§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W.R., Barkston Ash)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board what proportion of the 1,514,300 trees planted in the Leeds afforestation scheme are alive or likely to thrive; whether their present condition is largely due to the want of familiarity of those employed in planting them with such work; and whether he can secure that in any future work of this kind better instruction and supervision can be given, and better results obtained.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. JOHN BURNS, Battersea)
It is estimated that 1,101,500 out of the 1,514,300 trees planted during the past three seasons' work are living and thriving at the present time. The plantations are carefully examined each season, dead trees are removed and the gaps planted, so that at present there are estimated to be 1,500,000 thriving trees. The failures are reported to be due to the lack of knowledge of the men doing the planting, but I am informed that in some cases they are caused by carelessness and want of interest on the part of the men. I may add that for the present season an experienced forester has been engaged to assist the foreman hitherto employed upon the work. Both of these, together with seven men on the permanent staff, will instruct the men and supervise the work. It is hoped that in this way much better results will be obtained.
§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
Can the right hon. Gentleman furnish the House with full information regarding this and other similar experiments in afforestation?
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
The Leeds City Council have published a Report on this experiment, copies of which 76 can be had on application to the town clerk.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
This is not a subject on which I am instructed to secure information in the ordinary way to lay upon the Table of the House, but if there is any general desire that some information should be given in a summarised form of this experiment I shall be pleased to consider it.