HC Deb 28 July 1983 vol 46 cc1322-3
14. Mr. Temple-Morris

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement as to his policy on the sale of Forestry Commission land.

Mrs. Fenner

The Government's policy on the sale of land managed by the Forestry Commission was set out in the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland on 10 December 1980, as amplified in the debates during the passage of the Forestry Act 1981, which provided Forestry Ministers with the necessary powers for such sales.

Mr. Temple-Morris

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. Will she acknowledge the uncertainty among those affected? Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the pace of sales? Is she satisfied with the method of sales, and has she considered that public auction might be the best method?

Mrs. Fenner

The sales are advertised, so that people know that they are happening. The aim of the sales is to reduce that part of the Commission's grant-in-aid that finances the forestry enterprise—no more and no less. I trust that, as that policy is continuing, people will not feel insecure or unsure.