HC Deb 26 May 1949 vol 465 cc1439-40
46. Colonel Clarke

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can give an assurance that the Forestry Commission are giving priority to planting the 40,000 acres they hold of land which is plantable, but not yet planted, though previously having carried a woodland crop, before planting land that has never been afforested.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. George Brown)

The hon. and gallant Member can be assured that felled woodland areas held by the Forestry Commission are being replanted as rapidly as possible. It is not, however, possible to carry out the necessary planting programmes unless afforestation proceeds simultaneously with the replanting of felted areas.

Colonel Clarke

Does it not seem that the Forestry Commission are today planting fresh land which is of potential grazing value and leaving derelict land which is suitable for planting untouched? Are they not, in fact, to those who are asking for beef, giving wood instead?

Mr. Brown

The hon. and gallant Gentleman has not really listened to the answer which I have given him, and if he looks at the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT tomorrow and at the reply which I gave on 24th September, he will see that the point is covered.