HC Deb 13 March 1946 vol 420 cc1107-8
82. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many tons of logs have been supplied to this country from the German State forests since the armistice; whether he is aware of the necessities of an adequate timber supply for our housing programme; and if he will take steps to expedite imports of timber through the Army authorities on the Rhine.

Mr. Belcher

One thousand, two hundred and ninety-three tons have so far arrived from Germany in addition to 6,300 tons of sawn timber, but I am unable to say whether they were derived originally from the State forests. In view c-f the need for timber in this country, a strong organisation for timber production has now been created as part of the Control Commission in the British zone and supplies will be developed as rapidly as production and transport conditions allow.

93. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the President of the Board of Trade when the Forestry Commission sent to Germany commenced operations; and if he will state the quantities of timber exported to this country since these operations commenced.

Mr. Belcher

Timber production was started in Germany in the early days of the Allied occupation mainly to provide for the needs of the forces of occupation and of the coal mines. The first part of the enlarged organisation left this country at the end of February. The answer to the second part of the Question is 7,500 tons.

Captain Francis Noel-Baker

Can the Minister give an assurance that German forests will not be permanently destroyed by the present exploitation?

Mr. Belcher

There is certainly no desire on our part to exploit German forests to the point of annihilation, but we have to meet our essential requirements.