HC Deb 16 December 1947 vol 445 cc1594-621

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Draft Harlyn Bay (Cornwall) Coast Protection Order, 1947, made by the Minister of Health under Section of the Coast Protection Act, 1939, a copy of which Order was presented on 12th November, he approved."—[Mr. A. Bevan.]

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Douglas Marshall (Bodmin)

On a point of Order. Can you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, tell me whether this and a similar order relating to Rock Bay, Cornwall, are being taken together or separately?

The Chairman

I think that it would be for the convenience of the House if they were both taken together.

Mr. Marshall

I fully agree that it would be better if they were taken together, but could they be moved separately at the end of the Debate?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

I was about to suggest that, as the orders raised exactly the same points, they might be taken together for the convenience of the House. These are the third and fourth orders to be made under the Coast Protection Act, 1939. The first, Newhaven, Sussex, was made in 1940. The second, Happisburgh and Bacton, Norfolk, was made in 1942. The object of the orders is to prohibit the removal of beach materials, within defined areas—Harlyn Bay and Rock Bay—to protect the coast of Cornwall against erosion and to prevent damage to land in that county by the action of the sea.

Complaints have been received from various persons that the removal of sand by hauliers was leading to erosion. After investigation, the Minister of Transport, who was then responsible, formed the prima facie opinion that orders should be made in respect of both bays. Let me say at once, lest there should be any misapprehension, that under the Act it is necessary for the Minister to make up his mind whether a prima facie case is made out before an inquiry can be held. There is no question at all of prejudging the issue. It is laid down for him by statute that he proceeds in that way, and if, after the inquiry has been made, he is satisfied that the grounds are sufficient, then the order is made.

I am satisfied on the reports that have been made, and on the inquiry, that there is erosion in both these bays, threatening property. It is true that there is a difference of opinion about what causes the erosion. Technical advice which I have obtained makes it quite clear that the erosion is caused by the removal of sand. I would, however, like the House to consider some aspects of this matter which are not frequently brought before it. I have been asked, as the House will recollect, on many occasions—almost every Thursday—whether the Government propose to bring in a Bill to deal with coast erosion. It is extremely serious in some parts of the country, and we are already taking action, because we do not want to avoid spending a few thousand pounds now, and, as a consequence, have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds later.

The great difficulty about coast erosion is that unless precautions are taken early, there is a danger of rapid and most extensive deterioration. It is also established by those competent to speak on these matters that coast erosion takes place in one place because of failure to take precautions in another. I have seen instance after instance where a local authority having foreshore powers have put up a breakwater affecting the direction of the current which scoops out a pebble protection from a groin somewhere else. The result is that very often—I have seen it myself—most serious damage is done as a consequence. When we come to deal with this matter, as we shall have to deal with it—I cannot go far on this matter tonight without contravening the Rules of the House—we shall find that we shall have to take action over a wider scale than is within the province of any particular authority.

There is no doubt in the minds of those who advised me on this matter that the taking away of sand from these bays destroys the cushion which protects the land, exposes it to erosion and threatens property. I most seriously represent to hon. Members that when I am making attempts to prevent the land from falling into the sea, I should not be opposed to attack by some people who have vested interests which are involved at the moment. It is more important to protect the interest of Britain as a whole than those of any particular person. It may be that one of the reasons why we have not had legislation on this matter before is that there has been great difficulty in deciding between the particular and the general interests in these matters.

The position in this part of Cornwall is peculiar. The right to remove sand from the foreshore is provided by an Act of James I. It was made clear that all persons and residents dwelling in the counties of Cornwall and Devon could take sand up to the full sea mark for the betterment of their land, the reason being, I gather, that there is a great deal of lime in the sand. Therefore, it is valuable for agricultural purposes. There is all the difference between conveying sand from a bay in the time of James I with a bullock cart and conveying it nowadays by lorry. It is the perfect example of what my more pedantic friends would call the dialectic. The change in the technique of transport has transformed an ancient right into a menace. The amount of sand that can be transported by ox cart or by heavy draught animals was negligible compared with the amount of sand that can be removed by modern lorries going there day after day.

Mr. D. Marshall indicated dissent.

Mr. Bevan

I see the hon. Member shakes his head but I have seen——

Mr. Marshall

I will develop the point which I had in mind, but it has nothing to do with what the right hon. Gentleman is talking about at the moment.

Mr. Bevan

The shake was apparently irrelevant. Furthermore there is also this difficulty, that the amount of sand that could be conveyed in those days was not only much smaller, but it could not be conveyed such distances as are possible today. In those days it would hardly pay the farmer away back in the hinterland to go to the coast with his horse and cart for sand, but the lorries of today can go much farther. I am not quite certain that they always convey sand for agricultural purposes. We would need to have an espionage system to pursue some of these lorries. It is extraordinary the amount of lime sand that some of the Cornish farmers appear to be in need of, and I am not certain that some of this sand does not find its way into places not contemplated by James I, if ever he knew anything about the subject.

I hope that the House will understand that it is not a question of the right of removing sand but whether it should be removed and for this reason it is necessary to define more accurately the areas from which it can be taken. The orders do not prevent the removal of sand altogether but merely from the dangerous areas. For instance, in the case of Harlyn Bay those who opposed the order at the inquiry themselves suggested reducing the prohibited area. The order, as amended, substantially adopts their compromise. The only difference is that we adopted a description less likely to give rise to dispute than that put forward by the objectors. The total prohibited area is substantially the same as they themselves suggested. In fact, all we are really doing is giving statutory effect to the compromise which they themselves regarded as reasonable. It is obvious that there must be a balance struck between the requirements of agriculture and those of coast erosion. It is nonsense to fertilise land which by the very act of fertilisation falls into the sea.

