HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 cc1312-3W

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he has consented to the transfer of the staff of the Home-Grown Timber Committee to the Director of Timber and to the disbanding of the committee; and, if so, whether he can make any statement on the subject with regard to the work carried out by the committee?


Yes, Sir. The President has consented to the transfer of the work and staff of the Home-grown Timber Committee to the War Office. It is necessary, consequently, to dissolve the Committee. The formal transfer will take place towards the end of this month, but in the meantime a working arrangement has been come to by which Mr. Sutherland, who has hitherto acted as Director of the Committee, reports to Sir Bampfylde Fuller, the Director of Timber Supplies. The Committee was set up in November, 1915, and by the end of last month they had acquired approximately 29,000,000 cubic feet of standing timber. The number of men employed was about 5,800: this included 2,682 men of the Canadian Forestry Corps and 830 prisoners of war. The number of mills in operation at the end of February was 150, of which sixteen were Canadian. The total output of sawn timber by the Committee was approximately 9,000,000 cubic feet;of this3,000,000 cubic feet was produced by the Committee's own mills; 2¼ million cubic feet by the Canadian Forestry Corps; while the balance has been supplied by contractors. In addition, a large amount of pitwood has been produced, and it is in this class of work that the German prisoners have been employed. The principal articles supplied by the Committee were:

Sleepers (of all kinds) 2,500,000
Scantling and boards 4,000 standards
Pitwood and poles 50,000 tons.
I should like to take this opportunity of expressing, on behalf of the Government, the President's appreciation of the services which have been rendered to the Mother Country by the officers and men of the Canadian Forestry Corps. I should also like to thank the Home-grown Timber Committee for the services which they rendered. The work has been most ably conducted by the Director, Mr. John Sutherland, under the chairmanship of my right hon. Friend the Member for the Camborne Division of Cornwall.