HC Deb 19 November 1945 vol 416 cc26-7
52. Lieut.-Commander Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is yet in a position to state what is to be the forestry policy of the Government; whether there is any possibility of providing employment for a substantial number of demobilised officers and men in forestry work in Great Britain; and what steps should be taken by those in the Forces who are anxious to take up a career in forestry after demobilisation,

Mr. T. Williams

I hope to be able to make a statement on policy shortly. As regard the second part of the Question, it is anticipated that there will be a limited number of posts for trained forest officers, and employment in forestry work for a substantial number of demobilised men. A training scheme for men in the Forces who desire to take up a career in forestry has been prepared and details will be available shortly through the local offices of the Ministry of Labour.

Lieut.-Commander Williams

Is the Minister aware that some people have been demobilised already and are unable to get advice as to a career in forestry?

Mr. Williams

If the demobilised men referred to will make application to the Ministry of Labour, they will shortly be able to obtain documents on forestry which explain the whole thing up to date.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Does the right hon. Gentleman include in forestry, work in connection with underwood, hurdle making and so on? So often forestry is only taken to mean work on coniferous plantations.

Mr. Williams

I cannot be certain about all the contents of the booklet, but I am sure that it will deal with ancillary trades.

6 Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Minister of Agriculture if, in view of the urgency to commence the reafforestation programme he will make retrospective to this season all grants to be announced under the Government's forestry policy.

Mr. T. Williams

While I appreciate the urgency of reafforestation, I regret, that I am unable to anticipate my statement on forestry policy.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

Could the Minister give any hope that his policy will be announced in time to take effect this season?

Mr. Williams

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the policy announcement will be made fairly shortly.

Mr. C. Williams

Will be it made this year, next year, or during the next Government?

Mr. Williams

Sooner or later, Sir.