and Coast Guard station. The landowners and the Commissioners of Sewers have, so far, not proceeded with these defence works; consequently the offer has not been accepted, but it still holds good. The hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware that the entire question of coast protection is about to be considered by a Royal Commission.
MR. STANLEY WILSON
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this is a question of the utmost urgency, and that unless the Government takes some action immediately, the village of Kilnsea, with 1,200 acres of land, must inevitably disappear into the sea?
§ * MR. KEARLEY
I am aware that the matter is of extreme urgency. The Government offered £400 towards the embankment, and the offer was not accepted. I am certain, however, that the Royal Commission will deal with the question.