HC Deb 25 March 1912 vol 36 cc12-3

asked whether it is the intention of the Government to set up a school o£ forestry in the University of Aberdeen; whether Edinburgh University was the first university in Great Britain to appoint a lecturer in forestry and is still the only university having a full graduation course in that subject; and whether, in view of these facts, the Government will consider the advisability of making Edinburgh University the official Government school of forestry?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask him whether he will defer the announcement of any decision in this matter until all the parties concerned have had full opportunity of studying the Report recently made by the Commission on Forestry?


The question of forestry in Scotland has been under the consideration of a Departmental Committee, whose Report [Cd. 6085] was published at the end of last week, and it would be premature for me to make any statement till that Report had been fully considered. I am aware of what Edinburgh University has done as regards forestry.


Arising out of that answer, may I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the largest forestry classes are at the present moment held at the University of Aberdeen, which is situated in the most extensive forest area in Scotland; and, further, whether he can explain how it would be justifiable for the Development Commissioners to give £9,000 to the Edinburgh University without waiting for the Report of the Committee especially appointed to report on this subject without any regard to the claims of other universities?


In answer to the first question, the position of Aberdeen University will also be a matter for consideration at the same time as that of Edinburgh University. The other question deals with a matter which does not arise out of that Report, and I must ask the hon. Member to give me notice of it.


I will give notice for Wednesday, and, if the answer is not satisfactory, I shall raise this very important matter on Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Captain MURRAY

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the chief forestry centre should be near the principal timber-growing areas?


May I inquire if before a final settlement is arrived at we shall have an opportunity of discussing it in this House?


That is a question not for me, but for the Prime Minister to answer.

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