HC Deb 22 April 1937 vol 322 cc1915-6
53. Mr. Maclay

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that his Department prohibited two contractors from dredging sand from the bed of the River Clyde below low-water mark at the Pillar Bank for fear of injuring navigational interests, and that a third firm of contractors are still removing sand from an adjacent area of the river bed which is also Crown property; how many thousand tons of sand have been taken from the latter area of the river bed; what revenue by way of royalty his Department has received during the last 10 years in respect of the Crown's proprietary rights in each of the two areas; and whether, in view of the danger to navigational interests, he proposes to prohibit all removals of sand from the latter area?

Mr. Runciman

Between 1928 and 1935, two firms were allowed, under licences and permits granted by the Board of Trade, to dredge materials from a portion of the Pillar Bank, which is under Crown ownership. Following representations from the local navigation authorities as to the effect of the dredging on navigable channels, the Board's consent to further removals was then refused, and the removals ceased. The third firm mentioned by my hon. Friend remove materials from an adjacent area which, they contend, is not Crown property, and I am not aware of the quantity of materials they have removed. No royalty has been received by the Crown in respect of that area, but the total amount received under the permissions granted in respect of the other area was about £2,600. With regard to the last part of the question, the possible effect of the removals on the interests of navigation is under the consideration of the Board of Trade and the local navigation authorities, and I am not in a position at present to state what action, if any, will be taken.