§ 46. Sir A. SINCLAIR
asked the Prime Minister what steps His Majesty's Government have taken to draft the legislation which, in the opinion of the Forestry Commission, it is urgently necessary to pass at the beginning of next Session; and whether he will direct a systematic survey of the whole country to made forthwith in order that accurate information should be available, county by county, as to the amount of waste land which could be profitably planted?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald McNeill)
As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated in reply to a question by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) on 30th June, the future policy of the Government in regard to afforestation is now under consideration.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Since then has the Report of the Forestry Commission been published, saying the matter is now urgent, and can the hon. Gentleman give us an assurance with regard to the second part of the question as to a systematic survey county by county?
§ Mr. McNEILL
I have no doubt that will be considered, as the whole future 402 policy of the Government in relation to afforestation is being considered, but as the representative of the Treasury I should most strongly deprecate embarking on ally such costly enterprise, the usefulness of which is very problematical.
§ 51. Mr. JENKINS
asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, what steps have been taken to secure the land in the parish of Glyncorrwg for planting trees; and is he aware of the large number of unemployed in that area due to the closing down of collieries?
§ Sir LEOLIN FORESTIER-WALKER (Forestry Commissioner)
As a result of the Forestry Commissioners' inquiries in the parish referred to they secured an offer of 1,454 acres, but on survey it was found that owing to exposure, rock outcrop and adverse soil conditions it would not be possible to raise an economic crop on the area. Inquiries have disclosed the fact that much of the plantable land in the parish is either utilised for coal tips or is reserved for this purpose.
§ 52. Mr. JENKINS
asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, what steps have been taken in the Dulais Valley, Glamorgan, to secure land for afforestation; and is he aware of the number of workmen unemployed in that area who cannot be absorbed in the mines?
§ Sir L. FORESTIER-WALKER
The Forestry Commissioners have made repeated inquiries in the district referred to during the last six years, but no afforestable land has been available nearer than Rheola in the neighbouring Neath Valley where 1,084 acres have been leased and planting is proceeding. The Commissioners expect to secure shortly about 1,200 acres adjacent to the Neath area. Forestry work on these areas will provide some additional employment.
§ 53. Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether the attention of the Commissioners has been drawn to the desirability of securing for the country the growing oak in Mathrafal Wood, Welshpool, North Wales; and whether he will consider obtaining Treasury sanction for its purchase, particularly in view of its rapidly increasing value?
§ Sir L. FORESTIER-WALKER
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative; as regards the second part the Commissioners are of opinion that purchase would not be to the public interest.