§ 2.40 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the appointment of the reconstituted Forestry Commission has been completed, and when a statement will be made on the functions of the new Commissioners.]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES (LORD MITCHISON)
My Lords, the appointment of the reconstituted Forestry Commission has not yet been completed. It is expected that it will be completed shortly, and the names will then be announced. No change is proposed in the functions of the Commissioners, except as already explained by my right honourable friend in another place. The matter was dealt with in another place mainly in an Answer given on May 10, 1965, and there was also a reference to it during the debate on the Eighth Special Report from the Estimates Committee, which was printed on May 4, 1965. It would take rather a long time to give even a summary of what was said.
§ LORD HURD
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that Answer. Is it not regarded as a matter of some urgency that the marketing functions of the Forestry Commission should be strengthened? That, as I understand it, was one of the purposes of reconstituting the Commission as a whole. And is it not important that private timber growers, as well as Government foresters, should have the benefit of this strengthened Commission, particularly on the marketing side, as quickly as possible?
§ LORD MITCHISON
It is certainly important that the best people should be appointed as soon as possible. I think the name of the chairman, a prominent businessman, has already been announced. And I am quite certain that my right 119 honourable friend will bear in mind, particularly in matters of this sort, the need to get the best advice, from whatever source it may come.