HC Deb 21 June 1951 vol 489 cc708-9
57. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture how much land at present under agriculture in the Thetford Forest area it is proposed to plant for forestry in 1951 or 1952.

Mr. T. Williams

Eighty-three acres in 1951 and 63 in 1952 of land already acquired. I am unable to state whether the figure given for 1952 will be raised as a result of further acquisitions.

Mr. Dye

Is not it most desirable, particularly for small-holders, that they should retain their land for food production rather than that it should be planted with trees at the present time?

Mr. Williams

Certainly, Sir, if the land is more suitable for food production than afforestation.

58. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture what additional land he proposes to acquire for afforestation in the Thetford area.

Mr. T. Williams

I propose to acquire, in this area as in others, as much as possible of the land which in my view is best devoted to forestry. I have approved the acquisition of 694 acres, and negotiations for another 550 acres are proceeding. As my hon. Friend knows, I have also made a compulsory purchase order in respect of 350 acres, the confirmation of which is now being sought by way of a Provisional Order Confirmation Bill.