The procedure necessary for these orders has been complied with, and no memorial has been received against them. A public local inquiry was held on 8th July, 1947, and all interested parties were heard, including representatives of the National Farmers' Union. The Cornwall county branch of the Union has, however, expressed contrary views. So far as I am concerned, there is not the slightest doubt about the position. We are not here dealing with amenities, because I regret to say that I have no power to protect the amenities. It is true that the taking of the sand in Cornwall affects the amenities of the bays at the same time as it gives rise to coast erosion, but I am not permitted under statute to allow such considerations to weigh with me. All I can do is to consider whether the taking away of this sand from these places gives rise to the danger of coast erosion. I am satisfied that it does, and I ask the House——

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

The right hon. Gentleman has said that he has had complaints on this matter as far as these two places are concerned. Can he give us any sort of idea of the number of persons who complained? For instance, do they run into scores?

Mr. Bevan

It does not matter if they run into one. All I ask myself is whether the complaints are real and substantial facts. Then I direct my attention to the matter.

Mr. Williams

It was not a big number.

Mr. Bevan

It could not be a large number, because there is not a large number on the coast down there. All I am concerned about myself is to have regard to the complaints. Numbers are of no importance at all in this regard. My concern is whether the Minister charged with the responsibility of protecting the coast of England against erosion acts promptly or does not act at all.

Commander Agnew (Camborne)

Will the Minister say whether complaints came from others than interested landowners?

Mr. Bevan

I must confess at this moment I would not know who are interested landowners. The original complaint was made to the Minister of Transport and upon those complaints action was taken. I hope hon. Members will realise that the only function that a complainant has in this regard is to direct attention. It does not follow that his interests are or are not affected. All that has to be established is that there has been conveyed to the Minister responsible informa- tion that coast erosion is likely to take place as a consequence of the action taken by any persons whatsoever. It is the nature of the information, not the nature of the informant, that matters. For example, if I went down to Cornwall myself and in the course of my visit—which did not happen in this case because hon. Members must realise that this action was started with the Ministry of Transport before I was made responsible for coast erosion—I saw sand being taken away from some of these bays day after day, I would say quite frankly that I should be offended. I should make inquiries and find out if this procedure was going on.

It has been established technically that coast erosion is taking place. I am not interested in the source of complaints, but in the facts themselves. On proper inquiry I am satisfied that a case has been made out for the orders. May I point out to hon. Members that some of the consequences of coast erosion in this country are so serious that Ministers must be sustained in preventing their continuance.

8.29 p.m.

Mr. Douglas Marshall (Bodmin)

Having listened to the Minister tonight no one in this House would for one moment under-estimate the danger of erosion to the coast of England and of Cornwall, for I would remind the Minister there is England and Cornwall. At the same time, although he put the case reasonably and I believe that at this moment he is perfectly sincere in what he has stated, I dislike that remark very much about the suggestion of vested interests. Anybody who represents Cornwall, lives in Cornwall, knows its coast and recognises its exquisite beauty would be unlikely to speak in this Chamber if he seriously considered that it required an order, this particular order, to keep this coast intact.

It is my duty tonight to put another point of view in front of the Minister. I believe that he has been ill-advised. He has already referred to the time of James I and the Charter then given to the people of Cornwall and Devon. I do not know the distances travelled at that time but it would appear odd, if the Minister is correct, that sand in these cases could not have gone out of the confines of Cornwall, why at that time Devon was specifically mentioned. I mention that because it should be taken into account. Travelling past the times of James to round about 1758, I wish the Minister to realise that every historian has mentioned the value of this sand for agriculture from the time for Borlase, for did he not mention the great necessity to fertilise the ground of Cornwall with this sand and lime. If we come to 1817—there is a purpose in this point Mr. DeputySpeaker—we find that the great historian, Gilbert, makes reference to it as well. He refers to the fact that at that time it was mostly put on the soil during December or Miz Hedra, "the month also black," as it is sometimes called.

A very short time ago, on 11th December, I tried to get the Minister to delay this order. I asked the Lord President of the Council whether it could be delayed so that we could discuss this matter after the Recess. After all, the time to the end of the Recess is not so great as that from the time of James I. The reason I made that request is that the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Horabin) is not with us. I feel sure that you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and the whole House sympathise with him in the great injuries he has sustained and the reason why he is not here tonight, but this is in his Division and I would have hoped that he would be able to speak on the point. In order to refresh my own knowledge of the exact places we are to discuss, I travelled to the two bays this weekend and went over every inch of the ground with Mr. Hocking, who is the chairman of the sand committee.

I would like to relate what I found at those two bays. Perhaps I may take Rock first and Harlyn second as we are discussing the two orders together. In the case of Rock, there is no doubt that a great deal of damage has been done, but I trust that the Minister has been informed why that damage has come about. In his speech he said that there was controversy whether or not certain factors influenced coast erosion. In the case of Rock, if we go down that wonderful sand, gleaming in gold, we notice that the old pier has come up out of the sand. That has nothing to do with the taking away of sand but is caused by the sea altering the course of the channel of the river. Where sand has been taken out lately it is very difficult to argue that the erosion is caused by that and not by the sea. I really feel that all would agree on that point.

The case of Harlyn Bay is easier to describe and will probably be easier for the House to understand. I sincerely trust that the Minister will listen to the points I wish to make. A public inquiry was held in July of this year. The House will be aware of the enormous gales we suffered at the beginning of the winter. The sea sometimes takes strong and strange courses, and if we go along many of the coast sides of Cornwall we will see the damage that it did. This is what was found at Harlyn Bay last weekend, not in July, 1947, but now. Thousands of tons of sand are piled up between the sea and the river. If we go back to 1905, on the chart which I have beside me—I see that the Minister has heard me mention 1905 and has turned away——

Mr. Bevan

I did not intend to be rude to the hon. Member. I thought he was not grasping the point that nobody is preventing sand being taken away.

Mr. Marshall

That is not the point. Speaking of this vast quantity of sand, this chart of 1905—which is the most up-to-date I possess—shows that the river goes straight out to the sea.

