HC Deb 18 October 1949 vol 468 cc10-1W
80. Mr. Teeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps have been taken to purchase timber burnt in the recent fires in the Landes district of France; how much timber has been offered us; what use it is intended to make of it; and how much has actually been purchased during the last year and since the fires.

Mr. J. Edwards

Negotiations have taken place with a special delegation from France and it has been agreed to buy up to two million railway sleepers in place of 350,000 previously agreed with the French authorities. The quantity of wagon bottoms has been increased from 20,000 to 50,000 cubic metres. The French have also offered considerable quantities of timber suitable for case-making. Contracts for 20/25,000 standards are being placed and it is hoped to place further contracts after gaining experience of the quality and manufacture. We shall continue to keep in close touch with the French authorities.