HC Deb 26 October 1954 vol 531 cc1746-7
33. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has as to the possibility of producing wood-pulp from home-grown timber; and what assistance is given to firms setting up board factories and sawmills.

Mr. Snadden

Home-grown softwood is suitable for the production of wood-pulp, and is already being used to a limited extent for this purpose. My right hon. Friend hopes that the interest being shown by industry in the development of the pulping of home-grown timber will lead to the establishment of new pulping plants. The Government are prepared to consider assistance to projects of this kind so far as their powers and resources permit.

Mr. Hannan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Forestry Commissioners themselves have already a financial interest in a company engaged in saw-milling and the processing of small timber? Will he ask them to consider taking similar action in respect of the making of wood-pulp?

Mr. Snadden

The Forestry Commissioners are already in touch with certain organisations on this matter and are making available supplies of material hitherto not available because of the lack of thinnings.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the Minister aware that the factory which has started is greatly handicapped by slowness in obtaining supplies? Will he look into that?