HC Deb 10 October 1916 vol 86 cc23-4W

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the vital necessity to the nation of enlarging the food area in the United Kingdom as well as the production of its existing food area, it is proposed to carry out a scheme for the reclamation of waste land in this country; if so, whether during the War German prisoners will be employed upon this work; and (2) whether the Government have yet decided upon a scheme for the re-afforestation of the extensive areas in Great Britain which have been depleted of timber during the War and the afforestation of further suitable areas to meet future national requirements; and whether such scheme will be embarked upon, with the help of German prisoners or otherwise, during the War?


As my hon. Friend knows, both the questions to which he refers are the questions to which he refers are undergoing very careful and special examination at the present time. Both of them will probably require legislation before any large schemes can be ret going, and, as my hon. Friend also knows, legislation affecting land is not easy. All the German prisoners for whom the War Office can provide guards and hutments are being employed in felling timber and other work, and I see no prospect at present that it will be possible to employ them in the manner suggested.