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18° Julii, 1927.] Captain JOHN COUCH ADAMS ROSEVEARE.
without. If they were without one deducted that rateable value, and then tool a proportion for the remainder in the same proportion as the proportion of the parish which was within and without. It is therefore not by any means absolute. It cannot be absolute until you go into every single holding, but we believe the result is quite reasonable, and certainly as correct as one could get for the purpose of Parliamentary proceedings.
1730. Would you just explain a matter that my learned friend, Mr. Jeeves, asked on Friday, and that is the total amount payable by agricultural land and other hereditaments respectively under the rates in Columns 10 and 11? Am I right in saying that the totals will be found my multiplying the figures at the bottom of Columns 6 and 7 by a rate of 23.29d. ?-Yes, the totals at the bottom of Columns 6 and 7 are added and produce the total assessable value given in Column 8.
1731. That is taken for hereditaments at one-third?-Certainly, because the other reduction is already made in the column. Therefore, that is a figure on which one can produce the full rate, and to produce the figure given at the bottom of Column 9 one finds a rate of 23.29d., just under the 2s., is necessary. Therefore, that is the basis on which all the figures in this table to the right are obtained. That is an average, of course, on the whole area. Column 11 gives just one-third of that for a matter of convenience.
1732. Mr. Bidder, could you get the figures for King's Lynn included in six and seven. If he has not got them now, will he make a note?-It is necessary for that to put in the table which I have prepared with regard to certain towns. I can give that, if necessary, or put in the able.
1733. I d、 not care how you give me it, so that you give me it? The rateable value of King's Lynn is included in that of the County.
1734. Can you get out the figures for King's Lynn?-Yes. The rateable value of the town as on the 1st April, 1924, in the Ouse District, that is in the low
lands, is, as to agricultural lands, £7,111; as to other hereditaments, £85,830.
1735. That is, the one-third value of other hereditaments in King's Lynn represents £85,830?-No, what I said was that that was the rateable value, not the reduced rateable value.
1736. That is the total, before taking the one-third in respect of this raterYes. Naturally, therefore, from the large Table, King's Lynn, as others in Norfolk, pays that average rate of 23-29d. on agricultural land, and one-third of it on other hereditaments. The total amount is given in this column as being £2,775. That is on account of Ouse Drainage Board rates.
1737. Is that clear now? So much for the area north and east of the Wissey. Will you tell the Committee why part of the Littleport and Downham Drainage Commissioners' area, which had been excluded, should be included in the South Level area?-I take it the reason why the Ouse Commission suggested this should be outside the South Level was because it drained by pumping into the Hundred Foot River, but, in my opinion, that is not a good enough reason for taking them out of the South Level. One thing is, although it is not an essential reason, that you are taking half of an internal area out of the South Level and leaving the other half in.
1738. Is this inclusion opposed?-We have not had any opposition yet. There is no objection to it yet.
1739. This is in the Isle of Ely, is not it? I think it probably would be. That would be in the Isle of Ely-the Administrative County of the Isle of Ely. Mr. Bidder.] I will come now to page 11 of your Proof, section 83.
1740. Before you leave that point, why were these districts not put into the original plan?--Into the original deposited plans?
1741. Yes?-Because at the time that the original deposited plan was prepared -in fact continuously-it was decided to
18° Julii, 1927.] Captain JOHN COUCH ADAMS ROSEVEARE.
put forward a Bill based on the Ouse Commission's Report and, therefore, it was thought better to put a plan in with those areas excluded from the South Level, but with the provision that they should pay a sum of an unknown amount towards the South Level.
Mr. Bidder.] You will see, my Lord, in the Commission's map, these districts are shown as outside the South Level.
Mr. Macmillan.] And the matter is dealt with at paragraph 83, page 25 of the Commissioners' Report.
1742. Have they had any notice of the intention to include them?-They have had a very good hint in the fact that the Ministry held an Inquiry into the works in the South Level.
