§ Mr. NEWTON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the facts as to the annual erosion on the coast of Essex and eleven other counties of England disclosed in the third and final Report of the Royal Commission on Coast Erosion and Afforestation, and in view of the great strain which the Report states the task of defending themselves against the sea often places on the resources of small local authorities, he will take steps to provide in this year's Budget some assistance out of Imperial taxes to bodies and persons engaged in the national work of protecting the shores of England from the ravages of the sea?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The Report of the Royal Commission is under consideration by the Board of Trade. I am not at present in a position to make any announcement upon the subject.
§ Mr. NEWTON
asked the Prime Minister whether he has yet taken, and, if not, when he intends to take, steps to carry out the recommendation contained in the third and final Report of the Royal Commission on Coast Erosion and Afforestation, at page 118 of that Report, that the Board of Trade should be made the central sea-defence authority, and that further powers should be conferred upon it enabling it satisfactorily to control the removal of materials and the construction of works on the shore, and enabling it also to assist, where necessary, and to supervise existing authorities concerned with coat protection, and to create 707W new authorities representing all interests affected in particular areas where such bodies may be found to be required for the purpose of sea-defence?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The recommendations in the Report are being carefully considered by the various Government Departments affected, and I am informed that the Board of Trade have asked for the views of the other Departments, but have not yet reached the stage of considering the promotion of the Bill to give effect to the recommendations.
§ Mr. NEWTON
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of the recommendation contained in the third and final report of the Royal Commission on Coast Erosion and Afforestation, at page 123 of that report, he will, when authorising loans for sea-defence purposes, allow more than twenty years as the period of repayment of loans for solid defence works; and whether, in the case of existing loans incurred for solid defence-works by small local authorities whose task of defending themselves against the sea places a great strain on their resources, he will extend the period for repayment of the amount outstanding?
§ Mr. BURNS
It is the practice of the Board, in fixing the term for the repayment of loans for works of sea defence, to have regard to the design of the proposed works, and also to their probable life, and it is for this reason that the Board have in certain cases fixed twenty years as the appropriate term for repayment. Unfortunately, the poverty of an area does not extend the probable life of works of sea defence.