HC Deb 20 December 1974 vol 883 c698W
Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give the current annual export and import figures for timber and timber products, and state what steps he is taking to reduce the adverse trade balance.

Mr. Gregor Mackenzie

The figures for the 12-month period up to October 1974 are as follows:

Exports £99 million
Imports £1,648 million

Imports of timber are expected to fall appreciably in the next 12 months.

A special advisory group has been set up under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State with the objective of promoting the increased collection, recycling and maximum utilisation of waste paper as a partial substitute for imported wood pulp. But whatever measures are taken at home a large adverse balance of trade is inescapable by reason of the nature of the commodity.