HC Deb 08 July 1958 vol 591 cc179-80
15. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made with the planting of trees on coal bings in Scotland to improve the amenities.

Mr. Maclay

I am afraid there is little information readily available on this subject, but I am making inquiries and will let the right hon. Gentleman know the result.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on the Continent quite a number of experiments have been carried on in testing with different types of trees, and that it has been found possible to get a great number to grow in such circumstances, and that they not only provide better amenities but also yield timber? Even if it should not be just an economic proposition from the point of view of the Forestry Commission, would not it be a wise thing to try by this extra planting to beautify a landscape defaced by these coal and shale bings?

Mr. Maclay

I have myself seen some of this work on the Continent and in parts of this country, too, and I hope that progress will be possible in this matter in Scotland.

Mr. T. Fraser

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that by discontinuing the assistance to local authorities under Section 3 of the Distribution of Industry Act, 1945, he has denied himself an opportunity of facilitating the progress which was being made with this work?

Mr. Maclay

I am aware that certain powers made available in England and Wales by an Act in 1949 were not made available at that time in Scotland. I do not know why that was so at that time.

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