§ 12. Mr. Manuel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will indicate the services provided free by his Department to private woodland owners and the cost of these services in each of the last five years.
§ Mr. Ross
The Forestry Commission gives technical advice on schemes proposed by owners for systematic woodland management. A small amount of advice on general forestry matters and on questions such as tree diseases is also given. The cost in each of the last three years was £4,600, £6,700, and £5,500 respectively. Separate figures are not readily available for earlier years.
§ Mr. Manuel
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that there are many thousands of acres. of land in private ownership that are suitable for forestry planting but which are not being developed? Where the Forestry Commission is running short of land for a staged programme over the years ahead, will he do all he can to help it to acquire land now lying useless?
The Earl of Dalkeith
Can the Secretary of State give any indication of the immense value that the Forestry Commission has derived from the private sector of the industry in the form of experience, knowledge, trial plantations and experimental plantings over very many years?
§ Mr. George Y. Mackie
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we need to look at the development of forestry as something that should be integrated with agriculture; and that this requires taking a whole district, regardless of estate boundaries, in order to plan the planting of trees to fit in with agriculture, sport, and everything else?
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Capital Gains Tax provisions in the Budget will have a very serious effect on private forestry development? Will he urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look at this again with this point in mind?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. This Question is about free services being provided, which I think is a different question from that which the hon. Member asks.