§ 42. Sir WALTER de FRECE
asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, if he can make any statement as to the extent to which trees are being cut down in the country and the corresponding efforts at reafforestation?
§ Sir L. FORESTIER-WALKER
The Commissioners do not obtain annual returns as to the area of forest felled and replanted. From the Census of Woodlands figures compiled for the year 1924 it appears that, out of a total woodland area of 2,958,600 acres, 478,100 acres had been felled during recent years and not then replanted. Apart from current fellings there was consequently great leeway to be made up in replanting. It is estimated that at the present time private owners are planting about 12,000 acres per annum, which is probably less than the area being felled. On the other hand, the Forestry Commissioners have planted 22,400 acres during the planting season just ended. Since their appointment in 1919 the Commissioners have planted 93,000 acres in all, while 55,000 acres have been planted by local authorities and private individuals with the aid of grants.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the Forestry Commission have yet made representations to the Government on the advisability of having the Forestry Commission's operations brought regularly within the purview of this House?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Are the Forestry Commissioners experiencing any difficulty in purchasing sufficient land for planting purposes?
§ Mr. MAXTON
Arising out of the answer which the hon. Gentleman did not give to the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), have the Forestry Commissioners, in view of the changes that are being made in other Departments, considered at any time their own abolition?