HC Deb 25 May 1905 vol 146 cc1383-4

To ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether there is a distinct forestry section in his Department under a responsible head; whether he can state how far his Department accepts responsibility for promoting sylviculture in England, Wales, and Scotland; and in what respects its responsibility is shared by other Departments, more especially with regard to providing facilities for sylvicultural training.

(Answered by Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.) There is no distinct forestry section in the Board of Agriculture, but my Department deals annually with many applications for advice on forestry subjects, and in other ways does much to disseminate a knowledge of sound sylvicultural practice. The Board of Agriculture support two lectureships on forestry in the University Colleges situated in Bangor and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and I understand that not only is the demand for instruction, at these places very satisfactory, but the experts in charge are largely consulted by the owners of woodlands. My Department has already given effect to the recommendation of the Committee, of which the hon. Member was Chairman, that the attention of corporations and municipalities be drawn to the desirability of planting with trees the catchment areas of their water supply; and I am now making arrangements to carry out the recommendation of the same Committee in regard to forestry statistics. While my Department accepts full responsibility for the general improvement of forestry in England and Wales, I have to acknowledge very friendly co-operation on the part of the Office of Woods, which has established a school in the Forest of Dean for the practical training of foresters, and in other ways has done mach to help forward the movement. I have also received much valuable assistance from the Local Government Boards of England and Scotland in connection with the inquiry into the afforestation of the catchment areas of public water supplies. Education in forestry in Scotland, as the hon. Member is aware, does not fall within the province of my Board.