HC Deb 29 July 1958 vol 592 cc1118-9
2 Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) if he will initiate a campaign in all industrial areas in England and Wales to clean and brighten the towns and cities by the planting of trees, shrubs, plants and turf, and appeal for the united co-operation of all organisations, employers and others in each area;

(2) if he is aware of the two-year campaign being carried out in the North-West for cleaning and beautifying the industrial areas by planting trees, shrubs, plants and turf; what assistance is being given by his Department; and with what results;

(3) if he will give the results of the general circular his Department sent out to local authorities asking them to plant more trees and shrubs.

Mr. Bevins

I am glad to say there is evidence that local authorities generally are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of trees to the amenities of both town and country, and I have no doubt that the circular played its part in stimulating interest.

My right hon. Friend is aware of the fine work being done by a number of local authorities, in the north-west and elsewhere, in striving to make industrial areas more beautiful. He hopes that more authorities will do likewise, and that, besides planting on their own land, they will encourage planting on private land of all kinds. My right hon. Friend expects to publish in the autumn an illustrated book suggesting ways in which the appearance of towns can be improved by tree planting, and advising on the choice of species.

Mr. Smith

While appreciating that sympathetic reply, may I ask whether the Parliamentary Secretary will consult his right hon. Friend with a view to asking him to consider the advisability of the Ministry taking the initiative to a greater extent than it has done in the past, in order to stimulate interest in this matter and give greater encouragement to local authorities?

Mr. Bevins

I am not sure in what way my right hon. Friend can take the initiative over and above what he has done already. If the hon. Member has any suggestions, we should be glad to consider them.

Sir L. Ropner

In view of the highly unsuitable choices that are often made, may I ask from what source local authorities can obtain advice about the most appropriate species of trees to grow?

Mr. Bevins

Many local authorities have their own parks superintendents. We have experts in the Ministry whose services are always available to the smaller local authorities.