HC Deb 08 August 1919 vol 119 cc845-6

This Act shall terminate ten years from the date that it cornea into force unless the House of Commons shall determine that it be continued in its present or any other form.


I do not propose to press this new Clause. My reason for putting it down was to try and determine that there should be continuity of policy in connection with the afforestation scheme. We all know a Committee will be set up very shortly on Federal Devolution. It is just possible that within the course of the next two or three years we will have Devolution or National Parliaments in this country, and it is further possible that, In the course of arranging the subjects which are to be delegated to those Parliaments, this question of afforestation might come up for consideration. I hold a perfectly open view as to whether, in time to come, afforestation should form, or should not form, part of the functions of the local National Parliament. It is just possible—it is quite probable, indeed—that this may be the most effective way of carrying out, in years to come, afforestation, but in the meantime we have this Bill. It is a Bill which purports to deal comprehensively with afforestation throughout the United Kingdom. If is a Bill which will especially apply to Scotland from the point of view that there is a larger amount of ground in Scotland available for afforestation, and I think it would be extremely unsatisfactory and extremely damaging to the interest of the whole afforestation scheme if it were not known by the Forestry Commission, and by the officials who work under them, that they have a continuity of policy. It was with this object that I placed this Clause upon the Paper, but I do not wish to press it.


The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to make n speech if he is not moving.

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