HC Deb 01 February 1955 vol 536 cc878-9
11. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to increase the acquisition of land in Scotland by the Forestry Commission so that new planting of timber may be maintained.

Mr. Snadden

Joint rural development surveys covering 1½ million acres have been carried out since 1947 by the Forestry Commission and the Department of Agriculture for Scotland. As a result, 50,000 acres have been acquired or provisional arrangements made for acquisition. A further million acres are in course of being surveyed. In addition, over Scotland as a whole, Forestry Commission officers are continually inspecting land offered for sale, and this work is being intensified.

Mr. Thomson

Will the Minister bear in mind the anxiety expressed by the Forestry Commissioners in their last Annual Report on this matter? Can he say whether, by the time that they make their next Annual Report, that anxiety will have been dispelled?

Mr. Snadden

I cannot make any promises, but I think that we at least expect to maintain the acreage.