§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Office of Woods and Forests, whether, in view of the possibility, in the event of war with one of the chief manufacturing countries, of a shortage in the supply of acetone, a necessary medium in the manufacture of cordite and other Government explosives, the difficulties inherent in its profitable production by private manufacturers, the amount of second-rate timber and of coppice in the Royal forests suitable for conversion into this product and not otherwise easily realisable, and the necessity for the development of woodland industries comparable with those existing in Germany, Belgium, and other Continental countries, His Majesty's Commissioner of Woods will, with the concurrence of the Treasury, the War Office, and the Admiralty, set up, either in the Forest of Dean or the New Forest, a factory for the manufacture of acetone in sufficient quantities to meet all national requirements?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hobhouse)
The Commissioner of Woods brought this matter to my notice, and he is at my suggestion making inquiries into the subject.
§ Mr. MUSPRATT
Is there any real justification for the statement that the difficulties inherent in the production by private manufacturers are insuperable?