At present, owing to the sand which has been built up, it goes towards the North round the Bay and around good agricultural land lying to the North, and so to the sea. During this summer of 1947, I am given to understand, the agricultural committee tried their best to divert that course. They tried by putting sandbags there to prevent erosion on that coast line to the North, and at the same time to let it flow steadily and swiftly through to the sea, and thereby to drain the marsh lying astern of the bridge. They were not successful, because of the huge tonnage of sand which lies there.

While this sand is being taken, more sand is coming there the whole time. The Minister has said that no one is talking about taking away sand. People are talking a great deal about it. Perhaps he is unaware of the race of the tides on the North coast of Cornwall, and is unaware that because of the quick tide race one would not have an hour and a half to load up sand before the tide came in. These things are of great importance, and the line now drawn makes it practically impossible to get sand from Harlyn Bay.

Some hon. Members may not know of the valuable lime content in the sand. This is not a question of pulverised rock, but of pulverised shell. This is all shell sand. That is why there is a high content of lime, which is not found in just every bay in Cornwall. It is only found in certain bays, and has been referred to again and again through history. These bays have not altered. Tonight the Minister made reference to the fact that if we do not protect one particular part of the coast, harm might well be done to something alongside it. It might be of interest that where within ordinary memory one could prawn in the bay which lies just to the North, that is now full of sand. It is not just a question of the tide coming and going, but it is one of the things for which the mightiness of the sea is responsible. It is not a question of taking up a certain amount of sand in these places. When people have not considered this subject and talk of thousands of tons of sand as if it were of enormous size, it should be remembered that in sand terms it does not mean very much at all. It is rather like one of the stories we have in Cornwall of Tregeagle dipping Dosmary Pool dry with a leaky limpet shell.

I do not think it will be out of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker—I will bow to your Ruling if it is—but if we consider the fertility of Bodmin Moor, and the experiment made with this sand there——

Mr. Bevan

On a point of Order. In my submission we are not discussing the right of farmers of Cornwall to take sand from these bays, but to take sand from a particular part of the bay. Therefore, the lime content is highly irrelevant to the consideration of these orders.

Mr. Beechman (St. Ives)

On that point of Order, it is proposed to be enacted by these orders that sand shall not be taken from the seashore of Cornwall in certain localities. That is what the orders are about.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

I certainly think the hon. and learned Member is getting very wide of the question. The question is simply whether the order, in the form in which it is before the House, shall be approved or not. The order appears to prohibit the removal of materials from a specific part of the shore, namely Harlyn Bay.

Mr. Marshall

I naturally bow to your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, but in passing from it I may make mention of the fact that the Minister has said that this is a question of where we shall take sand from. Surely, the House would wish to be practicable and the actual order prohibits the taking of sand from a certain site, which makes the taking of sand at all impracticable. I sincerely trust that the House of Commons will at least be practical over such a point. A public inquiry was held, and at that public inquiry, as the Minister rightly said, certain advice was tendered to the Minister. The next step was the question of a protest. The farmers of Cornwall made that protest through the N.F.U. It is true, and the Minister is right, that it was not in the form of a memorial. Maybe they made a mistake in that matter, but they thought they were protesting against the proposal, and one would have thought that over a matter which concerns food production and agriculture that protest could have been accepted in the spirit in which it was made and further consideration given to these matters.

If this order is approved it will have a great effect on agricultural production in Cornwall; let there be no mistake about that. All of us in this House are aware of the importance of food production. Even if it is argued tonight that lime can be got elsewhere, a point of great importance about the sand there is that its use saves fuel, trucks and other haulage which would otherwise be used. I do not feel that these orders will materially affect the erosion of these two bays. I believe that they will materially affect the production of food in Cornwall. I sincerely trust that the Minister may have listened to a little of what I have said, and may at least, having gone into the matter deeply, make some remarks at the end of this Debate as to his views upon it,

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Beechman (St. Ives)

Neither Harlyn Bay nor Rock Bay is in the St. Ives Division, but I share with the Minister and my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. D. Marshall) the desire to protect the amenities of our country and to prevent erosion. I happen to represent the lost land of Lyonesse, and I do not want to see any more land lost, especially in Cornwall. It is because I wish to protect the land that I would like to address the House for a few minutes. The sand from Harlyn Bay and Rock Bay is used by the farming community over a wide area in Cornwall and Devon. I have the figures here of the amount of sand that goes in a month from them. The figure for Harlyn Bay is 1,500 tons a month and for Rock Bay 2,400 tons, making 56,000 tons in a year, though one should know that the sand is specially used at Christmas time and in the spring.

I ask the Minister whether he has taken the advice of the Ministry of Agriculture in this matter, and whether the Ministry of Agriculture has told him that he can go ahead and make his order? The Minister speaks of vested interests. A vested interest is merely a term of abuse for an institution which one happens to dislike or in which one does not take any particular interest.

Mr. Bevan

The question which the hon. and learned Member has asked me is irrelevant. What I have to decide is whether or not the removal of the sand causes coast erosion. The Statute places responsibility upon me to prevent coast erosion, and I am really not concerned about any other aspect of the matter than that. I can no more concern myself with the manurial contents of this sand than I can concern myself with the amenities.

Commander Agnew

If that is the case, will the right hon. Gentleman say why it was that an officer of the Ministry of Agriculture was present at the local inquiry?

Mr. Bevan

Because there was obviously an interest involved. I am concerned about these orders and about whether the orders are justified on the ground of preventing coast erosion or not. That is obviously all I can be concerned about, but there is an interest in it because the sand has a lime content.

Mr. Beechman

Does the Minister mean that he has no duty to hear any representations from the community of Cornwall in regard to the use of this sand for agricultural purposes?

Mr. Bevan

Supposing it could be shown that the taking away of this sand would destroy some miles of Cornwall, would the lime content of the sand therefore prevail against the loss of Cornish land?

