HC Deb 15 June 1950 vol 476 cc525-6
15. Mr. Russell

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in order to encourage the greater use of Colonial timber, he will consider reclassifying timber described as hardwood according to the weight of wood per cubic foot and the uses to which it can be put.

Mr. H. Wilson

As the import of all, and distribution of nearly all, hardwoods is now handled by private traders, I am not in a position to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Russell

Could the Minister say who can adopt the suggestion?

Mr. Wilson

Yes, Sir, the private trade. If the hon. Gentleman will perhaps discuss it with them, or if they see a report of his Question, perhaps they may agree to adopt it.

Sir H. Williams

Cannot the Board of Trade classify timbers according to whether they are hardwood or softwood?

Mr. Wilson

In any figures there have ever been there have always been classifications of softwood and hardwood, but I think the hon. Gentleman's question asked for a simplification of a list of woods which is at present on a botanical names basis instead of on a basis of weight.

Mr. Ian L. Orr-Ewing

Will the Minister see that information—only some of which is available as the result of investigations by research departments under his control—about the performance of these timbers is more widely known?

Mr. Wilson

I shall be very glad to arrange for anything that can be done on those lines.