1743. That is all the notice they have had? At the present moment they are within the area, that is to say, within the South Level area which is to be; it is not set up as a South Level Board, of course. They are actually paying towards those works of £140,000 which are being carried out at the present moment, as is also the Wissey area.
1744. I am speaking of the Wissey area? The same applies in both cases exactly. They are both paying towards the works being carried out in the South Level at the present moment on a flat
1745. Would you turn to paragraph 83 of your Proof?—Yes.
1746. The recommendation of the Ouse Commission Report was that the boundary of the direct rating area should be five feet above high spring tides. What relation does the line that you have selected bear to that? That line which has been selected by the Ministry is 20 feet above ordnance datum. This is not as much as five feet above the highest spring tide.
1747. It is inside the Commissioners' recommendation ?-It is decidedly below the Commissioners' recommendation. It is a fact that the Ouse Commission said 20 feet above ordnance datum, and to that extent we are exactly within what they said, but their statement that that was five feet above the highest spring tide was under-stating the mark. It is not as much.
1748. You are adopting the 20 feet in the Report, but it is not five feet above the highest spring tide ?-That is so.
1749. There are certain lands already in the drainage district which are above the line and which are within the drainage district?-Yes, in Norfolk they amount to 102 acres; Isle of Ely, 70 acres; Cambridge, 896 acres; West Suffolk, 134 acres, being a total of-slightly different to that stated-1,202 acres.
1750. Would you describe how the 20 feet contour line has been actually sited on the ground and the steps taken to do so? All the work in the field and in plotting on plans has been done by the Ordnance Survey Department of Southampton on instructions from the Ministry. They have plotted the 20 feet and the plans which we now have prepared have been based on that correct information. The watershed line has been surveyed under my direction and is, I think, a correct one, and I think the first correct one which has even been made of the Ouse catchment basin. There were many inacuracies, or there was a very large inaccuracy in the plain which was published many years ago showing what actually was the acreage of that catchment area, and that is why the learned gentleman has been somewhat misled in taking that old figure, which is an incorrect figure.
1751. One or two questions with respect to certain matters raised this morning, and then I have done. First of all, what type of material will be obtained by the dredging that is proposed?--In the Old Bedford River you refer to?
1752. Yes?-My information is that majority-in fact practically all-of the material which will be obtained by dredging the Old Bedford River is good clay and that, therefore, that material will be of great benefit if placed properly on the Middle Level-so called-Barrier Bank, the real name of which is the Old Bedford Barrier Bank.
1753. With regard to the Corporation Bank, what do you say as to the state of that above Denver Sluice?-With regard to the Old Corporation Bank, that is the Hundred Foot or New Bedford Bank, that is in comparatively good condition above Welmore Lake Sluice. It is
in much better condition than the Old Bedford Barrier Bank or the Middle Level (so called) Barrier Bank, but north of, or down stream of Welmore Lake
18° Julii, 1927.] Captain JOHN COUCH ADAMS ROSEVEARE.
1755. That it would be desirable from their point of view. I will put it in that way. (To the witness.) First of all, can the present sluice be closed during flood time that lets water on to the Washes ?-It should not be according to the statutory requirements. should not be closed.
1756. Section 12 of the Act of 1920 ?That is so.
1757. Is it the case under that Section that the sluice has to be opened when the water is above 11.74 above ordnance datum during winter?—Yes.
1758. What is the level of the proposed weir?-It was put in as approximately 12.9, I think.
1759. 12-64, I have here?-12.64, yes, perhaps.
1760. If that is so under present conditions, the water would go on to the Washlands before the proposed weir would let it on, and would continue to go on after the proposed weir would have stopped it. Is that so? That is so. Mr. St. John Raikes.] Is that summer or winter?
1761. In summer the Act allows of the drawing of the gate, or rather the gate not being drawn, until the water is up to 13-74, which is slightly above the level of the weir?-That is so.
