HC Deb 15 February 1938 vol 331 cc1693-4
20. Mr. R. Robinson

asked the President of the Board of Trade in what circumstances compensation is paid to owners or occupiers of properties situated on the sea coast in respect of damage due to coast erosion or damage by the influx of sea water.

Mr. Stanley

The general question of coast erosion was considered by a Royal Commission which reported in 1911, and recommended that there was no ground, from a national point of view, for assistance to be given from public funds towards the cost of sea defence works perse.) This recommendation has been accepted by successive Governments, and no provision is made either for grants towards cost of purely sea defence works or for the payment of compensation in cases where properties on the sea coast suffer damage from coast erosion or the influx of sea water.

Mr. Robinson

In view of the exceptional damage done by sea water during the past few months, will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking some action in this matter?

Mr. T. Williams

While all this land on the coast is privately owned, does the right hon. Gentleman think it fair that the taxpayer should have to pay for the maintenance of other people's property?

Sir P. Harris

Are the Government prepared to sit idly by and see a part of England swept away?

Mr. Stanley

Surely that would be in accordance with the doctrine of the Little England school.

Mr. Loftus

Have any of the other recommendations of the 1911 Royal Commission been embodied in legislation?

Mr. Stanley

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question down.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that people living in mining areas who suffer from mining subsidence should have the first call?