HC Deb 04 February 1926 vol 191 cc316-7

The following Question stood on the Order paper in the name of Mr. MACKENZIK LIVINGSTONE:

62. To ask the Prime Minister whether in view of the growing demand of the paper-making industry, he will appoint a commission to inquire into the possibility of growing pulp wood in this country, especially in the Scottish Highlands and Islands?


Is it in Order, Mr. Speaker, to draw your attention to the fact that no questions asked regarding the operations of the Forestry Commissioners can ever be answered in this House?


The hon. Member who represents the Forestry Commission is most conscientious in his attendance to answer questions. Today there must be some mistake.


May I draw your attention to the fact that no Minister of the Crown is responsible for the operations of these Commissioners, and that questions have been frequently put and never answered?


May I ask why the Prime Minister, to whom I put my question, does net answer?


I regret very much this error has occurred. When going through my questions this morning, I asked the Forestry Commission for information on this subject, and a representative of the Forestry Commissioners was to have answered this question. Evidently there has been some error, I am afraid, but I do not know how it has occurred. I will make inquiries.


In view of the extension of forestry work outlined in the Agricultural Report, will the right hon. Gentleman see that in future there will be a recognised Minister of the Crown responsible for answering these questions?


That is a matter worth consideration. Under the constitution of the Forestry Commission as set up—if my recollection serves me aright—by Parliament, there is, as the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) said, no actual responsible Minister. I will take the whole matter into consideration.

[See Written Answers this day—col. 324.]