HC Deb 05 March 1928 vol 214 cc832-4W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the inroads of the sea upon certain parts of the coast, and seeing that some of the most serious damage occurs in districts such as the coasts of Wales, where the local authorities are financially unable adequately to cope with the problem, he is now prepared to introduce legislation making the cost of sea-defence works a national charge; and, failing this, what other steps does he propose to take?


I have been asked to reply. The whole question of coast erosion was considered by a Royal Commission, who reported in 1911 that there was no case for maintaining sea-defence works at the expense of the State. Since that date the circumstances on which the Royal Commission's decision was based would not appear to have changed, and I can hold out no hope that His Majesty's Government will adopt a policy inconsistent with that Report. As regards the last part of the question, I am in sympathy with many of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, which are designed to assist local authorities in dealing with sea-defence problems. As has already been stated, however, by the President of the Board of Trade, no undertaking can be given as to when any legislation on the subject can be introduced.