HC Deb 01 December 1942 vol 385 c994
32. Mr. Vernon Harriett

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps are being taken to encourage the organisation by local authorities of the collection and distribution of blown timber to provide fuel in rural districts and thus to save coal transport?

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Major Lloyd George)

In October, 1941, all local authorities were asked to arrange schemes on behalf of my Ministry for the collection and storage of derelict timber for use as domestic fuel in time of coal shortage. Blown timber as well as surplus wood from sawmills and felling operations is used for this purpose. Where we know that supplies of suitable wood are available, individual appeals have been made to the appropriate local authorities urging them to organise and operate schemes for the storage of wood fuel to supplement coal supplies particularly in rural areas, during times of transport difficulties. My hon. Friend will appreciate, however, that both the labour and the transport problems involved, particularly in the case of blown timber, are very difficult.

Mr. Bartlett

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman bear in mind that there is a great deal of timber lying about in the country, and that the poorer members of the community are frightened to fetch it whereas in many cases landowners would be glad if they did so? Will he send out another circular through the local authorities to try and get that discrepancy removed?

Sir F. Sanderson

Is it not a fact that the local authorities have already done a considerable amount in this regard?

Major Lloyd George

They have collected a substantial tonnage. About 56 authorities have already collected, and I hope that there will shortly be another 23.