1762. But it cannot be closed again until the water has fallen below that level? That is so.
1763. Therefore, in a high flood, at the present moment, it is impossible to
close the sluice on to the Washlands during the period of the floods ?-Certainly.
Sir Murdoch Macdonald.
1764. What depth of water will go, under this scheme, on the Washlands. What depth will be on the land itself in flood time in the worst case that Mr. Binnie was referring to ?-I think he stated that. He had a Table, Sir Murdoch. I have not the Table actually here.
1765. Mr. Binnie stated the Washlands were five feet higher than the other land on the left hand side?-Undoubtedly they will be higher because the Washlands have not sunk, because they have not been drained as the other lands have. The Fens have sunk very much because they have been drained, whereas the Washlands have been continuously flooded during flood and, therefore, rather than sinking they have slightly risen, no doubt.
1766. At any rate there is five feet difference between the two sets of land now?—I should think it is quite likely.
1767. In what you call the Fenlands, is there no cultivation now? Are they not drained?-In the Fenlands, yes.
1768. There will be no further sinking, will there?-Oh, certainly. The sinking, I should say, will go on continuously, although the rate of sinking now is nothing like what it was when they were first drained. The rate of sinking in newly drained land is very high at first.
1769. Has not it been drained hundreds of years, this land?-Yes.
1770. And you expect it still further to sink? Yes, that is why the drainage is giving such trouble, that it is continuously sinking, and the better drained it is the more it sinks.
1771. At any rate, there is five feet difference at the present moment between the two sets of land?-I should think it is, without having sections of it.
1772. If the Fenlands are better drained and sink still further, there will be a still further difference between them?-Certainly.
1773. Is the Washland, owing to silt going on to it from these various floods, increasing?-Undoubtedly it is increasing, but I should say now not at the rate it was before, because silting depends on the depth of water, all other things being equal, that goes on to it,
18° Julii, 1927.] Captain JOHN COUCH ADAMS ROSEVEARE.
and as it goes on the accretion, as in the open sea, becomes less and less.
1774. But the time will come when these lands, so far as reservoir purposes are concerned, will be wiped out?Taking it to the extreme a very extreme case-I suppose that is in theory correct, as it is an undoubted fact that there is less accommodation there now than there was in Vermuyden's time. There is less accommodation there than there when Vermuyden made his work. 1775. And it is gradually getting less? -Yes.
1776. As things settle on the soil this particular thing is getting less, and in the last 200 years I was going to imagine —but what you have said may alter that -that the accretion of 5 feet was what took place since Vermuyden's works, 200 years ago? No, certainly, because of the sinkage in the Fens. I should say the sinkage in the Fens is a number of times greater than the accretion in the Washes -a number of times.
1777. In fact, the bottom of the fenland must be peat land?-It is. It is always on the peat that you get the greatest sinking, as in the case of Whittlesea Mere, where the sinkage has been about 10 feet in seven years.
1778. Is it peaty land on those Washlande? No, there is a great deal of clay there.
1779. So the Washlands will not sink? -Not unless they are better drained.
If they were better drained and not used as Washlands I think they would sink, but not to the same extent as if they were entirely peat, but they are peat in places.
1780. But the works you are proposing to carry out now will envisage one dayit may be about 200 years hence the practical abolition of the Washlands for reservoir purposes?-Not in 200 years.
1781. It will be a longer time than that? A longer time than that.
Mr. St. John Raikes.] I wanted to make a formal application. It is in reference to the Ministry, but I make it in public. I ask for Captain Mathew's Section taken in 1925. I have only had the longitudinal section supplied to me, which I am told is not what we want. I only want to impress in public that what we want is the cross sections. I am sure you will let us have them.
1782. Have you got them, Captain Roseveare?-It was made for the Ouse Board, not for the Ministry.
Chairman.] You had better find them. (The Witness is directed to withdraw.) (The Counsel and Parties are directed to withdraw.)
