HC Deb 21 June 1939 vol 348 cc2236-7
83. Mr. McEntee

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the growing erosion of many districts in Tanganyika; whether this result is in part due to the destruction of forests; and whether he can state the use made of the timber?

Sir T. Inskip

The gravity of the problem of soil erosion in some districts in Tanganyika is fully recognised, and has been engaging for some time the active attention of the Government of the Territory. My right hon. Friend understands, however, that it is only in very limited areas of the Territory that the destruction of forests is a serious contributory cause of erosion. He is not in a position to say to what use, in such cases, the timber is put.

Mr. McEntee

Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries in regard to the last point; and is he aware that the amount of the destruction caused in this way is very much greater than the value of the timber?

Sir T. Inskip

My right hon. Friend is fully aware of the evils which accompany erosion, and of the causes which sometimes lead to erosion. The destruction of timber is sometimes part of the ordinary method, no doubt a wasteful method, of the cultivation of the soil by the natives.

Mr. Mathers

Does the right hon. Gentleman fully realise the extent of the damage which is being caused by erosion and will he have a very searching inquiry made into this matter with a view to applying the appropriate remedy?

Sir T. Inskip

As I have said, my right hon. Friend is fully aware of the evils of erosion, and the most careful attention is being given to the question.

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