HC Deb 10 October 1944 vol 403 cc1550-1
17. Earl Winterton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that, in the extensive woodland districts of Southern England, a quantity of wood suitable for fuel but not for other purposes is at present allowed to waste because no organisation exists to instigate or compel its collection and distribution; and if he will take steps to collect and distribute this fuel.

Major Lloyd George

Three years ago all local authorities were asked to organise schemes on behalf of my Ministry for the collection and storage of waste timber for use in time of emergency, and I am glad to say that since that time considerable quantities of waste wood have been utilised in this way. Special attention has been given to the abundant supplies available in the Southern Counties, where the collection and sawing of this wood is now being carried out on a fairly extensive scale. In addition, coal and timber merchants are also taking advantage of available supplies of wood in this area.

Mr. Shinwell

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that these logs, collected in various parts of the country, are being sold by the people concerned at very high prices? Has he no control over those prices? They compare unfavourably even with the high price of coal. Will he look into that?

Major Lloyd George

I think that is so. I do not dispute that at all, but my experience at the Ministry of Food, if I may draw on it, was that, when things were in very short supply, control tended to make them disappear altogether. In view of the very limited supply the same thing might happen here.

Earl Winterton

In view of the difficulty of dealing with this matter by question and answer, and in view of the fact that my information is exactly contrary to that given by the Minister, I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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