§ MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether an officer from Trinity House called at Sidmouth early in July last and gave orders to anyone that the removal of shingle from Sidmouth beach must stop; if so, to whom were these orders given, and why, if so given, was shingle allowed to be taken as before, to the prejudice of the owners and skippers of registered fishing boats and their fishermen working with them; if not now officially stopped, will the Board of Trade say it will be stopped entirely; and whether the Board is aware that, if the removal of shingle is not stopped, the fishermen of this district will be ruined, as their boats will be destroyed by the sea beach being too low for them to lie on with reasonable safety.
(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) The removal of beach material is not a matter coming within the jurisdiction of the Trinity House, and I have ascertained from that corporation that they have no knowledge of any orders having been 281 given in their name regarding such removal at Sidmouth. The most effective means at the disposal of the Board of Trade for stopping the removal of shingle or ballast is the issue of an order under Section 14 of The Harbours Act, 1814, prohibiting such removal. No application for the issue of such an order in respect of Sidmouth has been received from those interested. Should an application be made the Board will be prepared to cause local inquiry to be made as to whether the circumstances warrant the issue of an order.