HC Deb 31 July 1956 vol 557 c1134
26. Mr. Baldwin

asked the President of the Board of Trade why it is still necessary for defence purposes to stockpile timber, in view of the fact that timber merchants have considerable supplies of timber in their yards and State forests have a large reserve of mature timber.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

It is not customary to reveal the strategic purpose or the amount of materials in the stockpile. As my hon. Friend knows, however, our strategic stocks of timber are now being reduced, as foreshadowed in the White Paper on Defence.

Mr. Baldwin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that is similar to an Answer he gave me on 28th July, when he referred me to the Minister of Defence? I put down a Question to the Minister of Defence and was referred back to the Board of Trade. Does my right hon. Friend think that I should ask the Minister of Supply a Question?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I do not think that my hon. Friend will have much success with any Minister: the question of what is or ought to be in a strategic stock is not a matter for public debate.