Mr. Beechman

The point of the right hon. Gentleman is a purely hypothetical one. The point we are making is purely practical, namely, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin has said, that the taking of the land actually prevents erosion because it enables the river to flow. That is the point we are making on the subject of erosion.

The Minister by these orders seeks to prevent the farming community from using what is very beneficial to them. I am here to assert not only the wishes of the farming community though those wishes are very important at the moment. If this fertiliser is not brought from this place, it must be brought from somewhere else. There could be no more unprofitable moment at which to bring forward these Orders than the present when we are so anxious that agricultural production should increase and that transport arrangements should be made as simple as possible.

Mr. Medland (Plymouth, Drake)

Will the hon. and learned Member inform the House whether it will still be possible for farmers, or anybody in Devon or Cornwall, to obtain sand from either Rock Bay or Harlyn Bay after the limitation has been imposed by the Minister?

Mr. Beechman

I know exactly what is the answer. Under the gentlemen's agreement of 1945, they can start taking sand at 75 feet out. Under the orders, taking the mean measurement, they have to go 175 feet out before they can begin. This order will make it more difficult than ever to get sand. The answer is that it may just be possible at certain states of the tide.

I now come to a more compelling point than any that I have made. My hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. D. Marshall) has made very cogent points on the facts. These Orders I submit are ultra vires. In fact, they are founded on sand. The right hon. Gentleman told the House quite frankly that there was a Statute of James I. It was a Statute of the seventh year of James I, Chapter 8, which he read which confirms—it does not really grant it, because it had been granted before—the right of the people of Cornwall and Devon to get sand from their shores for the purpose of agriculture.

The question that arises is whether this Statute of James I is still substantive or whether it has been overridden in any way by the Act of 1939 upon which these Orders are based. The answer is in the negative. I have no wish to detain the House but I must make clear the legal points on which this is based. In Halsbury's Laws of England, volume 20, page 313, of the 1930 edition, published shortly before this Act was passed, it is stated in a reference to the Statute of James I: The Statute confirms the custom originated in a grant of Richard, King of the Romans, to the inhabitants of Cornwall. I see an hon. Member frowning in wonder. Richard, King of the Romans, was the second son of King John and a younger brother of Henry III, and an Earl of Cornwall who was confirmed by a charter of 10th August, 1231. In 1930 Halsbury said, quite rightly, that this right is confirmed. I ask the Minister to attend to the arguments because this is a serious matter and he may well find that these orders are declared void in the courts, if he proceeds with them. I am making a point which is of some consequence. This matter is further confirmed in the latest edition of Stuart Moore on the Law of Waters.

Mr. Bevan

The hon. and learned Member asks me to listen. I was, listening very carefully. It appears to me that he is now trying [...] convert the House of Commons into a court of law. As to whether or not these orders are ultra vires is a matter for a court of law, and not for the House of Commons.

Mr. Beechman

The right hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. He may have to face a court of law if he carries the day. The House of Commons may have to be put right by the House of Lords in this matter, and this is the moment, if he is, seeking an affirmative resolution of the House to draft orders, for me, or anyone, to say that the orders are ultra vires. Therefore, with no apology, I pray in aid what is said to be the leading authority in this matter. In the 1933 edition, at page 66, it is said without any qualification whatever that, upon this Statute of James, the taking of sand from the shore for agricultural purposes by the inhabitants of Cornwall and Devon is good law. This was in confirmation of an original grant by Richard King of the Romans to the inhabitants of Cornwall. I say, therefore, that both Halsbury and the 1933 Edition of Stuart Moore make it plain that this ancient and well founded right, that means so much to the people of the Far West, has not been abrogated by the Coast Protection Act of 1939. Let me point out that the Act in Section 5, and in its Second Schedule, repeals other Acts. But the Statute of James is not specified as repealed. I know what the right hon. Gentleman is going to say—that there is some general proviso about passed Acts and customs being met. But it is a very well known rule of law that general words do not affect the matter when it is specifically plain that a law, such as I have described in the Act of James, is still extant. There is no such thing as an implied repeal in those circumstances. There is a Section which says that these Orders may be made in regard to land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. If the right hon. Gentleman seeks to defend himself on that let me tell him that Harlyn Bay is not owned by the Duchy, and that enforces the case which I presented.

In my view the alternatives here have not been sufficiently considered. I understand there is a willingness that there should be somebody on guard to see that the line of the gentleman's agreement is not over-passed, and it is desired in Cornwall that there should be a further inquiry and further witnesses. I repeat that now is the most inexpedient time for bringing these orders forward, and in the light of what I have said I ask that they be withdrawn and a fresh inquiry be held, and, if necessary, fresh orders be drawn.

8.58 p.m.

Commander Agnew (Camborne)

My hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. D. Marshall) and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Beechman) have dealt very fully with this case, and I shall not detain the House long with the few remarks I have to make. It is customary at the outset for an hon. Member to declare his interest if one exists. I say frankly that neither of these two bays is in my constituency. They are, of course, in the Parliamentary county, part of which I represent. My interest is a general interest on behalf of the whole farming community in Cornwall. I think it would have been better if the right hon. Gentleman had fortified himself this evening with the presence on the Front Bench, if not of the Minister of Agriculture himself, at least of his Parliamentary Secretary, because the right hon. Gentleman has admitted that there is a proper interest on the part of agriculture in this matter. I think it is doing the House less than justice that there is no representative of that Ministry present tonight.

The Minister, at the outset of his speech, told us something about coast erosion, and he made a comparison, rather a graphic one, I thought, with the tidal flow sweeping away Cornish land and eroding the coast at a rapid rate. Surely, the part of the coast of which the Minister was thinking was the East and South-East coasts of England, where, of course, whole stretches of open, unprotected coast are, from year to year, being eroded, thus requiring elaborate sea works to maintain them. In Cornwall, there is an absolute contrast to that. Cornwall has a rocky coast well able to take care of itself, and erosion there scarcely exists at all.

