§ 9. Mr. Sydney Chapman
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if his Department will sponsor a research team to investigate the cause of the death of trees, with particular reference to contamination by lead and other poisonous materials.
§ Mr. Peter Mills
Contamination by lead and other poisonous materials is not a major factor in the mortality of trees and I do not think that additional research is necessary.
§ Mr. Chapman
While I appreciate that answer and while I am aware that the Forestry Commission obviously is undertaking research into the preservation of softwoods in plantations, may I point out to my hon. Friend that there is real need of a detailed survey and research into the causes of deaths of trees in areas where they are mostneeded—in other words, in our towns and cities—the more so as we approach the national tree planting year?
§ Mr. David Clark
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that his reply was very disappointing and complacent and that there are many poisonous substances in the atmosphere, notably sulphur dioxide, which have a terrible effect on trees in our cities? Will not the hon. Gentleman reconsider his original answer?