HC Deb 06 March 1969 vol 779 c649
9. Mr. Gibson-Watt

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the overall trading position on all operations undertaken by the Forestry Commission in Wales in forest year 1968.

Mr. George Thomas

The accounts published in the Commission's Annual Report are for the whole of Great Britain. These do not show the trading results by countries, but I understand it is estimated that there was an overall deficit on the Forestry Commission's trading operations in Wales for the year ended 30th September, 1968.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The right hon. Gentleman did not tell us the figure. Recognising the importance of forestry to Wales, will he, with his specific responsibilities for forestry, tell us how many people in the Welsh Office are responsible for advising him about this? Does he not think it would be a good idea to have a debate on the forestry industry in Wales?

Mr. Thomas

If a debate can be arranged, I, of course, would be delighted. I have enough people to advise me on forestry arrangements in Wales. If the hon. Member presses me, I will give him the exact figures later because I should not like to mislead the House by one. Perhaps that answers his question.

Mr. Manuel

Can my right hon. Friend say in connection with the deficit he mentioned how much assistance was given to private woodland owners in Wales for research, felling and planting operations in the year he quoted?

Mr. Thomas

Welcoming that "North Wales" accent, I will supply my hon. Friend with the information he seeks if he will be patient. I shall write to him.