HC Deb 10 May 1948 vol 450 cc1730-1
47. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture in how many counties the census of woodlands has been completed; and when, and where, the records will be open for inspection.

Mr. T. Williams

The census survey of privately-owned woodlands has been completed in 40 counties. The data for the first 20 counties is being summarised and will be completed within three months. The original maps and individual records for England and Wales are at Alice Holt Forest Research Station, Farnham, Surrey, and for Scotland at 35, Manor Place, Edinburgh, where they may be inspected. Copies will be made and deposited in conservancy offices, but I am unable to say when these will be available.

Mr. Baldwin

In view of the long distances to these places where the maps have been deposited, would it not be possible for the Minister to deposit copies with the county committees, so that they could be seen by the public without having to make these long journeys?

Mr. Williams

The distribution of records beyond conservancy offices would mean an enormous amount of work in copying the maps and record forms, and a vastly increased expenditure of paper as well.

Mr. Vane

Is the Minister aware that a conservancy represents about 10 counties, and that the time, petrol and labour wasted in visiting the conservancy offices will surely outweigh the work involved by making additional copies?

Mr. Williams

I cannot agree with the hon. Gentleman. Once the conservancy offices are supplied with copies, I think that ought to be quite sufficient.