§ 1. Sir A. Hurd
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what steps he is taking to consult with forestry interests in this country to ensure that suitable supplies of home-grown timber are available for road fencing, in furtherance of the Government's declared policy.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Richard Nugent)
We are in consultation with the Forestry Commission and the Home Grown Timber Advisory Committee about a revised fencing specification for motorways in order to permit a wider choice of homegrown timber. The initiative in making suitable supplies of the timber available must, of course, rest with the forestry and timber interests themselves.
§ Sir A. Hurd
I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. May we take it that it will as soon as practicable be the policy of the Ministry to give equal opportunities to home producers of timber to supply these fencing posts? In addition to the bodies which my hon. Friend is already consulting, will he also consult the Woodland Owners' Association, which is trying to organise the marketing of home-grown timber?
§ Mr. Nugent
The answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question is "Yes, Sir". Other things being equal, we should naturally wish to use home-grown timber. The answer to the second part of the supplementary question is that if the body which my hon. Friend mentioned wishes to have consultations with us, we shall be very pleased to do so.
Mr. Philips Price
Will the hon. Gentleman try to avoid what happened in Gloucestershire not so long ago where, in an area containing plenty of good oak timber, cement posts were used?