When the Minister told us how this trouble had suddenly arisen, I could not help thinking, and it must have crossed the minds of other hon. Members too, that, in all these long years from the time of the original statute of 1609, when these rights were first granted by Act of Parliament, it is a surprising thing that not until now has this trouble come to a head, when the Minister of Health, now the Minister responsible, has felt such a great sense of urgency that he must take action. The right hon. Gentleman really gave the House no information and no arguments whatever in putting that case forward and in suggesting that the danger was so great that this matter could not be left to continue as it had done in the past.

The farming communities in Cornwall are very apprehensive of the effects which will come about if these orders are given the force of law and they are virtually restricted from drawing sand from these beaches in order to fertilise their land. Cornwall is a county naturally deficient in the lime content of its soil and rocks, and this calcarious sea sand is very valuable indeed for fertilising their land. It contains as much as 8 cwt. or 9 cwt. of carbonate of lime for every ton of sand taken away and put upon the land. I say without hesitation that, if these facilities are withdrawn altogether, the farmers will have to import from outside the county anything up to 60,000 tons of ground lime to make good that deficiency. Not only will that place an increasing expense upon the farmers, and one that will, of course, tend to unbalance the traditional economy of the Cornish farms, which have gone on now for hundreds of year, but it will have another disadvantage at the present time. There is a very great shortage of railway wagons in the whole country, and a shortage like that is especially accentuated in a peninsula like Cornwall. At this time, nearly all the railway wagons available in Cornwall for agricultural purposes are needed to take up country the vast crops of broccoli which are grown there. If the transport system is to be further strained by these wagons, when they come back, having to unload lime as well, it will put an excessive strain on the system.

Another fear which the farmers have—if these orders come into force—is that they will be the thin edge of the wedge, and that, very soon, what the Minister describes as complaints will come from other interested persons, alleging damage on other beaches in the county. If these orders are followed by others, there will quite soon be an entire cessation of these facilities for drawing sand from the beach. I noticed that the Minister recognised the danger of cutting off the supply of sand. Although he said that he had no concern at all, apart from coast erosion, he was at pains to try to make out a case that, even admitting the lines drawn by these orders, sand could still be drawn from the permitted places on the seaward side.

I can find nobody in Cornwall entitled to give an opinion on these matters who believes it will really be feasible for the lorries or carts to get sand from a line drawn so far near the sea that it will be perilous for them to attempt to do so in the very short time permitted by the tides. At this time, as the Minister said, we have to strike a balance between particular interests and general interests. I say that the right hon. Gentleman has decided to draw a balance in favour of the particular interests. But, surely, there is an overriding interest at this time—the national interest.

The Minister of Agriculture has put out an appeal for a greatly increased agricultural production. Is this the time to discourage the farming community in one of the counties that is expected to make a great contribution towards that increase by taking away from it the facility to obtain a fertiliser which it has enjoyed for hundreds of years? In time, when this country is prosperous once again, perhaps the Minister would be right to consider matters like this, whatever was his decision, but, at this time, I am quite convinced that he is doing the country a public disservice by introducing these orders and stopping a facility which would greatly help agriculture if it were allowed to continue.

9.8 p.m.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

Perhaps I, as, I believe, the only Cornish farmer in the House, might be allowed to say something on this matter from the point of view of one who during the whole of his life has watched the taking of sand from one place to another, and who also has some experience of what has happened in this particular case. In his opening remarks, the Minister referred to the fact that this order came under the Bill which this House of Commons had rightly passed in an endeavour to stop coast erosion. We all know that trouble, and that it is a very bad thing in many parts of the country. But I have some knowledge of the coasts of Cornwall, and I have yet to hear of any really bad case of erosion caused by the taking away of sand there. One may occasionally find a road or an odd small house which has been endangered by it, but, however far one goes with the removal of sand, the curious fact is that, up to the present, nature has always put that right, as it has for generations in Harlyn Bay.

There are many other places, but I will keep to Harlyn Bay and I will go on from where, I think, quite honestly the Minister has been led astray. He has to make this inquiry. He had his complaint and he has to make his inquiries; and he made them. There has obviously been no great demand or we should all have heard of the thousands of people who were demanding it. It is quite obvious, for instance, that there has not been a pressing demand on the local Member of Parliament who, by our great misfortune, cannot be here tonight, or he would have informed the Minister of the enormous number of people who were dissatisfied so far as this matter of erosion was concerned. The Minister used one phrase which amazed me, and I would like every farmer in Cornwall to hear this phrase to see what the Minister thinks is the real position. The Minister asked what was the use of fertilising land which, by the act of fertilisation, falls into the sea.

There must have been millions of tons of sand in Cornwall taken on the land above the cliffs. Has anyone ever heard, in the whole course of history, of this land falling into the sea? It really is the Minister's best poetic Welsh imagination to suggest that could happen in Cornwall. It could happen in some places, but not in Cornwall, as a general rule, so far as this particular Harlyn Bay is concerned. Before 1914 for many years I had some connection with a considerable number of farmers in the triangle of land where most of this sand went—this triangle between St. Merryn, St. Eval and St. Issey, and the flattish hinterland behind. That was in the days of carts, when you could still take this sand up and use it locally.

So far as this particular sand is concerned, the real trouble is that, instead of its only being used locally—and I am following strictly the lines which the Minister made—we are now in the position that this sand is being used all over Cornwall. In other words, this sand is really the equivalent of a very high percentage of lime, and remember, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that the value of sand is not only its lime content. It has a terrifically valuable content as a breaker-up of soil for garden, horticultural or farming purposes, and this particular form of sand is roughly half lime, or very nearly so. What is being done in this particular case is precisely the same as if one had a quarry on the edge of the cliff with a very valuable stone for road making. One could use it for the production of roads. We might cut off a little bit of England, but it might be that, on the whole, we did more good than harm. As the Minister said, we would have to weigh up the position.

