HC Deb 08 May 1978 vol 949 c760
11. Mr. Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what research he is undertaking into the use of wood-burning stoves.

Mr. Eadie

The Government are not at present paying for research into the use of wood-burning stoves.

Mr. Thompson

Is not the Minister aware of the vast and increasing amount of residues in our forests which are very bulky? Would it not be a good idea for the Government to investigate the possibility of some sort of compressed briquette, similar to peat in Ireland, so that these residues could be burnt?

Mr. Eadie

I understand that a number of studies have been undertaken, but they all suggest that the nation would be hard put to produce much more than 10 per cent. of its timber requirements by the turn of the century. There seems no way in which the country could become self-sufficient in timber for industrial purposes, even for building furniture, let alone providing a significant contribution towards our energy needs. May I point out to the hon. Gentleman that in the sixteenth century, if one committed three offences in Scotland relating to the destruction of wood, they carried the death penalty.

Mr. William Hamilton

Does my hon. Friend realise that the clear inference behind the Question is that an independent Scotland, run by the SNP, would be filled with wood-burning stoves?

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