§ 88 and 89. Mr. F. M. Bennett
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he is aware of the poor market over recent years for homegrown hardwood; and what steps he is taking to strengthen it;
(2) what steps he has recently taken to encourage the use of home-grown timber whenever suitable material is available at a competitive price.
§ Mr. Soames
There is at present a good market for high quality home-grown hardwoods, and over the last three years there has been some general improvement in the price of standing hardwood timber. The lower quality hardwoods have always been more difficult to sell, but new outlets are being developed in, for example, the manufacture of pulp and paper.
The Forestry Commission is continually investigating new markets for homegrown timber of all kinds; at present it is considering setting up an experimental hardwood mill. The Commission has also had negotiations with the National Coal Board to increase the use of homegrown timber in the mines, and local authorities have been invited to encourage the use of home-grown timber in building projects.
The proposed pulp and paper mill at Fort William which has just been announced will be the tenth enterprise using home-grown timber that has been set up in recent years.