In this particular case, I maintain that the whole bulk of the weight is not on coast erosion, which could only be very small, but really must be on the fact, as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Camborne said just now, that we are supplying a vast territory which is, by acknowledgment, short of lime. This Act of James I has been the preservation of Cornish agriculture for generations. We were short of lime. We carried lime from a very long way and I know of many old lime kilns in Cornwall out of use, but all my life I have seen carts taking away sand from the beach, which contained lime, as well.

May I go into the actual formation of this beach at Harlyn Bay? It is worth knowing, if we are to take a slice of the beach away. Whether the Minister's officials knew it or not, heaven only knows. On the north coast of Cornwall there are certain beaches where, by the action of the tide, there is washed up an enormous proportion of shells. But there is another action also which I think has not been mentioned. Whereas in Cornwall there is no lime, up the coast in Devon there is sand which is washed round by the course of the tides over the years, and there is limestone there. It is a very curious fact that nature seems to use the sea, on almost any sand beach in the West Country, quite different from the way it does up country. It seems to be always taking sand away with the rivers, and then piling it back on the sea coasts, just as rivers are taking far more sand than can probably be carted, except in very close places.

I am not fighting the Minister on this matter. I shall fight him politically whenever he likes and I shall enjoy it, although he will probably enjoy it more. This, however, is not a political question; it has nothing to do with politics or with party. He has had wrong advice for once, and it is a very easy thing to happen. The coast erosion people under this Bill, under which the Minister operates, are doing something totally different from what we were considering. I would ask the Minister to withdraw this order temporarily. I see a Cornishman sitting next to him. He is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, the Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. King). Whether he is going to say something on this on behalf of his Division I do not know. Perhaps, he is not allowed. I wish he were as free as he was six months ago, and I am sure we should have had a most interesting speech from him.

Let me tell him about one small thing in this order which did make me wonder what it was all about. At the end of the first paragraph it says: Except minerals more than 50 feet below the surface. Why in the world was that put in? It must have some meaning. We are not likely to get a mine like the Lelant Mine. We are not likely to have anything of that sort, and I think it a quite unsuitable thing to put in this order. The order will adversely affect the two cases where we have the best raw materials. It will do that at a time when there is a terrific shortage of lime in the West Country, and when there has been a tremendous effort by the Government to subsidise lime—quite rightly. It is giving away what the sea freely gives to the people of Cornwall in the way of lime. It is being done, possibly only for the sake of one small bit of road which will do minute good in proportion to the value of the sand, or possibly for one or two nice, charming seaside people going to live there.

In my constituency more people live by the sea than in the hinterland, and the last thing I want to do is to say anything against them. However, there will only be one or two villas affected; it cannot run into dozens. "Ah," says the Minister, "you get a little bit of erosion here, and it goes round, and then at somewhere else the tide takes the sand out." That is correct; but on this coast the tide is moving the sand in and out; it is always pouring in more and more from the bottom of the ocean. For the latter part of my life I have lived near a beach, and have noticed that sometimes it is down four or five feet, yet in four or five days thousands of tons will be back there.

Under these orders the Government are taking from the Cornish people and farmers something which they have always had; the Government are taking away the very best of the sand which is wanted at the present time. I hope that on this occasion the Minister will say that he will adjourn the discussion for the moment and go into the question more fully with the Minister of Agriculture. If he would do that, I feel sure that, on his own showing, the balance would be in favour of agriculture rather than the consideration of a very small amount of coast erosion.

9.22 p.m.

Captain Crookshank (Gainsborough)

After that most powerful appeal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), I will intervene for only a few minutes. This is not a matter, of course, on which I am an expert, but it strikes me that the House is in some difficulty tonight. There are five Members for the County of Cornwall; three have spoken against these orders; the fourth, who is the local Member, is unfortunately ill—and possibly would not have spoken, because he has a new affiliation and may have felt that he had to support the Minister—the fifth, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, is sitting next to the Minister, and has been looking very glum during most of the Debate, and, so far as I can judge, does not appear to be very much in favour of these orders.

The Minister has based his whole case upon the coast erosion aspect of the problem He gave me the impression that the representations—or whatever they were—made in the beginning were such that he, as Minister responsible for dealing with coast erosion, had no option at that stage than to go forward and institute the necessary statutory inquiries, which I gathered he had done, and that in the long run that was all with which he was concerned. I take it that the Members for the Cornish constituencies are not themselves at all anxious that their county should disappear under the sea, and that they are just as much in favour of proper coast protection in dealing with the problem of coast erosion as the Minister or anybody else. They have all stressed the agricultural effects which may follow from these two orders.

When the Minister was speaking he made a point which at first sounded a good one. He said that when the Act of James I had been passed the amount of sand taken from this region was naturally limited to the means of transport of that day, and, therefore, the potential damage was obviously much less than in these days of highly mechanised transport, when, not only were the larger vehicles able to take away more sand, but able to take it greater distances. At first blush, that sounds quite a good argument, until one asks oneself, "Why should they use the larger vehicles to take the sand further distances?" The answer has been supplied: Because of the great value of this sand. I understand—no doubt the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—that his colleague the Minister of Agriculture actually subsidises the obtaining of this sand, and not only the getting of it, but its distribution to farms in Cornwall. If that is so, it seems to me that we are up against a real conflict of interest. The right hon. Gentleman's only concern is coast protection, and we understand that, but when it becomes a matter of this scale, such as my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Camborne (Commander Agnew) has said, involving anything up to 60,000 tons of lime, and all that means in terms of transport and so on, it becomes a Governmental rather than a Departmental matter.

Mr. Bevan

That is why I am handling it.

