HC Deb 08 August 1919 vol 119 cc847-8

(1) For the purposes of this Act, it shall be lawful for His Majesty by warrant under the sign manual to appoint seven commissioners, to be styled the Forestry Commissioners, of whom one, to be appointed by His Majesty, shall be chairman.


I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words, "and one, at least, to be a person having scientific attainments and technical knowledge of forestry."

I should very much regret if this Bill went before the public without having some provision in it requiring that one, at least, of the Commissioners shall be a man of general scientific knowledge. It would be, I am quite certain, a reproach to the House of Commons if it were to go forth that a new means of productive industry, towards which £350,000 a year for ten years are to be expended, should be in the hands of Commissioners, not one of whom might have any knowledge of science. An Amendment has already been accepted in Committee to this Clause to the effect that not less than two of the Commissioners shall have special knowledge and experience of plantation and forestry in Scotland. That is a very useful and necessary Amendment for the afforestation of the large number of acres in Scotland. At the same time such knowledge might be entirely empirical. Such men might be excellent at organisation for commercial purposes, but there is nothing to show that they would have other than a rule-of-thumb knowledge or be in the possession of high scientific attainment, which afforestation requires.


I beg to second the Amendment.


It is quite true I accepted a similar Amendment in Committee, as my hon. Friend says, and I am quite prepared to accept this.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question, ''That the Bill be now read the third time," put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the third time, and passed, with Amendments.