Ordered: That this Committee be adjourned to to-morrow, 11 o'clock.
The Counsel and Parties are ordered to be called in.
Chairman.] Mr. Macmillan, we have now reached the sixth day of our sittings, and I understand that it is confidently expected that Parliament will adjourn at the end of next week, which
leaves us, I think, eight more days because we do not sit on Thursday. Then, I suppose, there is this further consideration that the legal vacation beginswhen?
19° Julii, 1927.]
Mr. Macmillan.] Next Friday week, the 29th, the Courts adjourn if I am not mistaken. Nominally Saturday week.
Chairman.] It would probably be inconvenient to everybody that we should meet after that date; it would certainly be inconvenient to us, and probably inconvenient to you. So that takes us over to the Autumn if we do not get through by the end of next week.
Mr. Macmillan.] We appreciate that; I think with an effort we might be able to manage within the time. I have told my learned friends where we stand. Captain Roseveare will be cross-examined to-day. Then I shall call a representative of the Ministry. Beyond that I was not proposing to lead any evidence, so the Petitioners might expect either to address you or begin their evidence, let us say, perhaps to-morrow afternoon, Wednesday afternoon; Thursday you do not propose to sit. That would give about six days to the Petitioners. I should have thought that that would have been sufficient to present the points; that is, of course, entirely for my learned friends
Chairman.] It appeared to me we are at this moment concentrating, are we not, on the engineering side of the scheme, the practical feasibility of the scheme?
Mr. Macmillan.] Yes, because the witnesses have been engineering witnesses.
Chairman.] There are other points I grant of very great importance and very great principle which would naturally affect the preamble in a Private Bill. This is not, of course, a private Bill in the same sense; in fact, I understand, there is only one precedent for this that we have to go by at all, and that is the ight that took place in these rooms over the Port of London.
Mr. Macmillan.] There have been other Hybrid Bills I have had the honour of promoting before, but not perhaps on the same line of procedure.
Chairman.] Yes; but we are concentrating now on the engineering feasibility. If we come to a decision that your proposals should go forward with or without alteration, the question of rating, which is, I suppose, the next most important part, however important in principle, arises on a clause, and if we find that the scheme should go forward, as I say from the engineering point of view, the rating questions could be raised on
the clauses, and I have been advised that probably the best course for this Committee would be, so to speak, to pass the preamble; that is to say, to pass the practicability of the scheme, and then to call upon the different objectors to frame their amendments to the clauses if they wish to do so, and to hand them in by some later date. I think I have made that clear-if we find that the scheme is practicable and should go forward with or without amendment, or without suggestions from us as to amendments, then to leave it to the different parties to produce their amendments especially, or to object to the whole clause as it stands, but not to deal with the rating until we come to the clause itself.
Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] May I say on that point there are certain novel proposals made in this Bill with reference to rating.
Chairman.] There are other clauses too. Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] I mean in regard to rating there are certain novel proposals and new principles put forward. I understand there is a gentleman who is going to be called on behalf of the Ministry, Mr. Dobson, and he would be the gentleman who would give evidence on those matters, and I particularly want for one of my clients to put certain questions to him on rating matters. I presume he would be called before the opponents were required to put forward their cases.
Mr. Tyldesley Jones.] Subject to that I see no objection.
Mr. Macmillan.] I rather understand that the course that my Lord indicated was the one that was followed in the Port of London Authority Case, and of course if we have any hope of concluding the Committee stage before your Lordships adjourn it would be necessary that those clauses should be ready, and pos sibly my learned friends with their advisers might occupy themselves with their amendments in order to have them ready so that there need be no delay. We know their points; we all know the points; and I should imagine they would be in a position to bring up the clauses which they propose whenever that stage emerges if it does emerge.
I should like to say something else this morning with your Lordships' leave. There are one or two technical matters which encumber this Bill, and I have been very anxious, if possible, to elimi