Captain Crookshank

I can recognise that the right hon. Gentleman is speaking for the Government, but in the absence of his agricultural colleagues. It strikes me that there is a case, as this is apparently not a matter of urgency and there are a great many days when this order can lie on the Table, and in view of the fact that the House is to rise so soon, for the Minister to consider adjourning the Debate, and during the interval to have some other kind of inquiry than this purely statutory one. I can understand the kind of inquiry he has already had, but could not he have some independent experts, say two people, who could go down and really assess the position? Perhaps the Minister will consider that, and not urge the putting through of this order tonight.

9.27 p.m.

Mr. Medland (Plymouth, Drake)

I should like to ask one or two questions before the Minister replies. I have been very interested to hear my fellow West-countrymen pleading a case tonight, but I think that a great deal of it has been done with the tongue in the cheek. Anyone would think that this sand was used entirely for agricultural purposes. Will they definitely tell the House that none of this sand is sold by dealers? Will they tell the House that none of it is sold to builders' merchants?

Commander Agnew

Since we have been asked the question, may I tell the House? It is very well known that in the county of Cornwall, as elsewhere, there is practically a cessation of all private building, and that the only building being done is at the instance of the local authorities under licence. Anyone who knew any- thing at all about building would not be so foolish as to suppose that these building authorities would use sea sand.

Mr. Medland

That is very interesting, because the biggest customer for Cornish sand is the local authority with which I have served for the last 25 years, and we are buying sand from Cornwall for the whole of the reconstruction of our works. Hon. Members opposite know that the sand is used for all sorts of other purposes besides agriculture.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Bevan

I hoped that it might have been possible to get these orders through the House without any acrimony. Hon. Members opposite have been really asking for it the whole evening, but I was not proposing to take much notice of some of the arguments they advanced, because I know that certain hon. Members' speeches were intended for the consumption of their constituents. I was, however, astonished by the intervention of the right hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank). What did he suggest? This is an Act of 1939. This is an Act of a prewar Government, or a Government of hon. Members opposite, of which he was a Member. It imposed upon the responsible Minister the necessity for conducting an inquiry in accordance with certain statutory formalities. What does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman suggest? That the procedure laid down in their Act is now inadequate, and that I should set aside the Statute and adopt an entirely different sort of procedure? I have never heard of a more amazing suggestion from a person who is supposed to have had experience.

The trouble with the right hon. and gallant Gentleman is that his mind is so polemically disposed that he is more concerned about the arguments than the merits of the case. Will he tell the House under what authority I can conduct an inquiry except this. In what other way can I spend public money in conducting an inquiry except under Statute. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman really talks nonsense. He had to talk nonsense, because after listening to three speeches from hon. Members behind him, he had to find an excuse for intervening. The fact is that hon. Gentlemen opposite have made no case at all.

Let us take Rock Bay for example. It is prohibited by the order to take sand from within certain prescribed limits. The protest is that if farmers are denied the right of taking sand, they will not have sand for their farms. They cannot take sand from within the prescribed limits, because there is no sand there. They have to take sand from outside the prescribed limits. What the order does is to prevent them from taking any sand that may be deposited within the limits. A great deal of what we have heard from the other side was hyperbole. There is nothing about the Rock Bay order which prohibits them from taking sand for the land. About Harlyn Bay the proposal in the order is the compromise to which the farmers themselves agreed. I said that in my opening speech. [Interruption.] Really hon. Members opposite ought to learn up their case before they make such long speeches about it.

Mr. Beechman

The right hon. Gentleman says that this is what the farmers agreed. I can only say what the Farmers' Union told me, and they said emphatically that this is not the case.

Mr. Bevan

I am concerned at the moment with a gentleman's agreement which was violated and which farmers themselves accepted. All that is embodied in the order is that which it was substantially agreed should be the limits to sand taking. We are not really concerned about that. What we are concerned about is the fact that there is obviously what is conceived to be a conflict of interest between the residents and farmers and the obligations which the Statute imposes upon the Minister. One can understand why it is that during the passage of all the years we have never had an effective coast erosion plan from hon. Members opposite. It was because they could never stand up at any time against the pressure of any vested interest whatsoever. The speeches we have had this evening have been a scandalous disgrace to this House, because what we are here concerned with is what we have had over and over again from hon. Members opposite. There have been appeals after appeals by Conservative Members for us to protect the coasts of Great Britain against erosion, but because it interferes with free lime for a few farmers they cannot stand the pressure.

Commander Agnew rose——

Mr. Bevan

No, I will not give way. The hon. and learned Member for St. Ives (Mr. Beechman) asked where were the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture. Why should the Minister be here as a witness? There is a Minister here setting forth the case on behalf of the Government. All these considerations have been taken into account. They have been considered at the inquiry and considered after the inquiry. The conclusion we have reached is that the protection of these bays and the protection of the coast of Cornwall must come first. I disagree entirely with the exaggerated language used by the hon. and learned Member. He described the plight of Cornish agriculture, being denied sand in this area. Surely there are other parts of Great Britain where the land has not sufficient lime content, but the lime has to be brought there. Lime still can be taken here, but if the farmers in Cornwall have to choose between destroying their coast and getting lime from outside they must get lime from outside. There is here a clear conflict of interest. The hon. and learned Member spoke about this order being ultra vires. If it is ultra vires he need not bother about it. It would have no effect.

As a matter of fact the Act of 1939 used language specifically to deal with a case of this sort. It states—I will not quote the whole of the Clause because it is too long— … as may be stated in the notice, a memorial is presented to the Board by some person having an interest, right or privilege conferred on him by any local or private Act which would be affected by the order … In fact, we know that in many instances it is impossible for the State to step in and protect the coast of England from erosion because some private persons with traditional interests are sitting and squatting and all the while it is falling into the sea. If they fell into the sea with it, it would not be so bad. Therefore, we have found it necessary to state our views in this regard and I am quite sure that hon. Members in all parts of the House will consider the general interest before they consider the particular interest advanced this evening.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, Noes, 93.

