HC Deb 31 January 1962 vol 652 cc1083-4
27. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is satisfied that there are sufficient facilities for forest management research available in Scotland to private and State forestry owners; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gilmour Leburn)

Yes, Sir. The research programme which the Forestry Commission is conducting and financing in Scotland covers forestry management as well as other aspects of forestry. The Scottish Woodland Owners' Association is consulted about the programme, and the research results are made available to private forestry owners.

Mr. Brewis

Is my hon. Friend aware that many forestry interests in Scotland are not at all satisfied about the research facilities available? Is he further aware that a northern country like Scotland has a distinct advantage in timber production, and that in fact we have a far bigger acreage than England? Can he possibly give an assurance that in the new industries which are coming in for timber production we shall not lose out to England because all the research facilities are situated in the south of England and not in Scotland?

Mr. Leburn

I should be very pleased to give my hon. Friend the assurance that we shall always watch this point very carefully, but at the present time my right hon. Friend is satisfied that forest research in Scotland is receiving proper attention.

Mr. Hannan

Will the hon. Gentleman give the number of students at management research colleges and say how many are sent by private woodland owners and the cost per student? Is not this another subsidy to private ownership?

Mr. Leburn

No. We have under discussion in this Question forest management research carried out by the Forestry Commission. There is no question of students being involved here at all.