HC Deb 29 July 1964 vol 699 cc1417-8
29. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many acres he expects will be planted in Scotland and the Highlands, respectively, during the current forestry year.

Mr. Noble

The total planting in Scotland by the Forestry Commission this year is expected to be about 30,800 acres, of which 12,700 acres are in the Highlands. Private woodland owners have planted about 13,000 acres during the year in Scotland.

Mr. Willis

Do not these figures indicate a big fall in forestry in Scotland, and is this reduction not likely to continue? Why does the right hon. Gentleman not tell the people in Scotland what the reduction in the forestry programmes is to be? This matter is causing a very great deal of concern.

Mr. Noble

A very considerable amount of forestry planting is going on. As I pointed out to the Scottish Grand Committee last week, the problem of forestry planting is very much a central one in the context of the development of the areas outside the centre of Scotland, but I think that we should look at the detailed figures when we have the report on this development.

Mr. Ross

Is the Secretary of State aware that we have fallen far behind the programme announced in another place by the first Minister of State for Scotland, who is now the Prime Minister? When is that pledge to be kept?

Mr. Noble

Conditions have also changed a good deal since that date.