§ Resolutions reported:
- "1. That a sum, not exceeding £145.836, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1920, for the Expenses of Survey of the United Kingdom, and for minor services connected therewith."
- 2. That a sum, not exceeding £3,226, be granted to His Majesty to complete the gum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1920, for the Expenses of maintaining certain Harbours under the Board of Trade and for Grants for Harbours.
- 3. That a sum not exceeding £22,000, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1920, for the Expenses of constructing a new Harbour of Refuge at Peterhead.
- 4. That a sum, not exceeding £563,950, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in coarse of payment during the year ending on 31st day of March, 1920, for Rates and Contributions in lieu of Rates, etc., in respect of Government Property, and for Rates on Houses occupied by Representatives of Foreign Powers, and for the Salaries and Expenses of the Rating of Government Property Department, and for a Contribution towards the Expenses of the London Fire Brigade."
§ First Resolution agreed to
§ Second Resolution read a second time.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
On this Vote I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman about the harbour at Spurn Point, where a certain sum is to be expended this year. It is a small matter perhaps, but this is a very good natural harbour; I know it very well; I was there both before and during the War, and it would be interesting to know how it happens to come under this Vote. There is a Bill before the House with regard to a Ministry of Ways and Communications, and one of the matters dealt with by that Ministry is to be the development of harbours. Spurn Point is a refuge for small sailing vessels waiting for the tide, and money may very well and usefully be expended upon it, but I want to know how it is that this harbour comes under this Vote. Is this with other harbours under the control of the Board of Trade and what is the future policy of the Board of Trade to be in asking money for them?
§ Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
With regard to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member, there are four harbours which were formerly called harbours of refuge, and a Vote for them goes back something like seventy years on the Estimates of Parliament. Within the last thirty or forty years they have been placed under—it is an anomalous arrangement, I agree—the jurisdiction of the Board of Trade. These harbours are Holyhead, Spurn, Dover, and Harwich. Against this particular Vote the expenses of putting up groynes or piers, as the case may be, is charged, and in addition to that, for some years my hon. Friend will find Estimates of moderate amount in connection with smaller harbours of refuge on various parts of the English Coast. The special point to which he referred is the creation of a 734 revetment at Spurn, which was desired before the War but the work for which was suspended. Seven hundred pounds of the £1,200 is a re-vote. That amount was voted previously but the money was not spent, so it is brought up again this year now there is a chance of proceeding with the work. The extra £500 is an estimate that the Board of Trade have put in for the increased cost of this work at the present day compared with what it would have cost. This is a Board of Trade Vote, and no point of principle arises on it. The Committee upstairs were good enough to take the explanation of the Vote from me. I hope that my hon. and gallant Friend will take the same from me to-night. With regard to the future of these harbours, I am in a position to say nothing. That must rest between the Board of Trade and the proposed new Ministry. Doubtless that is a point which my hon. and gallant Friend may raise with perfect propriety in the Debate to-morrow.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Third and Fourth Resolutions agreed to.