Division No. 48.] AYES. [9.40 p.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Field, Capt. W. J. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Mort, D. L.
Alpass, J. H. Forman, J. C. Moyle, A.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Murray, J. D
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Freeman, Peter (Newport) Nally, W.
Attewell, H. C. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Neal, H. (Claycross)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Gibson, C. W. Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Austin, H. Lewis Gilzean, A. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Awbery, S. S. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Oldfield, W. H.
Ayles, W. H. Goodrich, H. E. Oliver, G. H.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Orbach, M.
Acland, Sir R. Grenfell, D. R. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Bacon, Miss A. Grey, C. F. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Baird, J. Grierson, E. Palmer, A. M. F.
Balfour, A. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Pargiter, G. A.
Barstow, P. G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Parkin, B. T
Bartlett, V. Gunter, R. J. Pearson, A.
Barton, C. Guy, W. H. Peart, T. F.
Battley, J. R. Hale, Leslie Perrins, W.
Bechervaise, A. E. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Benson, G. Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)
Berry, H. Hardy E. A. Popplewell, E.
Beswick, F. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Porter, E. (Warrington)
Bing, G. H. C. Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford) Porter, G. (Leeds)
Binns, J. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Price, M. Philips
Blackburn, A. R. Hewitson, Capt. M. Pritt, D. N.
Blenkinsop, A. Hobson, C. R. Proctor, W. T.
Blyton, W. R. Holman, P. Pryde, D. J.
Boardman, H. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Hoy, J. Randall, H. E.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Ranger, J.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Rankin, J.
Brown, George (Belper) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Reeves, J.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Rhodes, H.
Buchanan, G. Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.) Richards, R.
Burden, T. W. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Burke, W. A. Janner, B. Robens, A.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Jay, D. P. T. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Callaghan, James Jeger, G. (Winchester) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Chamberlain, R. A. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Champion, A. J. Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley) Royle, C.
Coldrick, W. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool) Sargood, R.
Collick, P Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Scollan, T.
Collindridge, F. Keenan, W. Scott-Elliot, W.
Collins, V. J. Kendall, W D Shackleton, E. A. A.
Colman, Miss G. M. Kenyon, C Sharp, Granville
Comyns, Dr. L. Key, C. W Shurmer, P.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. King, E. M. Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Corlett, Dr. J. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Simmons, C. J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Kinley, J. Skinnard, F. W.
Daines, P. Lang, G. Smith, C. (Colchester)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lee, F. (Hulme) Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Leslie, J. R. Solley, L. J.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Sorensen, R. W.
Deer, G. Lindgren, G. S. Soskice, Maj. Sir F
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lipson, D. L. Sparks, J. A.
Delargy, H. J. Longden, F. Stamford, W.
Diamond, J. Lyne, A. W. Steele, T.
Dobbie, W McAdam, W. Stewart, Michael (Fulham. E.)
Dodds, N. N. McEntee, V. La T Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Driberg, T. E. N. MoGhee, H. G. Stross, Dr. B.
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) McGovern, J. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Dumpleton, C. W. McKinlay, A. S. Swingler, S.
Durbin, E. F. M. Maclean, N. (Govan) Sylvester, G. O.
Dye, S. McLeavy, F. Symonds, A. L.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) Mallalieu, J. P. W Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Edwards, John (Blackburn) Mann, Mrs. J. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.) Mathers, Rt. Hon. George Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Medland, H. M. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Evans, John (Ogmore) Messer, F. Thurtle, Ernest
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Middleton, Mrs. L. Tiffany, S.
Ewart, R. Mitchison, G. R. Timmons, J.
Fairhurst, F. Moody, A. S. Titterington, M. F
Farthing, W. J. Morley, R. Tolley, L
Fernyhough, E. Morgan, Dr. H. B Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Ungoed-Thomas, L. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.) Willis, E.
Usborne, Henry White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Vernon, Maj. W. F. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H
Viant, S. P. Wigg, George Woodburn, A.
Walker, G. H. Wilkes, L. Woods, G. S.
Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) Wilkins, W. A. Wyatt, W.
Warbey, W. N. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland) Yates, V. F.
Watson, W. M. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Webb, M. (Bradford, C.) Williams, D. J. (Neath) Zilliacus, K.
Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wheatley, J. T. (Edinburgh, E) Williams, W. R. (Heston) Mr. Snow and
Mr. George Wallace.
Amory, D. Heathcoa. Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Peo, Brig. C. H. M.
Baldwin, A. E. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Barlow, Sir J. Grimston, R. V. Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Raikes, H. V.
Beechman, N. A. Hogg, Hon. Q. Rayner, Brig. R.
Birch, Nigel Hurd, A. Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Keeling, E. H. Ropner, Col. L.
Bossom, A. C. Kerr, Sir J. Graham Sanderson, Sir F.
Bower, N. Lambert, Hon. G. Scott, Lord W.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. McCallum, Maj. D. Smithers, Sir W.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Snadden, W. M.
Challen, C. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Spence, H. R.
Channon, H. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Clarke, Col. R. S. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Marples, A. E. Turton, R. H.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Marsden, Capt. A. Vane, W. M. F.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Walker-Smith, D.
Crowder, Capt. John E. Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Darling, Sir W. Y. Mellor, Sir J. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Davidson, Viscountess Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
De la Bère, R. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith) McCorquodale, Rt. Hon M. S. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Drayson, G. B. Neven-Spence, Sir B. York, C.
Drewe, C. Nicholson, G. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Duthie, W. S. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Erroll, F. J. Orr-Ewing, I. L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Odey, G. W. Commander Agnew and
Mr. Studholme.

Resolved: That the Draft Harlyn Bay (Cornwall) Coast Protection Order, 1947, made by the Minister of Health under Section of the Coast Protection Act, 1939, a copy of which Order was presented on 12th November, be approved.

Resolved: That the Draft Rock Bay (Cornwall) Coast Protection Order, 1947, made by the Minister of Health under Section f of the Coast Protection Act, 1939, a copy of which Order was presented on 12th November, be approved."—[Mr. Bevan.]